Tuesday, July 14, 2009

It's a love/hate kinda thang

Meet our dog Smokey.

Smokey is approximately 8 years old and has been part of Jay and I's lives since 2002.

My feelings for Smokey are fairly well known. It's kind of a love/hate relationship. He is a fantastic dog about 85% of the time. Great with the girls. Great protector of our home. Great with the cat. Great at staying home all day and never once in his entire life having an accident. He has only two speeds - turbo and sleep - so you don't have to deal with a jumping, annoying pet most of the time. And he never ever licks your hands or face, which is a HUGE plus in my book.

On the surface he's the kind of dog people dream of.

He is also great at something else, and this is where the hate part of the relationship comes in. Smokey is a GREAT runner. And an even better digger. Combine those two things and you end up with a mildly scary dog terrorizing the neighborhood on various occasions. Smokey will run out the front door when given the opportunity but he can also dig out under our privacy fence and run too. Since he is also incredibly fast he's nearly impossible to catch once he's out.

A few highlights of Smokey's Olympic Runs:
  • getting two tickets in one day while he ran after our mailman
  • trying to explain to our elderly, non-English speaking neighbors why our dog was swimming in their pool
  • waking our other neighbors up while we attempted to get Smokey out from under their deck
  • our neighbor explaining to us how they watched Smokey jump up and unlatch the gate himself
Smokey also has a knack for running away during fun times at our house. He loves to have 30 people from a birthday party chase after him. And the more you chase him the faster and farther he runs. Jay and I have perfected the "attempt" to catch the dog - we walk up and down the street and half-heartedly call "Here Smokey, come back!" to give the illusion we are working to get him. Then we go right home, pop the gate open, and wait on him to join us at home. That really is the only way to catch him.

This past Friday Jay and I were leaving to go to dinner with some friends when we realized Smokey was gone. It only took a minute to find the new hole he dug under our fence. It took another 15 hours before we had him safely back home.

And this is why, at 6:15 a.m. Saturday morning, Jay went to Menards and bought an electric fence. To go conveniently inside our very expensive (and obviously inadequate) privacy fence.

I felt a bit sad to see our dog shocked for the first time. Not as sad, however, as seeing him get hurt while on a mad dash through the neighborhood. So cross your fingers that he is finally safe at home for good.

And double cross your fingers that Addi doesn't put the shock collar on her sister or herself.

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