Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Gone Walkabout

by Maggie Sefton

I know you've seen these doggie photos before, but they're really appropriate

for today's post.  My two dogs--Super Smart Border Collie/Black Lab KATY, aka Naughty Girl, and Goofy Blue Tick Hound/Black Lab MAX, aka Follow-Katy-Anywhere--went "walkabout" a few days ago.  I spent the entire afternoon and evening searching for and worrying about my lost doggies.  Whenever Katy gets a chance to go walkabout, she grabs it.  Max simply follows her lead.

That morning I was at Lambpun knitting shop (immortalized in the Kelly Flynn Knitting Mysteries) and the adjoining outside cafe enjoying brunch with three visitors to Fort Collins, CO.  Beautiful sunny weather and temps, consequently I didn't even hear the message that my lawn mowing guy sent.  He was distraught because the dogs had managed to get out the fence gate.  He thought he'd pushed that heavy metal latch down all the way, but when he finished cutting the grass, he looked around and dogs were gone.  Apparently Naughty Katy had watched him and realized the gate wasn't securely latched and set about to open it.  She probably told Max to help her push up the latch.  Katy can talk him into anything.  Lawn guy drove around neighborhood but couldn't find them.  Even his wife came out to drive around.

By the time I noticed the phone message, the dogs had been gone for two
hours or more.  Longer than they'd ever been gone before. Whenever Katy has slipped past a slowly closing garage door or a wind-opened front door and run away grinning at me with that "catch me if you can" expression, I jump right in my old Explorer (doggie car, snow car, gardening hauling, etc) and drive around trying to find them and coax them into car.  I usually can convince Max to jump inside but have to enlist a stranger's help to grab Naughty Katy.  She'll run up to strangers while taunting me.

This time I drove around the neighborhood and kept stretching the boundaries.  A college girl said she
saw them heading toward the last street separating the neighborhood from the foothills, which rise up to Horsetooth Reservoir.  They'd NEVER gotten close to the boundary streets, so I was really worried.
Wondering if they'd been hit by a car.  I called the CSU Vet School Small Animal Clinic to see if anyone had brought in injured dogs.  I saw kids coming home from junior high/middle school and stopped them in clusters, offering a cash reward if they found my doggies.

Finally, tired and hungry, I went home and grabbed dinner then headed to the Humane Society.  There the two miscreants were, looking sheepish in separate "cells" which sported doggie cots and blankets.  Katy did her usual "Who me? routine, while Max was mortified.  "Jail!!  I'm never following Katy again!"  Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

I've heard all sorts of stories about other doggies and kitties who went walkabout after I posted on Facebook.  Did any of your pets ever go wandering?
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