Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Escapee: "I'm freeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!"

I guess I shouldn't call it a trauma. It's just another chapter in my book of adventures that is my life. :)
So, I was talking to Ashley on the phone being silly and getting the dogs excited. Jetta has not had enough exercise since we've been home and I know she has house fever. She is a very high energy dog who needs a lot of intellectual stimulation. Strange yes, but she does. Flash does this silly thing where if you say "squirrel" to her she goes tearing around the house barking and whining. If you let her out she goes running full tilt across the yard and tries to climb the nearest tree-don't ask, I don't know how she learned this. Flash is the dominant dog out of the two and Jetta always hangs back at the door waiting for Flash to leave. She has never tried to make a "run for it" before, but today the inevitable happened.
As I said above, Jetta's a runner. She's a free spirit-kind of like me. Doesn't like to be tied down or told what to do. It's a wonder she became a guide dog at all. She is very good on harness and works hard, but off harness she is crazy. I don't know why. Maybe her puppy raisers did not teach her "come" or "stay" properly, but these two commands are things we have struggled with from the start. (I think I complained about this in another blog). "Come," and "Stay," were the first two commands Flash learned. My thought is that if pet dogs can learn it, then dogs who know their left from right should be able to get it too.
So, back to the phone conversation. So, I'm getting Flash all excited and Jetta is lying calmly at my feet ignoring the crazy antics of Flash. She didn't seem to care whatsoever. I walk through the kitchen to the back door still teasing Flash about the squirrel that does not exist, all the while talking to Ashley. I fling the door open, just wide enough for Flash to get through, and she bolts out on to the deck, down the steps and out into the yard. Unfortunately, so does Jetta. (Yes, it was my fault and I could never had lived with myself if something had happened to her). I froze in sheer panic. Here was a dog that had too much pent up energy, running free in a neighbour hood where people do not tie up their dogs. Here was a dog who was submissive and would be ripped apart by any of the stray dogs roaming in packs. They never bother people, but they are territorial with other dogs and I was afraid of Jetta getting attacked. (That has already happened last summer, but she was on a leash with me. That was a horrible experience and I did not want it happening again). I hung up with Ashley and called my mom at work. I could not hear her choke chain and 3 tags jingling and Flash had seemed to have run off somewhere-probably following Jetta. Flash has been trained not to leave the yard and rarely does.
I called Jetta and Flash, but Flash was the only one who came back. Freaking out, I went back inside and found dog treats in hopes of coaxing her back, but by the time I emerged again, she had really run off. Flash was sitting on the deck waiting for me. My mom called back and said that Dad was on his way and that aleviated some stress, but I was still freaking out. I phoned the local shelter and reported her missing and then phoned Christena's house to see if she had gone there. We often walked there together so it was a possibility. Dad soon arrived and started driving around with the dog treats in hand, but he could not find her. Flash came and sat with me on the deck and I felt totally helpless. I could not even get up and go look for Jetta-my "eyes" had just run away. I sat plotting my next move, when Flash suddenly shot off the deck like a bullet. I figured she had either seen a real squirrel, or Jetta was close by. I remained seated and called her happily, hoping she would come back. Flash came running up the stairs, but no Jetta. I told her, "No, go get Jetta!" She went running back into the yard and I kept calling. Suddenly, there was the sound of pounding paws and 2 giant black dogs came running to me. I praised them both, stuffing treats in their mouths and then flung the back door open-shoving them in, not fast enough in my opinion. I continued to praise them while feeding them more treats and then re-filled the water bole because Jetta had drained it. She must have been running the entire 25 minutes she was missing. Even though it was only 25 minutes, it felt like an eternity. We're in a city where pure bred dogs are stolen and kept by families because they want a dog. My pet yellow lab Sasha, was stolen twice when I was a kid. Flash is not a pure bred and she was stolen when she was a pup. I was so afraid I would never see my Jetta again. Thankfully, Flash, or some greater good, brought her back.
My Dad had seen Flash standing at the edge of our property wagging her tail and figured she had found Jetta. His view was blocked by the house, but he stopped in to make sure she had been found. I wasn't sure if I wanted to hug or hurt Jetta, but I definitely hugged her and told her she is to never do that again. I guess some of it is my fault, but I don't understand why the "come" command was omited from our dogs' training-well, at least mine. I was told by her puppy raisers that she stayed tied up the whole time she was a puppy and slept in a crate. No wonder she wants to run! She's sick of being tied up.
The good news is that she came back and is lounging out in the living room after her little "disappearing act."
Damn I love that dog and I am responsible for her safety as much as she is responsible for mine. I am just glad she came back safe and sound. I can laugh about it now and just add it to the list of crazy things she has done, but I definitely was not smiling when she was gone.
So, Jetta if you read this:
Please no more running away. I don't think I can handle it! :)


L^2 said...

Wow, sounds like you've had quite an exciting day! Glad Jetta is back with you safe and sound.

Little Johnny said...

LOL! Maybe you should get her a flexy leash, then she could at least have some room to do her Jetta thang! Glad all ended well though...

Jess and Jetta said...

Laura and girls,
Thanks! I'm glad too.
Little Jonny:
She has one. She hates it and just stands at the end of it staring mournfully at me.

Katherine said...

I cannot imagine how scary that was for you! I'm so glad she came back safe.