Adding to the list of differences between Ellie and Cosmo, Ellie LOVES backyards. She will run laps and bounce around like a baby deer and “secure the perimeter” (aka run around all of the edges of the space she’s in and sniff everything out) and smell every square inch of the yard and hunt for bugs and lizards. She LOVES it. Cosmo, on the other hand, is not a fan. The only way he’ll go into a backyard is if you go out there with him. Even then, the only thing he likes to do is lay in a patch of sun on a patio. He’ll only go in the grass if he has to “go” (if you know what I mean). Sometimes he won’t even go over there. I’ll have to physically pick him up and place him in the grass to get him to go.
So, a few weeks ago, Ellie was out in the backyard doing her thing, and suddenly I noticed something strange: I could hear a girl playing outside, but I hadn’t heard a single sound from Ellie. I know my dog, and I know she is basically a grumpy, old lady when it comes to children making noise. In other words, there is no way she would not let out a least a bark or two. I went out to check on her and discovered the reason for her silence (and a reason for my heart to sink): the bottom of the gate was pried open, and Ellie was nowhere to be found. She wasn’t wearing a collar. We were in an unfamiliar, new neighborhood. So my mind immediately went to the worst conclusion: she was gone forever and the picture I’d taken of her that morning was the last picture I’d ever take of her:
Talk about heartbreak! Dave and I both hit the streets looking for her, and she was nowhere to be found. Ellie knows her name, but she tends to respond most to “Where’s Ellie?!” (she comes running like “omg! omg! I’m right here! what’s going on? Is something cool going on??”) or “Do you wanna (go for a walk)?” If you say “Do you wanna” around Ellie, she instantly perks up and her ears go up as straight as can be, hoping for those sweet final four words “..go for a walk.” I like to tease her by saying things like “Do you wanna….. cupcake?! Do you wanna… ride a pony?!” Ok, this sounds really weird on a blog but it’s really funny in person. Trust me. The point is, basically I was unshowered, in PJs, running through my new neighborhood in a crazed state and on the verge of tears yelling, “where’s Ellie?” and “Do you wanna?” I am pretty sure all hope of making friends with my new neighbors is shot as they now must be pretty convinced that I am a full-on crazy person.
We then hopped in the car and drove up and down the busy street outside our neighborhood because the people next door said when their dogs get out they always run out to the busy street. I was half scared to look, because I did not want to see her lying in the road, hit by a car. No success. No Ellie. We got back to the neighborhood, resigned to go inside and start making lost dog signs, when Dave saw the mailwoman and thought to ask her if she’d seen a dog. She zoomed past our mailboxes and we thought our chance was shot. But then she sat in the truck stopped at the intersection, looking for directions or something. So we asked her if she’d seen a stray dog, and sure enough she had! She told us exactly where she’d seen a little black dog with no collar hanging out in a random yard two neighborhoods down the road. We had driven through that neighborhood but didn’t see anything. So we hopped back in the car and hurried over there. We parked the car and began to walk around, calling out Ellie’s name. And suddenly Dave’s voice perked up. “Ellie.. Ellie?? Ellie! Get over here!” And I looked his direction, and there she was, running toward us. I scooped her up and burst into tears. Holy cow I’m tearing up right now just recounting that. So I guess I’m out another neighborhood of potential friends, since I was standing in the middle of the street unshowered and in PJs in the middle of the day blubbering over my dog. They’re probably thinking, “Hey lady, try taking a shower before noon. And also, try putting a collar on your dog, and keeping your gate shut. Also, why did you name your dog ‘Do you wanna’??”
Who cares what they think?! We have Ellie back! Unfortunately, she did not learn her lesson because pretty much every time I let her in the yard she runs STRAIGHT for the gate to see if it’s unlocked. We should have let her rough it on the streets for a night and maybe she would have learned her lesson 😉
In related “ninja dog” news, yesterday she flipped out on the dogs next door and kept jumping at the brick wall between them (yes Ellie, I’m sure that is effective), and she managed to cut one of her claws open and it started bleeding everywhere. So of course I had to hold her while we waited for the bleeding to stop (Dave LOVES any excuse I have to hold Ellie ;-)), but I couldn’t let her get blood on my new beige couch, could I?! 😉
You can’t tell from this picture but my work laptop is actually on the table. Holding injured dog with one hand, doc reviewing with the other. I know, I am such a dedicated working (dog)mother 😉