Spring is the time of rebirth and renewal, and for so many of us, we are more than ready. The season began with stay-at-home/shelter-in-place/quarantine rules. Some of us are still there. If we are lucky enough to have a yard, however, then we can spend some quality time outdoors.
Since the start of May, a few stores have opened up so we can purchase the gardening materials needed. Finally we can plant our flowers, spread the mulch, and pull weeds to our heart's content. But whether we've hired someone or we are doing the work ourselves, we have to be careful: landscaping time can mean open gates. And open gates can mean a dog can escape for a little neighborhood excitement.
I thought I was very good about locking up. I'd had a few close calls with my younger dog Rufus pushing open the gate to follow me on a walk I'd taken with my other dog Sophie. Since he's a pretty strong boy (part boxer, part shar pei) I would check to make sure that my gate always had the "click" to ensure that the door wouldn't swing open at all.
But Saturday morning, after a full Friday of gardening a neighbor came by to tell me he'd seen Sophie running around the neighborhood. Rufus was still at home being a good boy, but something had lured my girl out the gate. Rufus is a mama's boy and would never leave the yard without me, but Sophie is an independent soul who yearns for the open road (until dinner time, that is). I flew out the door with leash and harness in hand. Terrified, I scoured the neighborhood wondering if Sophie would try crossing a busy street or if she'd try to chase bunnies at the nearby golf course. Fortunately my same neighbor found me and told me he'd seen her in a nearby alley. He drove me there so I could snag my little hobo who wanted to sniff people's trash bins. Such a lady.
It turns out that the time I didn't lock the gate, Sophie had a reason to go exploring. My dogs aren't usually runners. They like the backyard and rarely try to escape. Sophie hasn't pulled a move like this since the first week I got her - very typical of dogs in new homes.
It's very easy to leave things partly closed. Saturday morning brought out my biggest anxieties, and even after I found her, I couldn't relax. Dogs like to wander on occasion, so it's up to us to keep them safe. Spring is a good time to inspect your fence for gaps and the gates for security. That way, your best friends can remain safe in your yard.