Last evening my dog went walkabout. Might have been alright if he was part dingo, but he's not. He's purebred, "Ball? Throw the ball? Pleeeaaassssuuuh? Look, I brought you my ball. Ooo - Ooo, here's another one. And here's a big plastic thing that isn't a ball but I brought it to you anyway. Throw something." a.k.a. border collie.
I had taken the afternoon off to drive to Dulles because I hadn't had my fill of being stuck in traffic during the morning commute where it took an hour to get to the station a mere 8 miles away. No sir. I wanted to drive through Fairfax County in the full press of rush hour. And we had to pick up our friends.
At some point during our excursion, the gate to our backyard fence was opened. It didn't fall open, didn't blow open, and the dog certainly didn't open it (I know that was your first thought but it's the wrong sort of gate latch up much too high for him to reach without jumping). I have two competing theories but without proof or profit, there is little point in pursuing either.
The first clue for us that something was amiss occurred when I pulled into my driveway and was met by the black lab. She was not supposed to be waiting for us on the front porch. A quick check revealed the open gate and empty backyard.
I'd seen animal control at the local constabulary on the way in and went off to catch the catcher. I was too late but the local constable said, "That's your dog alright. I'll try to get animal control back."
He was able to use a combination of encrypted FM two-way radio technology and an iOS based smart phone to reach the local Ringer who quickly agreed to comeback. (Clearly his first name was not "Shane").
While we waited, I heard the story. The dog, often referred to as "Nose", had gotten loose and made contact with a dog walker (described only as a "kindly woman walking three dogs") about 1/2 a mile away from the house. He went right up to her, was a sweet as candy, so she called the police.
When the 5-O-boy-we're-in-trouble-now arrived, they took him into custody and incarcerated him at the precinct. Whoops, I switched vernacular - he was detained at the constabulary. They built him a nice kennel from cardboard and posted his picture on Facebook. Lots of folks wanted him and offered new homes if we didn't ever comeback.
The authorities were concerned that he was so thin and hungry and thought he might have been loose for days so that's why they didn't hold him overnight but instead sent him off to the pound. We also were concerned about him being thin and always hungry for the first several months we had him, but the Vet and the Trainer always say he's right on target for the breed. I passed this along and was assured that there was no concern about abuse or neglect - "he was too sweet and well behaved for that" but that, professionally speaking, he was a three when he should be a five.
I was content just to have him back. He was a bit subdued last night, staying close and (after his dinner) quite calm. He even watched “Castle” with us without being a freak-a-zoid. Perhaps the ride in the truck with a cage changed him?
Not a chance. Like so many of my clients, shortly after being freed, he returned to his old self and ways. I was woken up this morning by the "Nose" and he was as impatient as ever with the alarm clock. "Rawrrrrah. Woof. Rawwwraaawrrraaaaah." There is no fonetik (ironic misspelling) way to duplicate his "good morning" and you can't possibly imagine his affection from my written word.
Hopefully, instead of being down the road, his next walkabout will just be [in the] Outback.