Sunday, November 18, 2012

Fry dog: too smart for his own good!

So Pat just drove down to Santa Fe with the dog. It was going to be the dogs, and indeed started with the dogs, for oh, about 2 miles. To the gas station just west of the 18th Street Trafficway on Steele Road. Then she opened the back and Fry jumped out and ran off. He likes to do that; he’s part beagle. He is an escape artist; just let him in the back yard and he’ll find just where there is enough space between fence and ground to wriggle out. That’s the advantage of the small head; even if Yonkel had the motivation or smarts, he wouldn’t make it. Fry is smart enough to know when he can’t get out; he is fine lying around on the couch all day if he is in the house; he doesn’t get anxious the way that Yonkel does. Which is not to say he doesn’t ever get antsy or walk around in circles; he does. And, of course, if tied up outside he barks at everything. He is, after all, part beagle. But, unlike Yonkel, he has never chewed through his leash. Or chewed up the fender and mudflap of my car.

Anyway, there have been a number of episodes where Fry has gotten away and not come back for a long time. Several years back, I chased him up and down our street, and all the little dead end side streets. For an hour. Then I gave up as I was late for work. That afternoon I came back and he was in the building; someone had let him in. And there was the time at the lake, with Adam, where it was about a half-hour of chasing him around. And a few other times. So, at the gas station, there he is, wandering around, looking at Pat, and running away having a gay old time, playing.

And then, after an hour, Pat and Yonkel left. For Santa Fe. Goodbye, Fry, tagged and chipped hopefully someone will find you and call. I was stuck at work so it was several hours later and dark when I got home, half expecting to find him there – it is only a couple of miles. But no. So I drive to the gas station. And there, in the dark, lurking around the pumps, is the Fry dog.

I stop the car, and get out. He looks up and recognizes it, and comes back around the back. He is unsure of himself, if he is in trouble. I invite him in, and drive back home. He drinks a bunch of water, and I feed him dinner and he sleeps a while on the couch; we go for a short walk later. He is chastened, a little, maybe, for a while. Perhaps. In any case, he is out of a trip to New Mexico, and playing around in the desert for a week; I am flying and he is going to go stay with friends (if he is lucky) or a kennel.

But that is several days away. Now he is with me, wondering where Yonkel is. Pat goes away sometimes, but Yonkel and he are always together. Pat assures me, from Santa Fe, that Yonkel has no such stress; he is fine without Fry. So, today we drove down to the lake. And he recognizes it, and is happy, and is waiting not too peacefully for our walk. And so we walk.

Along the road that we always walk, down the west side of the lake from the little road to our house to the public dock. I let him off the leash, despite the new and (to me) ominous signs about every hundred feet on right on the other side of the road that said “WIHA. Walk in Hunting Area only. Shotguns and Bows only. No Fireams Deer Hunting”. Somehow, I was not reassured, but I didn’t hear any shooting or zings of arrows. I guess it is ok to hunt deer with bows, which is a good thing; for birds you need a shotgun, and I don’t think you’re going to hunt rabbits with a bow, unless you’re Catnip Everlast from the “Hunger Games”; even Robin Hood stuck pretty much to deer!

But I let him off the leash anyway, and he seemed to walk closer to me than usual. At least for a while. He didn’t really disappear from sight, not for very long, for the walk down to the dock. We did have a little issue as we passed the house at the next road, where there is a big dog that is protective, barks a lot, and has been even known to come out to chase and attack our dogs. He was there, and alerted by a new dog, a smaller dog, probably a cocker spaniel, whose job, it appeared, was to bark and alert the bigger dog. So out they came, and I am warning them back while urging Fry to move quickly on. And Fry needs to stop and pee on the tree right on their lawn. He must feel safe when I’m there, but they were still threatening and I kept warning them back and urging him on, and he felt he needed to stop and pee again. And now the lady of the house is out calling her dogs back, and I’m still warning them off and urging Fry on, so now he decides, of course, to make one more stop at the edge of their property to pee once more.

A smart dog, but not one with very mature judgment. Oh, well. Maybe he’ll enjoy being gone from us all for a week. It looks like he is going to have the opportunity to hang with some other dogs on a lot of land, and maybe even be tested on another beagle characteristic, hunting (or at least finding birds that have been planted).

This morning we went on another walk, following the beautiful sunrise. (OK, following by an hour and a half; I had to wake up, dress, make and drink coffee, eat breakfast – all those irrititating dog-walk-delaying things people do! Cooler, and a lovely walk; I really like it down here. Of course, Fry left less than halfway to the dam, and I worried as I continued to watch the WIHA signs and even heard a shot. I was wearing my RED jacket! He joined me again just before the same house; no dogs out today so he was even bolder, marking on the ground by their sign and thoroughly exploring (and I imagine marking more) their yard; I was on my way home. There is, in any case, a ritualistic nature to our walks; he will not leave our area to go up the hill unless I accompany him (which I only do a couple of times a day, despite his persistent hints, running a ways up the hill and looking back), but once on the road, he is on his own, and comes back on his own.

Now he is lying on the futon in the sun, and I am having another cuppa. J

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