More adventures with Ike, the itinerant runner


An open door means only one thing to a Schnauzer — freedom and how can I get it? Oh, that’s two things. Whatever…for the past three months, we’ve successfully kept Ike from escaping. Of course, I could solve this problem with the training collar and remote zapper, but it intimidates me.
Welll…so much for keeping him successfully at bay. Recently, as a friend and I were heading out, another friend stopped by to chat. As we were temporarily distracted, Ike sniffed an opportunity. The three of us just stared, stunned, as a blur of fur and legs flew out the door, down the steps, and around the hedge to the neighbor’s yard. At this point, we agreed he’d have to find his own way back. No one was in the mood to chase.
As we drove off, he was trotting down the sidewalk toward the neighbors across the street. Grinning. We speculated briefly on where he’d be when we returned.
One hour later, we walked in the door. Guess who greeted us, tail wagging? Yep. The little brat had somehow returned to the fold. He’s  a smart little guy, but I know he didn’t let himself in because (a) we have no doggy door, and (b) he’s far too short to reach the doorknob.
A few minutes later, our neighbor across the street — our favorite dogsitters — stopped by to solve that mystery. Apparently, Ike had decided to stop in for a neighborly chat with them. He loves them and happily let Beth pick him up and scratch his ears. She returned him to our house. Well. Now the world knows we don’t lock our doors. But we have a guard dog, so don’t bother robbing us.
This saga doesn’t end here. Two days later, our neighbor to the east said that she went into her backyard, which is completely fenced in, to fetch their huge, lumbering lab, Thor. She found him chilling near the sandbox, Ike at his side. She thought maybe we’d decided Thor was bored and sent Ike over to play. The only thing we can figure is that while on his trek around the neighborhood, he wriggled under the fence to visit. Somehow, he wriggled back out.
This is not the end.  Another few days later, my mother says she stopped by to drop off a book. She knows she has to carefully open the door and shut it quickly to prevent another escape. But since we’d not answered our phone or the doorbell, she assumed we were out walking the dogs (Harvey, our Heinz57 who lives in Kent, was visiting). Ooops. Not a good assumption.
Ike managed to slither past and headed two houses east. Mother (she’s 88) thought she’d chase him. Don’t laugh. She was serious. Lucky for her, Ike decided to stop for a chat; the neighbor scooped him up and returned him to his prison.
We figure we’re lucky. Nine months ago, the little escapee would immediately head for Alger, his previous home. Now he just hangs out in the hood, where he’s well known.
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