Sven, the Cairn Terrier escaped yesterday. He was missing for an entire hour before Chris received a call from Animal Control.
He hasn't had a full blown "escape" for several months, although there have been several close calls.
Calvin had taken him out the front door, then re-entered the house through the garage door. That is is how it usually happens; a door isn't shut properly.
It always takes Sven a mere second to notice the door. I inevitably hear a skidding noise which is the sound of Sven gaining momentum to flee as quickly as possible.
We're not bad pet owners. We remember to feed him and he gets treats. He has a soft place to sleep and not much is asked of him.
He is, however, tripped over a lot and told to "get out of the way" perhaps more than other family dogs. But he certainly is not mistreated.
So...why does he want to get away from us so badly?
At one point we owned two cats, a bird, some fish and two dogs. They all (except Sven) met their ends in some way or another. Ole, the Norweigan Elkhound was the exception. He hit the doggy jackpot and went to live with my sister-in-law. He now enjoys dog parks, fancy dog food and his very own Christmas presents.
The concept of having pets is strange to me. I suppose there are some animals that prefer to be inside with their owners. If a door is inadvertently left open these animals don't rocket out with frightening speed.
Alas, we have never owned one of these animals who truly loves us and wants to be with us (except, of course, the fish, but that was only because of their nature. I'm sure they would have jet if they could).
So, we have ended up owning these animals who would rather not be with us. We feed them, snuggle with them at night, pet them, get them their shots.
Yet, in their little nugget sized brains, they are constantly scheming and devising ways to flee their forced confinement.
As I said, Sven escaped yesterday. Calvin went to look for him.
The baby was sleeping so unfortunately I was not able to join the search.
Instead, I walked down to the bottom of the driveway, put my hands on my hips and looked this way, then that way. You know, to show my deep concern and support.
I started to get a little concerned after they had been out for about fifty minutes ~ more for Calvin finding his way home than Sven.
Sven was most was most likely flagrantly presenting himself as gator bait in the freshwater canal behind our house. Calvin, with all of his wonderful and sweet qualities, often doesn't know where he is and finds himself lost.
I called my husband.
"Sven got out, and Calvin went to look for him. They've been gone for almost an hour, " I said. I further explained that I had a sleeping baby.
At this point, I was becoming increasingly concerned about Calvin. And the veterinary bills in case the idiot animal got himself injured.
"Crap," he said. There was a hint of resignation in his voice. He gets this call a lot. "I'm on my way home."
As they were perusing the neighborhood in the Corolla, Animal Control called Chris.
"Do you own a small, tan dog," the girl asked.
A chill of fear shot through Chris. Did they find him dead?
"We are down on ________ Road. I caught him," she said.
Now, we were really, truly impressed. We have never actually "caught" Sven without teamwork. Normally, he has to be snookered and blocked into a corner by two members of the family. One person then jumps on him.
"Thank you SO much," Chris said as he took the trembling dog from the dog catcher.
"I was just so scared," she exclaimed. "He almost got hit by a car thirty times!"
Yep, that sounds like Sven.
My husband explained that we "rescued" him from an animal shelter in St. Paul, Minnesota about ten years ago and that, although he is the sweetest dog ever, he will escape in an instant. And he is freakishly fast. The girl could hardly believe he was almost eleven years old.
Chris promptly sent an e-mail thanking Animal Control for being so helpful in finding and retrieving our dog. (Code for: we are really happy that they didn't yell at us and/or give us a ticket.)
Later on that evening, however, Sven couldn't move. I considered giving him an aspirin out of pity. He had found his way to a blanket that had fallen on the floor and didn't move for about two hours. If he happened to make a small movement, he would let out a pained groan.
It is the next morning and Sven's eleven years are hanging out all over the damn place. It's pretty rough. Perhaps I will go ahead and give him that aspirin.
After all, he IS almost 80 years old in human years. And it is sort of like he ran a marathon yesterday. A very naughty little marathon, and one that just about killed him. Literally.
I would have missed tripping over him, I think.