I've got an escape artist on my hands. Oh, he's not in any way interested in running away, but my little Bubba dude will do whatever it takes to protect his home, greet his people at their car doors, chase the neighbor cats, and coat as much of the world as possible in pee. He's got important things to do, and he takes them seriously. Now, ok, the backyard isn't fenced per se. The back end is fenced. A third of the right side is fenced. But the rest of what separates the dogs from the rest of the world is a broken down shed, a giant sheet of particle board, a few folding chairs, and some shrubbery. It's high class around here, people, don't you worry. Up until last week, both dogs were leaping over a section on the left side to get to the neighbors' yard and on to freedom. That's when Tina Turnher and I 'fenced' that section with leftover chicken wire, brushed our hands off, and strutted away proud of ourselves.
That's all alright for her. Her big dog is satisfactorily fenced now. Mine? Well he's littler, and wily. He found himself a new route to freedom, and I couldn't figure out how he did it. Whenever I was watching him he was all, 'oh I'm just hanging out in this backyard. It's cool. What a lovely day we have here. I guess I'll check out these chickens", but let me go inside for a couple minutes and I've got myself an empty backyard and a dog to go retrieve out front, who's likely busy barking at something.
So this morning I knew I had to take care of business. I put Bubba in the backyard, went out front and over to the neighbor's backyard (on the left side of our yard) and called his name. He looks at me all sadly from across the chicken wire, whining, like he can't possibly get to me over there. I don't want to tell him to come over because I don't want him to think I condone this escaping, and he keeps acting all innocently confused. Ok, then. Well I guess it must be the right side he's getting out of. Strange, that side looked really secure. I turn around back towards the street, on my way to check out if he's getting out on the right side, get all the way to the driveway and hear somebody at my feet. Look down. Bubba.
The little shithead wasn't going to let me see where his escape route was located. But this is par for the course. He's a smart dog. Sometimes this is good, sometimes it's a pain in the ass. If he knows he's not supposed to do something he won't ever let you catch him doing it. Peeing or pooping in the bathroom? Sometimes. But never when I'm looking. Stealing food off the nightstand? Yep. But only if I'm downstairs. He'll come downstairs with me, and only when I'm otherwise disposed doing something else will he head back upstairs for the kill. I've finally learned that if I'm downstairs and I hear the pitter patter of little feet running upstairs I better go follow, cause he's up to no good.
Anyway, I needed to find that hole in the fence. So I pick him up, drop him back on our side of the chicken wire and start to walk away again. But this time I keep an eye out behind me. Sure enough, he just saunters on through this section of bushes right next to the chicken wire part like one of those agility dogs going through the weave poles. A-ha! Got him!
So I block that hole off with flotsam and jetsam (otherwise known as scrap wood), give him another go-around, and sure enough, he's stumped. That part's good. But it's only a matter of time before he counters my defense with another offense, and again finds a hole. It's my own personal Red Queen effect.
This is serious, it's all for his safety, but I don't find it too hard to imagine him fashioning some piece of scrap in the backyard as a machete, and bushwacking the shrubbery in his spare moments, ala Andy Dufresne. We'll see what he comes up with next.