Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Curious Incident Of the Dog in the Daytime

Well shucks, I'm up at 1am with nary a thought of sleep yet, so what better time to recount to you, my 4 readers, an odd mystery that hath occurred. You, oh brave ones will be my sleuth investigators and try to solve the crime that has, as yet, eluded us.

Tuesday, April 1st. 1:30pm.
I returned home from work, happy to once again be walking to and from my place of employment, as me and my hungry belly neared home, I glanced toward our neighbors house and their trusty chain-link fenced-in pen where I have so often left our pooch to stay and play during work mornings. Only this time, my dear fluffy Buckley's longing face did not greet me, but only the sight of the gate door eerily wide open: unlatched with not a dog in site.

I panicked, checking my house, my neighbors house, my yard..and nothing. I jumped into my car, not knowing how long Buckley had been wandering Chamblee's streets. After about 45 minutes of searching , calling, and entreating the help of our kindly neighbors, still no Buckley nor answer as to how the gate got opened. Meanwhile, Kelly, the neighbors dog was safe at home, and they had no idea what happened.

Finally, like a beacon, I saw a little white head, bobbing up and down under the restraint of a lead near the end of my street. A dear family who live a few doors down had corralled Buckley (not a tough job since he loves EVERYONE who will love him back) and were walking him back to our house with a makeshift leash (I believe it was an old USB cord). With great relief I thanked the neighbor and his son profusely and trapsed back home with an excited, dirty dog.

Wednesday, April 2nd, 9am.
I leave Buckley next door again with Kelly, having chalked up Tuesday's disappearing act to a meter-reader or landscaper's careless closing of the gate.

10am. Our neighbor calls to tell us that landscapers will be coming and that he will put both dogs instead into our penned-in backyard, with an even more secure latched gate.

1:30pm. I again stroll home, happy to be strolling home. A familiar-looking dog stands in the middle of our street ahead, wagging her long reddish tail. I drop my bags and keys and go to investigate. My worst fears are realized: Kelly, our neighbors dog is wandering the street, an escapee from the back yard. The less daring and adventurous of the two, I know what this means: Buckley is again on the prowl, and again, I have no idea when this great escape occurred or how far he may have gotten.

This time I am a little more right-minded, hopeful that Buckley will haunt the same haunts he did in yesterday's freedom run. I drop Kelly off at home, briefly question my stunned neighbor as to HOW this happened (she was befuzzled as I), then head for the yard at the end of the street where he'd last been recovered. I hadn't finished rounding the house when the same hero from yesterday, ear to his cellphone, came out and pointed emphatically at his garage. Leaning away from the phone he said quietly "your dog's in my garage...I gave 'im some water."

I sensed his kindness had ebbed a shade into impatience at my clear negligence. But who cares! My prodigal dog was ONCE AGAIN lost and now found (stupid idiot!). So..how did 2 dogs escape from our well-secured backyard with no possible way to have mastered the lock themselves?

Monday April 7th, 9am. Now believing that either the dogs, or some venturesome child wanting to play with the dogs to be the culprit, I cautiously leave Buckley next door. I know that the neighbors will be around this morning and would hopefully hear any riff-raff. To ensure that dogs and kids are discouraged from tampering with the loosely hinged gate, I secure it with a chain, then hook a rusty padlock tightly through the links (though not locked).

12:15pm. I receive a call from my neighbor. Another kindly neighbor (not the one on the corner) has just showed up at her doorstep with my dog in hand. "Is this your dog?" he asks. She tells him no, and walking out with him notices that again, the gate to her backyard is swung wide open. Concerned, she directs him to put dear Buckley into our yard, over the picket-fence gate (which we had recently secured with a padlock).

Upon receiving her call, I get home as soon as I can, concerned that some prankster is truly on the loose. Fortunately, this time I find Buckley safe and sound in our backyard. The kindly neighbor comes by and tells me that Buckley had shown up at his doorstep, sniffing around. Upon returning him to our yard, this neighbor also did an inspection of the premises and found there to be a shimmy-size gap on the far size of the fence, probably big enough for Bucks to squeeze through. He puts a large rock in front of the gap, dear man, to prevent escape. I thank him, but don't have the heart to tell him that Buckley's getaway wasn't even from our yard this time, but from the yard next door with the chained gate.

What/ Who is doing this? How is this happening and HOW can I go to work tomorrow without fearing some shady prank will again put my dog on the streets?


Elizabeth said...

A true mystery. Perhaps it's time to call in Encyclopedia Brown or Nancy Drew. Please do let me know how the story continues.

Hoping that Buckley's safe and sound!

Shelly said...

I'd bet money that he's digging his way out! Check those sides and front of your fence... this is how our little Lucy Belle loves to escape... we've come to EXPECT hers from our own well-fenced backyard.
Which reminds me... puppy date?? Anyone?

Matt said...

This sounds very similar to Tom and Kathryn's problem with their dogs getting in the crawl space even after they padlocked it shut. I would check with them, there could be a doggie conspiracy going on...

Marci said...

Hmmm? No clue, but I can't wait to hear how you solve the mystery.