B.B. is missing! He has been since last Thursday.
At this point, I don’t know whether to give into the side of me that is desperate to find him or the side of me that wants to wish him luck on his journey and wash my hands of him.
That sounds horrible.
But you have to understand…
You’ll remember from my Time for Spring to spring post that winter has been really crummy thanks to the fact that B.B. likes to hightail it through the cast iron fence posts any time he gets off of his leash. He also likes to bolt through the front door if I forget to barricade him from it, despite my best efforts to train him not to. I’ve spent many hours since we rescued him in December tracking him down through the neighborhood or chasing him from yard to yard.
So, when it finally started warming up, I ran down to the hardware store and bought some heavy-duty plastic chicken wire to put across the bottom of the fence. B.B. needed some running freedom, and I needed to be free from standing outside three times a day while he took fifteen minutes to find the perfect spot to dook it.
I came home and used zip ties to secure the chicken wire to the fence. There was about 70 feet of fence to do, so it was no easy task. After that, I sealed every hole I could find in any of the fences so that he couldn’t escape under, around, or through the fences. Then, I let Noah release B.B. into the
backyard wild. There is no doubt that he loved his freedom as he immediately did 120 laps around our half acre yard. Once he realized he wasn’t on a leash, he ran straight to the fence and bounced clumsily off of the chicken wire. The next five minutes were spent staring at it, growling in disapproval. Freedom was what he wanted. Freedom to roam the neighborhood. After all, everybody else’s dogs got to. But, he wasn’t going to get it.
For the next five days or so he did great. He loved being outside and he loved watching all of the kids and dogs outside of the neighborhood. He would occasionally stare at the chicken wire and growl. Noah and I would laugh about it.
And then, one day while I was working at my computer and Noah was napping, a call came. It was a neighbor. She told me she had B.B. and found my number on his collar. I profusely apologized, and she laughed and said she’d have her kids run B.B. back home. They knocked on the door, and when I answered there were a bunch of kids and no dog. “He got away,” they all said together.
I grumbled and went and woke Noah up from his nap. “We’ve gotta go find B.B.,” I told him. He perked up in a hurry. B.B. was his buddy.
We pulled on our coats, and began walking from street to street, and finally found him after half an hour or so. It took us another half hour to catch him. He did not want to come home.
After we came home, we put him down in the yard and began looking for the spot he had escaped from. He stayed right by our sides, refusing to let us in on his secret. I found a place where he could have climbed up and through a missing fence post, so I sealed it off. B.B. growled in disapproval, so I knew we had found his spot. Noah and I went inside and I told B.B. to stay outside while I cleared out the sink so that he could have a bath.
When I went out to get him a minute later, he was gone.
Noah and I immediately put coats back on and did the same thing we did before. This time he was on a different street, playing with an Australian Shepherd. An hour later we were home again. Again we walked the perimeter of the yard. Again we looked for the holes. I couldn’t find any, so we left B.B. outside with a plan to watch him through the windows to see if he’d go back to whatever hold he had used to get out. He immediately ran to the side of the house and we ran into the next room to watch through the next window, but when we opened the blinds, B.B. wasn’t there. We went back into the kitchen and looked through all the windows. B.B. wasn’t anywhere. We opened the door, and sure enough, B.B. was gone. Again.
It was so funny it almost wasn’t annoying. No, I take that back. It was really annoying. Not only was he out again, we hadn’t found his hole. An hour later we had him at home again. Again we walked the perimeter. The only thing I could think was that he was wiggling underneath the cast iron fence, so I got pieces of wood and placed them everywhere with a gap higher than 2″ tall. There was no way he was getting out now.
I left him in the back yard and watched through the windows. He dashed around to different areas of the fence and repeatedly barked and growled. I had blocked every escape route. Two hours later he was still in the yard. I had done it. I had blocked him in. I sat down at my computer and began to work. Almost immediately the phone rang. It was that same neighbor. I picked up the phone, “please don’t tell me you have B.B. again.” She laughed. Noah and I walked to her house and grabbed B.B. I called him horrible names under my breath.
We carried him home again, put him in the backyard, and walked the perimeter. It didn’t take long to find his new hold. He had figured out that if he pushed at the bottom of the chicken wire it would create a hole big enough to squeeze through. I spent the next hour attaching a ridiculous number of zip ties in order to make such escape possible. There was no possible way he could get out now.
24 hours later, he hadn’t.
48 hours later, he hadn’t. Seemed that it was all over. Yes, we could laugh about it now.
A couple days later, the usual morning knock sounded on the door. Noah was here. I had let B.B. out five minutes before to potty. I opened the door with a huge smile and quickly found myself glaring with tightened eyes. My ex-wife was holding a very dirty, smelly B.B. “You’ve gotta be kidding me.” He had gotten out again. I took him from her and held him up to my face. “I am going to kill you,” I said.
Apparently he thought I was serious because that morning was the last we ever saw him. I went out in the yard and found the one spot along the fence that I somehow hadn’t completely sealed. He had found it and pushed his way through. It took less than two minutes to seal it. “Stay away from the fence,” I told him. He just looked at it and growled. It had probably taken him a lot of time and a lot of testing to find that spot.
I took Noah to school and when I came home. B.B. was still in the yard. I literally could see no other way for him to escape. Not even Houdini could escape from that yard. It was now a maximum security dog prison. Still, I watched him for some time to see what he’d do. He did nothing but growl at the new precautions. I could tell his little brain was working something out though.
I brought him inside and took off his collar. He was smelly, stinky, and in desperate need of a bath. “You’re out of options,” I told him as I dumped warm water over him. “You ain’t goin’ anywhere doggy.” The sun was out, so I put him back outside to dry. Twenty minutes later it was time to go pick Noah up again. B.B. was still slightly wet, so I left him outside while I made the quick trip to Noah’s preschool.
When we pulled into the driveway there was no B.B. standing at the fence. Instead, there was a hole in the fence where he had clawed/bit/tugged/who knows what to break free. He was gone.
We spent the next four hours searching for him. None of our neighbors had seen him. We went to Nana’s. She wasn’t home and he wasn’t playing with her dog. We scoured street to street and then retraced our tracks. No B.B.
Calls ever since to the animal shelter have come up negatory. No signs or posters have been posted saying “Lost Dog.” No one has responded to our attempts to locate him. B.B. did his final disappearing act, and this time he made sure that he couldn’t be found.
Like I said… at this point, I don’t know whether to give into the side of me that is desperate to find him or the side of me that wants to wish him luck on his journey and wash my hands of him. There is one thing for sure. We miss him. And yes, I was being sarcastic and we want him back. So if you find a little black collarless Mini Schnauzer, please let me know. He could be anywhere in the world by now. Australia, England, Russia. He’s very tricky.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
Oh, and just because I want you to appreciate his escaping expertise, here are some photos of the escape-proofing we did to the yard!
|B.B.’s final path to escape.|