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?