Wednesday, June 18, 2008

And he's loose...

I had quite the heart attack this morning. The latch on side gate sprung loose while he was out and I'd gotten distracted because I was running late for work so I didn't realize it until he'd been out 10 minutes. I know the gate was shut when I let him out because that's the first thing I check, so I'm not sure what went wrong. However, Toby has one call (I smooch, shut the door and he has 10 seconds to get up to the door) when he's out back when it's time to come in. It's amazingly enough, a rule structure everyone in my family has kept up with. If he's not there in 10 seconds the shoes go on and someone calmly goes out to fetch him. He rarely, if ever misses a call. Lately however, with the pesky dog out he's been missing a few.

So when I called him this morning I didn't think anything of it. I went out back and checked the fence line for where he might be standing before I realized he wasn't there. Sure enough when I turned around and hurried around the deck... the little gate was standing wide open. I took off after him, but when I didn't see him in immediate sight down the block I started to panic. Trying to think I just did a 'smooch' sound again as I headed in the direction I thought he'd go. I made it two steps before he dive bombed me. Yes!

I'm so proud of him. Thankfully, it was a quiet morning and outside from the normal fenced dogs on the street there'd been nothing for him to get in trouble with. After some cuddles and telling him what an awesome man I thought he was, I let him run up my neighbor's drive way back into our back yard (his biggest reward tends to be getting to run loose again... I can't give him that, but I could at least rev him up and run with him back those last few feet). I'm relieved and thrilled... whew.


Champion of My Heart said...

Whew! I'm glad it was only a few minutes and that he came right to you. How scary?!

Val said...

Oh me too! I was so relieved that he came back. We've trained and trained for it, but you never know until the leash is off.

But! I did find out the culprit! I was out of my mind this morning trying to figure out what had went wrong with our latch when we haven't had a system failure in maybe a year on that side. Turns out dad took the spare yard waste can out last night. He didn't get it latched all the way (but it looked stable and shut) and he forgot to go back and shut it. He got the riot act from mom (with little sympathy even though it was 3am when he got home and was doing it). I suppose I just needed to lean harder on the gate to make sure it was latched all the way. Needless to say, everything is back in working order and we now have a collection of bungee cords further holding it shut, just in case.