Now, when I say he wrote his first story, I mean he told it to his teacher, and she wrote it down. (We're still working on the name-writing thing, people. Give me break, will you?) The topic of the story that each child was writing was "A Puppy Story." Given the fact that there are three mangy dogs running around our house, Gavin had a lot of material to work with. Hence, his story went like this:
Gavin's Puppy Story
I almost died laughing when I read it, not because it's a complete work of fiction but because it's completely TRUE. You see, our lovable, gentle, sweet, adorable labrador, Dan, (Dan, not Charlie. Charlie is possibly the spawn of the devil), has one or two bad habits. One of them is eating things he's not supposed to (a loaf of bread, an entire bag of dog food, twelve sticks of elk jerky with jalapenos). The other one: escaping.
Behind our house, there is a field. Nothing special, just a field. A field in which cats and squirrels run free. For years, Dan has found ways to escape the backyard and roam the field. This wasn't a problem until recently. A year or so ago, someone in our small neighborhood bought the field, and they fenced it in. No big deal, except that the entire field can only be accessed from their house.
A month or two ago, I sent all the dogs in the backyard to, well, act like dogs for awhile - you know, play outside and whatnot. Thirty minutes later, Arnie and Charlie are at the door, but Dan is nowhere in sight. Why? Because my 7-year-old lab with all kinds of hip and elbow dysplasia that has required multiple surgeries and expensive supplements decided to jump the five-foot tall fence and play in the field. By play I mean chase a cat or two and roll around in some shit. Really, he always finds a pile of shit and rolls in it.
This meant that I had to get Gavin in the car, drive around to my neighbor's house, knock on their door, trapse through the field, find the naughty dog, stick his shit-covered doggy self in the back of my car, drive home, give him a bath, and clean out my car. No big deal, really, until he did it again the very next day. And the day after that. And the day after that.
Not two days ago, he jumped the fence to frolic around the field with another dog. By the time I got there to search for him, he was gone. Nowhere to be found. After talking to my neighbor, he said he had seen Dan back there playing with his neighbor's dog. He called his neighbor, and his dog was back home safely. Dan: missing. So, after searching the field, I returned to my car and slowly drove back home, keeping my eyes peeled for Dan. I was a little panicked thinking I lost him. But, moments later, there he was - tied to someone's tree eating a bowl of food and drinking water. Embarrassed, I knocked on the door, and when the lady answered, I said, "Um. Hi. So, that's my dog right there." Then, I proceeded to tell him what a naughty dog he was the whole way home.
|Look, I feel really guilty. Can't you see it in my face?|
Now, you're probably thinking, "You silly people! Find a way to keep him from jumping the fence," or, "You silly people! Stop leaving the dog outside." Well, we tried to find ways to keep him from jumping the fence. And he's outsmarted us every time. Damn smart dog. As far as not leaving him outside - did I mention there are three dogs. If they're in the house all the time, I will go (more) insane.
I continue to offer any of my dogs to everyone I know, but no one's biting. I even offer to let them take one for FREE. How can you pass that up? At this point, my other solution involves a concrete wall and a moat, but I think we might try a different type of fence first. Which is too bad because I was really hoping for a moat.