Saturday, December 4, 2010

Evan's Escape, redux

Evan ran away again this morning. Quite the rude awakening for a Saturday morning. I shuffle downstairs in my snoopy pajama pants and tank, hair wild, having just grabbed my glasses so I don't kill myself on the stairs to let the dogs out in the back yard, fix the coffee, fill up the food bowls, and then turn to let them back in.

Katy sits on the deck with a look on her face I can't help but describe as smug. "See? I AM the good one."

"Evan?" (kiss, kiss, whistle, whistle) as I step out onto the deck barefoot (temps currently hovering in the mid 20°s) with a dawning dread.

The side gate is hanging open.

Ok, no worries, there's a second gate on the front of the house. He's just sniffing around the section of the yard he doesn't usually access. . .

"Evan?" and I walk over to the hanging gate and the side of the house.

The front gate is also hanging open.

Here is the part where I barefoot sprint into the front yard and realize, yes, my dog is gone.


Evan had been with us exactly one week the last time he headed for greener pastures. It was Nick's birthday and we spent the day frantically chasing him, finally losing all sight of him, and believing him gone forever.

Memories of that day are always with us, it was so emotional. Then, the ground was covered in a foot of snow, Nick had a broken foot, and Sammi and her friend Lauren had taken off after him in houseshoes. This dog runs so incredibly fast. It was hours of calling and whistling and walking through snowy fields with numb feet. Every time we drive through those roads (and we do so every week) flashes of that day haunt us.

So standing on the front driveway this morning, all that came flooding back, as I futilely called his name and whistled and realized he was not in sight.

I sprinted back through the side (but closing the gates as I went), letting Katy inside and taking the stairs three at a time to wake Bob up, throw on jeans, a hoody, and slippers, grab my phone and keys and head back out. Bob went the other direction.

My first inclination was to trace one of the routes we often walk to the dog park.

No dog.

I park near the off road trail and hoof up to the top of the hill, calling and hoping and wishing.

No dog.

Back to the car, back down the street, over to the next street, all of them with openings out onto miles and miles of off road open space.

The phone rings and Bob says, "He's home."

Bob had taken the left road and spotted him at the start of the open trail, kicking up dust like he loves to do. When he called him by his name, Evan had started wagging his tail and came running back toward him. But Bob reached down and over him to try and grab his collar, which sent him shooting away. He ran right back down the street, raced to the house, tried to get back in the side gate I'd closed, and then trotted over to the front porch and sat down at the door.

This, my friends, is progress.

Heart stopping, adrenaline rushing, why-did-we-have-to-test-this-at-7-am-on-a-Saturday-morning progress, but progress.

So now, although I probably do NOT need it, I'm nursing my coffee, blogging to deflate the stress, and incredibly grateful that I have my dog back at my feet.

Katy is still miffed that the bad one is getting all this attention (prodigal son story, anyone?) so we're loving on her extra this morning, too.

And until we can get the latches on the gates secured, we've barricaded the doors.

I might let Evan out into the backyard again today. On a leash.

Stupid dog. God, how I love him.

Herewith, I present the past year's retrospective, albeit a fraction of the pictures I have taken of the big goof generally in order from January - December 2010:

Our first picture of Evan on the day we brought him home, watching Katy show him how fetch is done.

He has never been sure about the stuffed border collie. Would it help if he thinks this is what happens if you run away from home?

That was the first week ;)

And here is the evening after the first escape, on Nick's birthday:

Now Katy has someone to cat watch with her.

And my feet are never cold.

This is the "stop in the name of love" tummy scratching picture we took a week ago. It was the same tune I could've sung to him this morning, but happily there are no broken hearts at the end of this story. :)


  1. Great pic of you under the face-off pic between the dog and cat. :)