My around-the-block with Ellie B aka Dogamous Pyle turned into an unwanted adventure last week.
The dog slipped her gentle leader. Oh, my wily beloved rescue mutt has managed to free her nose from the black circle of mesh before, but as we walked down the hill on our street, four houses from home in our Syracuse city neighborhood of Eastwood, she put on a move worthy of Lebron James in the paint and somehow, some way also managed to free herself of the loop around her neck.
Before I could fully understand that last wiggle and grab her collar, Ellie B danced free of the constraint of her leash and bounded away, away, away from me.
Our street is not busy with car traffic on a weekday afternoon. Knock on wood. But one block over is a much more major thoroughfare. A bit panicked, I herded her the best I could in the other direction. And, quite, thankfully, she dashed behind the house immediately in front of us and into the backyard of neighbors I don’t know though they live on the same side of the street as my dear wife Karen and I.
For the next 15 minutes or so, Ellie B aka Dogamous Pyle proved that she will not come, sit or stay when she would prefer to run, bounce and jump. She pranced between two backyards, always staying at least one foot beyond my reach. What a tease.
This 4-or-so dog is faster and quicker than this nearly 57 man.
And so it went until I grabbled a backyard bucket that had partially filled from rain and asked Ellie B if she was thirsty from all of that running. Lord knows, I was, and even that rainwater was starting to look good.
The dog went for my bait, bending into the pail. I got her collar, clicked the leash onto the metal ring, and led her the four houses down to home.
An hour later Karen was not thrilled by the story, worried as I am about the lure of that busier street and our memory of our dog jogging on it when she’d escaped from our yard when she was a pup, before we’d Ellie B-ified and built our better fence.
My dear wife had a solution, and it was off to PetSmart, where we purchased a new gentle leader to replace the one with the popped nose loop latch, and, most magnicently, a double leash.
Now when I walk Ellie B aka Dogamous Pyle, she’s hooked up twice. One clip is to the new gentle leader, around her neck and her nose, to keep her from pulling my arm out of its socket. The second is clipped right to the ring on the collar.
Double security. Knock on wood.
Just yesterday, Kitt Crescendo, author of the cool blog The Inner Wildkat, saw Ellie B’s picture with me on my friend CBXB’s blog and asked about her breed. After stating the obvious — Shepherd, yes? — I told of how the rescue folks gave us a long list of other breeds they thought were mixed into this dog of ours. Me, I see Australia’s infamous Dingo, the ears especially. And when she slips free and wants to go on runabout.
Do you have a pet who yearns to run free, and if so, what do you do to curtail that bounding? Do you think we should consider signing up Ellie B for her third round of obedience classes, or is she a lost cause, and why? What tricks might you have pulled to catch the dog in the backyard of a neighbor?