Monday, July 3, 2017

And They're Off

So, yesterday, in a fit of compassion and idiocy, I took the perimeter collars off the dogs and encouraged them out of their more than ample yard to enjoy a romp in the back pond. They came, hesitantly, but were soon frolicking with the goats, chickens and ducks, while Joe and I sat in their midst, enjoying the bucolic scene from the vantage of our picnic table ...

The scene was lovely, but the temperature and humidity were high, so Joe went inside to get us some lemonade. In the 5 or so minutes he was gone, Ruby sidled off down the path, sniffing at squirrel trails, but mindful when called to return to the pond. Again she meandered off, and as if by some silent cue, Scotty took a notion to head in the other direction, following the drainage ditch that separates properties in the county, and which serves to maintain some water drainage control over what would otherwise be swampland.

With dogs heading in opposite directions, goats spying the willow trees as yummy snacks, and ducks wanting to follow me wherever I went, it comes as a surprise to nobody that the dogs were long gone before we could get either to respond to commands to return home.
For the next 10 hours, every horn that honked, and dog that barked, we imagined to be in direct response to our AWOL dogs. We walked all of the trails (there are many) on our property, but it was a fruitless effort.

Just before midnight I looked out the back door and spied a set of dog ears, presumably attached to a dog... upright and alert. I stepped outside and called both by name, and both came sheepishly up too me, whimpering at the horrors they surely encountered on their free-ranging escapade.
I scolded them, but mostly I recoiled at the unmistakable prefume of an unhappy skunk they were wearing. I replaced their perimeter collars, fed them minimal helpings of supper, without treats, and banished them to the time-out kennel for the night.

They are still sleeping off their adventure, and everyone is avoiding "skunk Corner" for the moment.

No comments: