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.|
I know how you feel! I have two dogs, one is very small the other is a bit bigger and we have had this trouble with them getting out over and over again. The funny thing is most of the times that they get out, the cry to come back in! Then the minute they see me looking for them they run (its like hide and seek for them!). After using chicken wire (which they bit through), Bricks, Wood and everything else to cover gaps we built a medium height fence with no gaps the whole way around the yard. I thought there's no way they could get out of this, the next day the bigger one jumped it! So we built it a bit higher, and for months everything has been perfect, no way were they getting in around or under it, and then last week I was in the kitchen washing the dishes when I saw them out the back, the smaller one ran, jumped on the bigger one and hopped onto the fence! No word of a lie, she used her as a stepping ladder to get over. The bigger one couldn't get over though and as they hate being without each other the smaller one just came back around to the front door. I swear they're more like monkeys than dogs!
Oh Dan... I don't know whether to laugh or to cry. Benja and I have had a doggie visitor and have a dog who likes to wander when she gets out, so I can feel your sadness and frustration.
Then I re-read "perfect place to 'dook it'" and I pee myself laughing.
But poor, poor Noah...
Maybe some regular chicken wire is what you need, should you ever get him back. He might makes his gums bleed, but he won't get out...also A neighbor of ours had to *bury* the bottom of the chicken wire for her dogs' escape prevention. They would dig holes and squeeze out the bottom, under the privacy fencing. Also, you can get a cheap staple gun from a craft store and staple chicken wire to the wooden fencing. Just a few suggestions, in case you guys retrieve your little Houdini.
At least your HOA doesn't make you keep the security measures 'pretty'. One of our neighbors had to custom order a new wrought-iron gate for her front walk because her chihuahuas used to jump right through the bars on her old one.
I think he came to Cape Town, South Africa!! I saw a very scruffy looking dog at our local shopping centre yesterday and it looked just like him!
I can understand your paradoxical situation. But I know how important pets can be, so I wish you the very best in finding the little guy. At least you know he can fend for himself if he can chew/claw/bite through the chicken wire. We had chickens growing up, and that stuff can be sharp!
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My pug once got out and was missing for EIGHT days. I figured we would never see her again when we didnt find her the first night, cause lets face it shes not real bright. But being a good mom I made signs and took my daughter everywhere in town to hang them up and ask if anyone had seen her, I called animal control twice a day and the third day my phone was going insane, everyone in town had seen her but NO one could catch her. This went on for five more days before she ran into a fenced in yard and a little girl riding her horse saw her and closed the gate. Have Faith, I bet B.B will be home shortly, if he's anything like Myrtle (my pug) he'll stink and sleep for about 16 hrs straight, eat an entire bowl of food and be right back to normal. Good luck in the mean time:)
I hate to say this Dan, but I get the feeling you are starting to know why that dog was in the dog prison to start with! I hope either you find him ... or he finds a new home that is slightly less escape proof.
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Yes, I think "annoying" is the first adjective that came to my head when I was reading of BB's repeated escapes. So. Annoying. Little devil!
I am sorry for your loss; surely he's gotta turn up, right? Why can't some dogs just appreciate the freedom of the back yard? Surely it's gotta be better than being cooped up inside all day, right?
I'm up in Idaho, but like you said, BB's a tricksy little dog, so if I happen upon a collarless black doggy, I'll let you know...
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As the proud owner of a I-will-escape-through-a-hole-only-an-ant-could-go-through dog, I feel your pain. If you haven't already, post signs around with his picture. Hope you find BB soon.
When I was a kid, our German Shepherd would frequently chew through the ... chain link fence. So that he could get out the gate of his dog run.
Luckily, although he was tough and stubborn, he was also more than a bit of a moron, so after we put plywood over the gate, he never thought to chew through the other 500 feet of fence.
Zeppo later got into the trash and ate a tin can that did not agree with him. Finding him in my sandbox was a truly scarring experience.
We had a Dalmatian/blue healer mix growing up who loved to escape.. usually after my sister and I would dress her up in a blue tutu. People were always more than willing to point us in the direction of the dog running feral in a tutu :)
Hopefully B.B. will come home safe and sound!
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We once had a min pin named Charlie who was quite an escape artist. The poor dog would even yelp as he ran past the borders to the invisible fence. Yet even that did not slow him down or prevent him from escaping. The final straw for me came when I went into labor on Halloween. As we were walking out the door to go to the hospital, you guessed it, Charlie escaped. We spent 20 minutes looking for him, after which I decided to drive myself to the hospital. My son and husband continued to hunt for the dog for the next hour while I waited for my midwife to arrive at the hospital. Little Charlie went to a rescue society shortly after the baby and I returned home.
That sucks, but that dog is small.. much smaller than he looks because of his hair... he could get through just about anything! I suggest next time you adopt, don't adopt a dog with a history of escaping :) Some dogs, especially adoptees, have issues like this kind of built in... just a suggestion! :)
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Our dog used to do that too. Our backyard looked like a POW camp with random boards, plywood etc. nailed to every surface and big rocks (in holes he had dug). And still our dog escaped. My dad snuck upstairs and peeped out a curtain to see how it happened: he used the horizontal boards my dad had nailed to the fence as a foothold to climb over the fence. When we moved to a new house with low fences (a rental, so we couldn't build fences), we tied his leash to the laundry line. He had run of the yard, but didn't get out. If you do this you have to be careful not to have too long of a rope/leash because some dogs have hanged themselves trying to jump over a fence while tied to a leash. Sadly, on his last escape (we had moved to a different house) he was hit by a car and killed. I hope you find your dog.
It is a common trait among mini schnauzers...unfortunately.
I live on a highway, and our mini schnauzer, Lilly, ran out in front of a car before we could catch her...it was a very sad day for my 5 girls who stood there, watching as she was hit.
Good luck finding B.B.
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Really Dan? "wash my hands of him" Wash - YOUR - Hands - of - Him?? Even if BB lives to be 15 years old and is the smartest dog anyone has ever known, he is only going to be the equivalent of a 4 Year Old Human. You took on a responsibility when you adopted/bought him. If you don't want him because he's "annoying" then find a new home for him but for goodness sake don't "wash my hands of him" by leaving him lost. And besides, what are you teaching Noah?
Have you considered invisible fencing? I'm not sure exactly how it works, but you establish a permiter around your yard with some sort of radio frequency emitter and he wears a collar that will "go off" if he approaches the perimeter. Since BB seems to be really resourceful something that doesn't rely on physical barriers might work better. To be clear, I have no idea how unpleasant it is to the dog when the collar zaps him/her and I'm absolutely not advocating anything that would come anywhere near being able to be described as cruelty to animals. It just seems worth looking into since he's so persistent.
Poor Noah! I agree with the poster who recommended the line and harness, though I will say that while the dogs cannot escape, I was witness to an accident with one.
My pug had pulled and tugged and fought with her line so much that it snapped. One day I had the windows open and she was barking in the yard. I kept telling her to hush. After 15 or 20 minutes I figured I should see who/what she was barking at. She had wrapped the line around the tree it was still attached to AND her leg. Her back leg was so trapped I didn't know how I'd get her out. Her paw was cold. I felt so terrible for not looking out there sooner. She turned out to be just fine, no worse for the wear.
Just a reminder that we can't put the critters out there and then forget about them. We did away with the zip line and we now have the pug who gets under the fence and goes across the street constantly to see the neighbor dogs. Since she is consistent and has never gone farther than that in the 5 years we've lived here (and the neighbors don't mind if she pops by) we have decided to just let it go.
We have an outside dog that we kept in a fence. My dad promised to never put another dog on a leash because we had one that got his leash tangled up and it suffocated him. Well, the dog we have now was not going to let a fence keep him in. He found every way possible to escape. We eventually stopped doctoring the fence and put him on a leash around a tree. He is right outside the living room window so we keep a very close eye on him. He hasn't gotten tangled up much but he has escaped several times. Luckily, he has learned to stay in the yard when he gets lose.
I hope you find your dog. :)
I had a black lab that could climb any fence we put up. It was this that led to her demise though as she got ran over by a car. We called her Houdini too!
When you find him... a microchip on top of that collar, and a dog run within your yard. Investigate good quality construction, which usually involves putting posts deep in the ground and chain link fencing attached UNDERGROUND so digging can only go so far. It is technically a box.
Awww, that's so sad! My dog is like that (she can squeeze her 65+lb body underneath a fence a mere 3" off the ground...like a weasel) and so we keep her on a line. The neighbors both love and hate her. I hope you find him, he sounds like a captivating, if nerve-wracking, little fellow.
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Or buy a fortress that no one has ever escaped from, like Alcatraz. That would at least keep him for three days.
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He's on the road. Let him travel around the world.
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I feel your pain and mixed emotions. lol. I have two big dogs and an old fence. I can't figure out how in the world they get out! But every so often, I either catch em out prowling or the neighbor runs them back into the yard (the last time, nailing the board they had pushed off back into place for us). The lab/retriever listens when you call her back. No so lucky with the siberian husky. He finds great joy in making me chase around after him all over the neighborhood, and I know it's his "fun time with me" cause when the hubby calls him back, he obeys. I hope you find B.B. safe and sound. You're going to need something stronger then that chicken wire, though. lol :)
Dude, I'm really sorry, but maybe the dog just isn't pet material, man. Let him roam free. It's what his puppy soul longs for!
I feel your pain...both the "lost pal" pain and the love/hate relationship with a pet that you clearly love and take care of, but who still feels the need to run wild. It's always the small ones too--I see big ol' labrador retrievers and german shepherds just laying around their backyards, and I think, "Why can't Pete (my part-miniature pinscher, part kangaroo) be like THOSE dogs. Whatever the outcome of B.B.'s big adventure, I hope you and Noah find peace with it!
I have a dog that we can't let outside in a yard to her own devices because she will do whatever she can to get out including digging holes under the fence. Now if she goes outside we have a 20ft runner between some trees that has another cable attached for her to play in. I know it isn't the largest space available, but it is better than having to chase an american pit bull terrier through the neighborhood. Many times with her breed of dog people tend to shoot first and ask questions later because of all the bad things people think/know about the breed.
Ummm....someone may have already commented on this as I haven't read all the comments so if I am repeating, sorry, but why would you continuously put him out in the yard knowing he'd escape? After the second time of scouring the neighborhood it would just have to be back on the leash...how does is go...fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me?...just sayin'...I enjoyed the story and the title btw!
I"m sorry B.B. is lost. He was extremely determined & you did all you could to keep him contained. It's hard to explain that to a little kiddo though.
Hopefully he will be found or you can find another (less Houdini type) friend for you and for Noah.
I wish I could write like you do. Please keep it up!
My 80lb Timberwolf/Border Collie is a master escape artist. He can remove his own leash.. not take his collar off just unclip his leash.. no idea how he does it.... while walking across the yard with the leash tight. If he can't get out of the yard through a hole in the fence he figures out how to scale the wall. He's older now and will usually stay in his yard but if he gets out it takes hours to catch him and if it wasn't for the fact that he's litterally saved my life I'd be tempted to let him go. I completely relate to this post!! Good luck to you and to B.B.
Make sure there is food around for BB; and that when he comes to you, you give him love - no matter how frustrated you are.
Sorry! I hope you find him. I own 2 dogs and a boarding kennel. You should get "hardware cloth" instead of plastic wire to keep him in. Also, ziptie it to the bottom of the fence angled in toward the yard and put a layer of stones over the top, this will prevent digging. Keep in mind that many dogs will also climb, use a top cover, or if that isn't possible, try another piece of hardware cloth at the top of the fence, tipped in toward the yard, when he climbs up, gravity won't allow him to climb over. Good luck!
Some dogs just need to get away. You can only chase them so long but if they are determined, you aren't catching them. Hopefully B.B. will feel the pangs of homesickness and make his way back.
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I can't remember, and I'm too lazy to go back and look. Was B.B. a stray? Our Alfie was, and for a long time he tried to get out at every opportunity. It's been a year now, and he's content to run the perimeter of the fence and bark at every menacing-looking squirrel, dog, cat, human, leaf, and plastic bag that encroaches on his territory. It just takes time for most of them to realize that this is their pack and you are their alpha. And then again some of them never do, and part of the "dues" of keeping them is constant vigilance. Assuming he returns, you might have to make some changes; but you strike me as a responsible dog owner, so I know you want what's best for him.
Domesticated dogs, especially wee little ones like B.B., are not "meant to be free spirits." They need a warm, safe place to live, because they were never designed to live wild. He might need to be an indoor dog (as small as he is he can probably get plenty of exercise inside with a daily leashed-romp through the neighborhood), or Mandi's suggestion of a harness and run line might be a good one too. But, and not to be a Debbie Downer, every day he spends running loose is another day he's very likely to encounter a moving car or a bigger animal - and that goes for ALL dogs who run loose. I hope B.B. comes home safe and sound, and that you guys can find a solution to his roamin' ways!
