Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Great Escapes

In early June, we had a fence put in. Otis immediately found a "weak" spot and got out, but in his usual fashion, just went over to the neighbor's. We still kept him in the garage during the day as we hadn't put in the doggie door yet and he really enjoys hanging out in the garage -- probably because that's where his bed is.

Along come Wiconi and Rocky put in the doggie door. Otis decided to utilize this new power source and escape the backyard, less than 4 hours after we had left for the day. Again, in his usual fashion, he headed to the neighbor's. They didn't know who Wiconi was, but as she seemed to be with Otis, neighbor Jan took them both into their backyard. All of this happened as Rocky was coming home for lunch to check on them. They got to spend the rest of their days in the house and wait for us to come home for a potty break.

In the meantime, we would leave the doggie door open when we were home as they seemed to just go out to do their business and come back in to hang with us. Apparently, they were just lulling us into a false sense of security as one night, they escaped the backyard. When we got home in the morning, they were sleeping just outside the fence by the side deck. A few weeks later, I got the priviledge of chasing them down after another escape. We're fairly certain they were probably chasing after something when they got out and just couldn't find their way back in.

So, the doggie door remained closed for several weeks while we decided what to do. After some research, Rocky felt the best course of action was an invisible fence. Rocky spent most of yesterday putting in the fence. Wiconi seemed to recognize the collar, but Otis wasn't quite sure what to think of this new collar. After finishing the invisible fence and collars on, Rocky took the dogs outside. Maggie and I scrambled to find slippers to watch as I knew Otis would be the first to get shocked. Before we had even found the slippers, Otis was yelping after getting a little too close to his usual escape spot. Of course, it isn't funny, but it SO is! Wiconi had to be enticed/dragged to get close to the fence so we could show her what would happen. She definitely knew what was going on with the new collars.

We left the collars on and the doggie door open all night. Otis went out and came back in, tail between his legs, in the late evening. We knew what happened to him. He ran a little close to the garden earlier today and got another shock. At least he won't dig once we plant there.

The current plan is to leave them with collars on and doggie door open tomorrow as we are fairly certain they aren't going anywhere. Especially as Otis' first move after the shock is to run into the house and hide by our bed. It will take a long time to dig out that way.

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