Saturday, January 15, 2011

"How did she get out?"

Well, Bruce and I were gone for a good part of the day, from about 10:30 until I got home about 3pm.  I drove Bruce to pick up his car from the shop.  But our story starts before I actually arrive in our driveway.  As I am approaching the road to our house, my phone rings - in my purse in the back seat.  Bruce was in the passenger seat earlier, so I had put my purse in the back.

So I pull over and get my phone.  I click to call back the last number, assuming it is Bruce.  But it is a young man who says "Is this Daphne?"  I say "You must have the wrong number."  He says "I have this dog here..."  I say "You have my dog?  Where are you?"

When we left the house, Daphne was inside.  How could she now be with someone else?

The young man guides me toward where he is, about 5 blocks from the house.  I drive around the corner and there he is, holding Daphne by the collar.  She is wet (it has been sprinkling) and her legs are muddy.  As I get out and open the door for Daph to get in, I am still repeating to myself "How did she get out of the house?"

As we park on the street in front of our house, I see my neighbors on both sides out and talking to each other.  The gentleman who lives to the left, the grandfather of the little dog who barks at us, tries to explain what had happened, but I can't understand him.  I ask the woman who lives on the right.  She say that he saw Daphne out and tried to put her back in the yard, but she just got out again.  She then says something that clears up a lot for me "Some boys were throwing firecrackers."

We have had trouble with Daphne's fear of unusual noises ever since I arrived here.  In Canada, she was terrified of thunder and lightning, but fireworks were rare. 
We got her a Thundershirt (learn more here) which does help to calm her.  I have had to put the shirt on many nights (it usually happens at night, maybe because the house is so quiet) because of the alarm system going off or sounds from the outside, sometimes something I can't even hear.  Once the shirt is on, Daphne will calm down and sleep if I sleep on the couch near her.

Daphne in her Thundershirt, very tired after all the excitement.

OK, now I go inside to answer that question: "How did she get out?"  We have a folding screen just inside the front door because there is no real entry.  That is on the floor.  The old, brittle venetian blinds in the spare room and Bruce's office are mangled and twisted.

The one in the guest room is on the floor.  While it doesn't appear that any computers have been damaged, the cactus plant is knocked over and some small stuff is on the floor.

I still haven't answered the question.  I go back into the living room and notice that the little cat opening in the window there is wide open now.  (Bruce made a little cat enclosure outside that the cats access through the window.)  OK, so she got into the "catio"; then what?

She tore her way through the door into the "catio".  That is how she got into the back yard.  After checking to see if both cats are still in the house: "Thank God!"  I close the window and walk around to the other side yard and see where she dug at the gate until it came unlatched.

So, she pushed away the board closing off most of the window opening, climbed up and out the window, jumping down about 5 feet.  Then she frantically clawed at the wood frame of the door and the chicken wire covering the door until the wood broke and she could push her way out.  She ran around the house and began clawing and jumping up on the gate until she got it unlatched.

But things were probably no better when she got out.  Don't know if she was close to the boys with the firecrackers.  I sure hope they didn't throw any at her!

The good news: 
1)  The cats are home and fine.
2)  Daphne is home and more calm now that she has her Thundershirt on.  She is not injured - amazing!
3)  None of Bruce's computers are damaged.  One of the little legs on my keyboard is broken - that's ok.
4)  My camera is fine (as you can see from the pictures above) even though it was knocked from the table to the floor and the lens cap came off.

The bad news:
1)  This experience can only have made Daphne's fears worse.
2)  Husband is put out - feels that there is something very wrong with such a dog.  This is a shame as they had been bonding so well...

1)  I have made an appointment with Dr Kocher, my favorite vet from when I lived here before, for the day after tomorrow to consult with him about options (doggie valium?,  doggie antidepressants?, crate her? or what?)

Other possible outcomes - we shall see.  I wouldn't be surprised if I spent another night on the couch...

1 comment:

  1. It is a shame you weren't there to calm her but happily all is well. Poor Daphne!

    It is *very* common for dogs to react to loud noises and we had a heck of a time with our Connor with thunder, fireworks and shot gun noises ( neighbours at NY's... yokels!) Even a car back firing...

    I hope the vet visit goes well for all three of you!