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As a kid who grew up almost always having a dog in the household... it's not really necessary for a kid to *have* to grow up with one. Yeah, it's a great experience... sometimes. But constantly getting a new dog from shelters and whatnot was pretty traumatic as none of those dogs lasted. Once we got a half-rottweiler half-australian-shepherd from a neighbor breeder and that was the best dog we'd ever had. Her name was Harley and she was a genius as she was part of two really intelligent breeds. She passed away when I was in high school and I will always treasure having had such an amazing animal. Getting mutts are hit and miss. Going to a trusted breeder or a highly rated rescue are your best options. (Obviously not a pet shop as you never know if they are the ones that get their pups from those horrible caging breeders who could more accurately be described as breed hoarders)
Same issue here. Our Jack Russell/Poodle mix can squeeze through our fence and the posts are just 3 inches apart! He is that good. And he can do it at a full run. We did the chicken wire (he destroyed it), the wood (he moved it) and anything else we could think of. Now the rotten mutt has to be on a long run in our fenced in yard. Makes me hate how much I spent on that fence!
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I truly hope for B.B.'s sake that someone kind has found him and taken him in. I hope that his fate isn't such that he is picked up by someone cruel, hit by a car, etc. As someone very actively involved in dog rescue, I am just really biting my tongue right now. I feel sorry for B.B. Please don't get another dog until you are willing to do what it takes to properly contain it - even if that means keeping the dog leashed all the time. And I sure hope B.B. is neutered. The last thing this world needs is another unneutered dog running loose, creating more unwanted puppies to be killed in shelters.
Hum, we've got a new puppy too - but at 9 months old, she's pushing 60 lbs and 2 1/2 feet high - she's a standard poodle. Maybe if B.B. has indeed sailed on to a new journey, you should consider getting a bigger dog. Mind you, a bigger dog may just jump OVER your fence - lol!!
Wow, so sorry for the loss...So much harder than death because of the uncertainty...If he does return, which he might, have him "micro chipped" so if he slips the collar, the chip will bring him back to you. Tell Noah, that BB is on an adventure and he will tell him all about it when he returns. Please keep us posted...BTW...Pretty smart dog!
is he fixed yet? that sometimes helps keep the males close to home. -Or, get a female dog next time. I've had male dogs and female dogs....females are the BEST! They stick closer to home. Ours has accidentally been left out in the (unfenced) front yard before and she just sits patiently on the front porch waiting for us to let her in.
If you do find him, put him on a 15-20' chain in the back yard. Still has some freedom but can't escape! Otherwise, get a medium sized dog for that type of fencing. 40 lbs or so shouldn't be able to slip through the fence.
Seriously though, may the Lord give you both what you need. :)
We had a Boston Terrier growing up, smartest dog I've ever seen. When my brother and I went to school we always put her in the kitchen with a baby gate blocking the door. Everyday we came home to find her playing everywhere else but the kitchen. Baron, a schnauzer we had at the same time but still dutifully lounging in the kitchen. After a couple days my brother and I put her in the kitchen and sat on the other side and watched. Funniest thing I ever saw.....she literally climbed the gate to freedom. Resourceful little buggers aren't they!
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Well, he's certainly CRAFTY. I hope you find him. My pup likes to escape from our CHAIN LINK fenced back yard. The neighbors found her a few times (and we never leave her for more than 5 minutes) and the boy has spent hours enforcing the fence. The last time she tried to escape, she got stuck. The neighbors knocked, worried she'd cut herself. "Good, maybe she'll learn something." No such luck. Yesterday, we got one of those ground stakes with the 30 foot chord... for our fenced in yard... for a puppy we check on every five minutes. I think animals are worse than kids!
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My folks are convinced that our dog Chauncey had another home, because when he'd come back after running away for a few days, he'd smell like perfume. Little Peek-A-Poo (half pekinese (sp?), half poodle) would run out the front door - I was about 8 I think when he ran away the last time.
He was a good dog, it sounds like your guy really knew what he was doing!
I about fell over when you said he growled at the chicken wire and other methods of confinement. Too funny.
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Anyway, sometimes, bigger dogs are harder to lose. And depending on the breed, easier to train. Sadly enough, I'm waiting until my daughter is out of the house before getting my dream dog. ...kinda sounds like I'm waiting for the day River won't need me and preemptively planning for the "empty nest syndrome" to fill with a dog. lol. Well it's kinda true.
Completely agree...I'm really struggling to see any funny side to this story :-( I love your blog but wish you'd take a more serious view of looking after animals
Seriously??? Chaining a dog is one of THE cruelest things you could possibly do to it, hence why it's illegal in many counties and cities. I sure hope you don't have any dogs, for their sakes.