The Captain is one smart dog. He is a Bichon ...a breed known for their intelligence and ability to problem solve, to make their wishes known. Captain is so smart, that He out smarts me.
I knew I was going to get another dog to replace my Lily...my lovely lily who died of kidney failure. A little dog should be free to run in the backyard. A dog owner who is busy should be able to put the dog in the backyard and go about her errands, knowing the dog is safe and in a happy place, free to explore and watch what is going on in the neighborhood.
With that in mind, I asked my grandson if He would put in a wire mesh fence for me. The installation is simple: just hammer in U channels in the ground and attach the wire mesh. Stephen said yes. He did a good job. The fence is level and secure. The gates were harder, so I called a fence company to install them. All the abutting neighbors were questioned and said it was OK to put in the fence without getting the property line surveyed....because the fence, by its nature, was temporary...just for the dog. The fence is completed. Captain Jack is let out the back door into the back yard. He promptly escapes. He escapes again and again. How is He getting out? He has found every dip in the ground that He can wiggle under. Each dip is a easy escape for a little dog. I plugged up the holes with bricks, dirt, anything I could find.
Captain Jack still escapes. I am getting calls from my neighbors. I got a call from the secretary at a nearby school. The kids had brought him into the office. How embarrassing! I look like a poor dog owner.
The dog isn't running away from me. He is running toward people on the other side of the fence. Jack loves people, especially children. He wants to play....with everybody.
How is that dog escaping? The thing to do is to stand outside the fence and call him. This I do. He comes running to me...by wiggling between that triangle of space in the stairs, made by the handrail, the riser and the tread. That is how the clever dog gets out. I brick up every tread on the stairs. Round one. I win.
Round two: It is a hot and humid day. Our town is having a festival. This is a popular festival. People comes from the surrounding towns. They fill up all the parking lots. Then they park on the streets closest to the festival. My street is one of them. There are cars all around the circle. I can hear the loudspeakers and the music. People are having a wonderful time. The sun is getting low. It is time to leave the festival. People start to walk to their cars.
Meanwhile, I am reading a book on the front porch. Captain Jack is at my feet. It is too hot and humid to do much, so a good book is a good way to spend the day.
Suddenly, Captain takes off for the sidewalk. He has spotted a little girl and her family. He runs to the little girl, tail and butt wagging in good spirit. The girl is petrified of this active little dog. I ran after him and picked him up. Her father picks up the little girl. Tentatively, she puts out a hand and gets a doggie kiss. Smiles. All is well. We part.
Now I know that Captain can't be left on the porch with so many people passing by. I put him inside the fence so He can watch the parade of people, but not scare little children.
The Captain disappears. I can't see him. Where did He go? Now He is beside me on the porch, watching for children. How did He do that?
He went around the back and found the back door open. He went through the door and through the house, then out the front door by me. My dog solved the maze puzzle. Round two. Dog wins.
Round three: My one indulgence is to eat breakfast out at a local diner. I am a "regular" there. I like to see the other patrons. I like to hear their voices. The waitresses know my usual order. All this is a comfort...like the bar, "Friends"...where everybody knows your name.
The Captain comes with me. He loves to ride in the truck. He knows He will be rewarded with a bit of bacon when I return to the truck. I can't jingle my car keys but Jack is at the door, ready to go.
Truck key jingle. Dog at the door. Let's go.
We are in the parking lot. Jack has a cup of water in the cup holder. The windows are rolled partially down so He gets a good air flow.
Jack gets the command,"stay". I head for the diner.
My breakfast is delivered. I am enjoying reading the paper and sipping coffee. Suddenly, there is a commotion at the door. The waitresses are at the door. There is lots of giggling. One waitress is holding up...my dog!
Jack had jumped out of the window, crossed the parking lot, and managed to get through the first pair of doors. He was headed for my table and a piece of bacon. Round three. Dog wins.
Labels: One smart dog