Monday, December 27, 2010

Bad Girls!

Waking up to the sound of somebody pounding on your front door is never pleasant.  On Christmas Eve, I was a few hours into a good sleep after a busy night at work when the pounding began.  Tired, I tried my best to ignore the noise.  When it continued with increasing force for more than a few minutes, I decided it probably wasn't another UPS delivery and that I should get up and answer the door.

One of our elderly neighbors was standing on our porch.

"I'm sorry to wake you up," he said, staring at my disheveled hair and pajamas. "But I just saw your dogs running down the street, past my house."

In my half waking state I can only hope that no explicatives crossed my lips in response.

"I'll help you round them up in my truck," he continued.

"Thank you," I managed to reply. "I guess I'll meet you down there in my car."

I closed the door and sighed deeply.  Brian was busy at work which meant it was my sole responsibility to get these dogs back to our property.  And with two more nights of work ahead of me, I needed to round up the dogs with enough time left for me to get some more sleep.  I looked down at Arthur who was still barking from the neighbors' interruption of our daytime sleep.  I wished our other dogs were ten pounds instead of ninety.

A few minutes later I was dressed with cheese in my pocket, driving down the road.  At first I couldn't see the dogs or the neighbor who had promised to help.  Trying not to panic, I continued to drive.  Finally I saw both dogs down a random driveway, with our neighbor behind them in his old truck, trying to steer them in the right direction.  I stopped, jumped out of the car and called their names.

"Gretel!  Beatrice!  Come!"

By some miracle, both dogs looked at me and ran in my direction excitedly.  I shoved the cheese at them, hoping to lure them in further.  In the next moment, it was as though I was overcome with some superhuman strength (which was probably motivated by my intense desire to get back into my warm bed and back to sleep).  I opened the trunk of the SUV and one by one, shoved the dogs inside.

Gretel and Bea in the dog run

My luck continued as I was able to get both dogs back into the fenced area they share with the goats and then inside the 10" x 10" dog run where they lived as puppies.  I walked the outer fencing, trying to understand how they got out.

Maia on the A frame, eating tar paper. 
The goats were a bit unruly while the dogs were locked up.

Brian was able to capture their attempted escape.

 Later that evening when Brian made it home, we spent an hour laying out additional fencing. I went to work, leaving Brian on duty.  Twice that night, the dogs escaped, provoked by a tailless raccoon that lives in the blackberry bush behind our house.  Brian watched them escape the second time and found the weak link in the fence and was able to patch it up.  Interestingly, it is Gretel who initiated both escapes (we previously though Bea to be the devious one) and would not come back when called.  Brian was easily able to collect Bea back into captivity but had to chase Gretel all around our neighbors property.  She made a beeline to where she found the pan of bacon grease last week. I suppose you can't really blame her for that!

I am happy to report there have been no more successful escapes although the girls remain on the naughty list for the time being! 

Beautiful Christmas morning.

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