November 29, 2011

One minute, I’m walking Russet on her leash around the block. The next, I discover — whoops! —  no dog on the end of that  leash! Where on earth did she go?

Remembering what happened to her six weeks ago, I was heartsick. Emotional angst aside, the little critter has almost run me into the poorhouse with twice-weekly bandage changes and antibiotics for the first three weeks and once-weekly checkups for the second three weeks.

I slapped my forehead in frustration.

Oh, no! I cannot go through this, again!

On October 13, my little Finnish Spitz/Spitfire  slipped through the kitchen door, which must have blown partially ajar by the wind, and out to the garage. When I opened the garage, not expecting her to be there, she fled the house, heading toward Allen Avenue, a racetrack for those seeking shortcuts from Arbrook Boulevard to Mayfield Road.  At the time she got hit, my little dog made out like a fat cat– escaping with only a skinned leg and broken toe.  After dosing her with antibiotics and  carting her to the vet twice a week for bandage changes for the first four weeks, and then checking in once a week for two weeks after that, I thought she had learned her lesson. Apparently, dogs don’t make that connection.

Last week, when she slipped her leash, at least her size 25 e-collar slowed her down enough for my neighbor to nab her until I could hook her up again and haul her back to the house.

Once more fleet of foot and  collar-free, Russet wasn’t so easy to apprehend.  Although she slowed down enough to check out someone else’s dog, she took out running when she saw me, leash in hand.  So,  I stopped, hoping she would do the same.  Only when another neighbor apprehended her was I able to hook her leash back on and walk her back to the house.

This morning, I had not planned to get out today. It was my day off. Yet, after this new scare,  I headed straight to Petsmart with Russet’s current halter and leash to seek advice.

At first, I thought Russet ran because she was a “rescue” dog.  Now, I know better.  Only two weeks ago, my fiance posted  a YouTube video entitled “An Unexpected Friendship”  on my Facebook page.  The star of the video? A dog who could be Russet’s twin.

“Watch this video, babe,” Von urged. “When you see it, you’ll totally get it. This breed is wired to run!”

Still, what am I going to do about Russet?  Since the end of March, she’s been my baby-girl. Anyone  hearing about even some of her  stunts   — wetting on the carpet, chewing up several leashes, and running away — would gently encourage me to find another home for her. But I’m not ready to give up.  I also see her when she’s sleeping sweetly on the pillow beside my bed. Or cuddling up around my feet.  Or flapping those sparkling, coffee-brown puppy-dog eyes on me.

A Petsmart employee suggested a little one-on-one training, using a retractable leash and some irresistable treats to train Russet to come to me. Sounds like a plan.  Still,  I’m interested in what you think. Have you ever had a dog like Russet? If so, how did you handle this doggie dilemma?


5 thoughts on “BORN TO RUN

    1. Hey, sweetie! 😡 I’m back in my office, now, and can spend more time addressing your comments.

      Yep, Russet’s a challenge, but I’m a long way from giving up on the li’l tooter. Today or tomorrow, I’ll round up Boaz’s retractable leash and buy some yummy dog treats to reward her for obeying me. Btw, she did okay, this morning, with her halter on (tighter). I crated her before I left for work, as she hadn’t pottied, yet.

      About to pack it up and head on home, via Subway or somewhere else.

      Have a great day! TTYL I love you. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  1. Two things. The Dog Whisperer would tell you she’s got to get out and exercise more frequently. Do you have a backyard large enough for her to do some fetch in? Dogs that get enough exercise don’t usually run away. The other thing is that a dog collar doesn’t hold this one. You’re going to have to put a harness on her – at least when you’re out walking with her. That’s about the sum total of my dog knowledge. My Precious spends most of her time sleeping.

    1. Thanks for the reply, Jane. The answer to both questions is “I do.” I have a back yard that is at least large enough for her to fetch things I throw. The other: yes, she wears a halter. (I found out the hard way about her doing with only a collar.) Still, her leash pulled loose from the loop on her halter, yesterday.

      I haven’t given up on her, yet.

      Have a good one! Kim

    2. Hey, Jane, Oh, one more thing: I do get her out and walk her 3 times a day, ( I didn’t read all of your email as I was in class, at the time.) Your suggestions are really good, though. I’d have offered the same to anyone else, if I didn’t know what their set-up was.

      BTW, Von is a big fan of Cesar Millan. He actually bought Russet a collar-and-leash set from CM. Unfortunately, Russet chewed the part that made it effective. Shortly afterwards, I got her the halter that she wears now.

      I haven’t given up on the li’l booger, yet, though. The Petsmart employee I talked to, last night, suggested I practice one-on-one discipline with her, with a retractable leash (that used to be Boaz’s) and some irresistable treats. I’m hoping for the best, here.

      Thanks, again, for the comments. Kim

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