Usually I speak of Sonny and Thor in the same breath, as if they are one entity: sonnyandthor. Today, I relate the story of Sonny’s solo adventure.
The other morning, he discovered the front gate of the house was ajar. Perhaps the pizza delivery man had neglected to close it the evening before. Perhaps a young school child had deliberately opened it that morning on the way to school to see what mischief might ensue. Perhaps Sonny is just that amazing that he managed to nose open the tricky catch. No matter how it happened, the gate opened and Sonny left the yard in an unsanctioned walkabout.
I used to have a dog–Scooby was his name–that would take off in a flash if he saw an opportunity. He always returned after an hour or two, until one Saturday he didn’t. There were some sleepless, worry-filled nights about that, I can tell you. I imagined all sorts of scenarios, mostly of Scooby lying in a ditch somewhere, suffering terribly. Later, I found out that he had left town and been adopted by a very nice family. Six months later, he left his second home and found his way back to me, having realized, I can only assume, that there’s no place like home.
But this is about Sonny–my daughter’s dog; the daughter who has given me a home. She used to kennel her dogs while she was at work, but I enjoy their company during the day so she leaves them out. I assured her that I would take good care of her dogs. *Sigh*
That morning, I had just let Sonny out. (Thor decided he had nothing to do outside, so remained with me and Max). Busy with Monday morning chores, I didn’t notice anything unusual until I called Sonny to come in. The sound of silence in the yard was deafening. It still wasn’t quite déjà vu all over again (a la runaway Scooby), but it was suspicious. After walking the entire perimeter twice, and checking under the porch, I had to face facts; Sonny had left the yard. But how? It’s completely fenced.
After checking the three gates-—escape hatches, if you will—-I discovered the front gate was ever so slightly ajar. Sonny could easily have nosed the gate open wide enough to slip through, and the gate would have swung (almost) closed behind him.
I felt terrible. My first thought was a vision of Sonny lying in a ditch. The second was how would I face my daughter? Wasting no more time in denial, recriminations, or fear, I began driving around the neighborhood. How easily could a big, black husky hide in the snow? Because he’s a friendly dog, I checked the nearby school yard where a lot of youngsters were enjoying recess. No dog in the mix. No panic either; obviously he hadn’t been there. He must be keeping to the alleyways. I prayed as I drove, trying to keep my panic under control.
After touring the neighborhood without a sighting, I decided to head home. On the off chance that Sonny might return in my absence. I had left the front gate unlatched. I reasoned that If he couldn’t get back in the way he left, he might decide to keep on going. As I drove up our street, my heart stopped. There he was, casually sauntering along the sidewalk towards the gate! He had no idea how relieved I was to see him, but my effusive greeting must surely have made him suspect he’d done something quite wonderful.
As I lay prostrate on the couch recovering from Sonny’s adventure, I debated whether or not to tell my daughter about it. Guilt settled it. The moment she walked in, the story came tumbling out, like the sad confession of a cheating husband. Fortunately, since all ended well, we were able to chuckle about it.
Rest assured, I am on guard; from now on those gates will have round the clock surveillance.