Thursday, March 22, 2007


He came back! Except for bothering some horses (trying to- they didn't care, thank goodness) and the fact that I was only able to catch him at the end of the walk because he was too tired to run anymore (and there was manure to sniff) it was grand. He even stayed much closer than has been the norm.

Dodger waded into the canal more than once and forded the river twice. I guess he doesn't mind water, after all, Sue. Both dogs enjoyed running around getting filthy and were well mannered with the only other dog we met. Pleasantly, Dodger and his buddy, Emma, also got on well in the car. Luckily, Emma is very good at coming when called, so we only had one dog to be worried about.

Excursion was uber stressful for me, but I'm hoping that the huge fuss that we made over him with love and treats when he came anywhere near us will condition his furry self to stay closer next time. Next time, he isn't going off leash until we are much further form the horse pasture. :-P

Poor guy was so sleepy after the hike and his usual afternoon walk that he spent today conked out. Didn't even go out to pee for 7 hours.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

taking chances

Dodger and I are going hiking with his doggy playmate. We may attempt some off leash time, but I am apprehensive. Will he be any better at sticking close by and/or coming when I call if he's with his obedient buddy?

Given how excited he is by bird song on the radio, I doubt he'll be at all calm out in the late-winter woods where things are all a twitter.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Tuesdays Are For Trespassing

Dodger and I have had a grand time over the past month with our wanderings. Tuesdays may be our best days for outings. Mondays are pretty much a write off for anything resembling productivity and every other day seems to fill up with busy. Most days involve only a circuit of the town trails and/or a jog around the block. On Tuesdays, we go further afield.

As Dodger doesn't chat much on our excursions (he considers his humans to be mild hindrances outside of the house, even if he adores them inside) I have time to think. Topic of late-- trespassing.

What counts as trespassing, I wonder? If there is a "No Trespassing" sign, it's rather obvious that it's a no-go zone. But, what if you are 99% sure that you are venturing onto private property but you are following the tracks of cross country skiers, snowmobilers, dog walkers, deer, and so on? Is it still trespassing or is it acceptable, given the fact that you are not causing harm? If there is a "Private Property" sign, does that mean "no trespassing" or "use at your own risk" or just "don't tell anyone you were here" ?

On the first Tuesday, Dodger and I explored orchards. This was a case of following the tracks of dozens of other explorers. This was also where I learned that Dodger is *not* to be trusted off leash. In a blink of an eye, an orange and white blur spiraled off to the East. He really loves to run in circles. Big circles. Pheasant Flushing Circles. Circles through ravines, frozen ponds, orchards, ditches, woods and not-so-frozen creeks.

On the second Tuesday, Dodger and I explored a river side trail that had a Private Property sign. Hesitant to step any closer to breaking the law than downloading BSG, I attempted to turn back to town when I saw the sign. This is where I learned that when Dodger is eager to move along over an icy trail, turning back may not be physically possible.

Yesterday was the fifth Tuesday. After almost two weeks of icy weather, flu-ish humans providing half-hearted walks and one day with No Walk At All, Dodger took the Tuesday ritual more firmly into his own paws.

Basking in sunny weather on the back deck, Dodger may have thought of a plan. Or he may have been lucky. Or he may have schemed telepathically with Pablo. Whatever the case, he came in through the back door, dodging an escaping Pablo, and ran right out through the front screen door.

Three hours of happy, muddy circles around the neighborhood later, I nabbed him behind a shed. No gray area here. Running through dozens of yards, repeatedly, going over, under and around fences is definitely trespassing.

Luckily, only one neighbour hates us, so far. The others are rather fond of the clown: at least until garden season.

Remind me not to miss another Tuesday.