Friday, May 09, 2008

Escape artist

Yesterday I pondered small miracles and God's blessings that we don't realized. When made me reflect on such a deep and meaningful subject? Choco got out!

Last year I was writing about Houdini Choco and how she was escaping regularly. She would slip her collar and I would tighten it further. When that didn't work I went out and bought a harness but the harness lasted 10 minutes and she was out of it. I thought we'd have to lock her in a kennel but we "solved" the problem by putting two strong leather collars on her, one that she is hooked up to and one that acts as a "stopper" so that she won't be able to pull the other one off.

I don't know why (my carelessness?) but yesterday Choco managed to slip her collar. I was teaching a new group of first graders and I had closed one of the window shades just because Choco barks so much at the kids when she sees them. She does not like children. Just by "chance" (nothing is by chance in my book) I'd left the other shade open. With only 15 minutes left of class a streak of white outside the window caught the corner of my eye. It was dark out already so I thought I must have been mistaken. Another streak going in the opposite direction.

"Oh no! Choco's loose!"

What to do? She was out of sight by the time I got to the front door but I started yelling at her and she came streaking back but this was a big game for her. She was not about to be caught! A major problem. Do I leave 7 children in my house (all new kids) and go out chasing my dog, or do I hope Choco will come back on her own after she's had a run around the fields. She could get hit by a car (all that streaking and it was dark!) or lost. More than that, even if she came home I had parents who would be arriving soon to pick up their kids and another class that would be coming in the front door. I'm very leery of Choco around people because she can be ferocious if she thinks someone is not right.

I left the kids, got in the car and honked the horn quite a lot from the driveway. My neighbor (who has complained about Choco's barking!) peered out the window at me probably thinking,

"Now I've got to deal with the dumb dog's owner who is yelling and honking her horn!"

The miracle is that Choco came back! She didn't disappear. She didn't get hit by a car. She happily jumped in the car! I went back to my students who were excited but none of them had come outside to see the ruckus (and maybe get bit). Parents started arriving a few minutes later and no one (but my neighbor) ever guessed of the excitement a few minutes before.

Thank you Lord for your blessings and miracles!

Here is Choco this morning and here is the offending collar. How much smaller can I tighten this thing without choking her? I'm just trying to keep her safe!


mamaspark said...

Our dog likes to escape also so we put her in a harness when she is outside. After one too many chases it is the only way to ensure no escaping. Hope that helps and I'm glad you got her back!

artfilstitch said...

Thank the Lord that Choco didn't get hurt. I can feel your pain when your loving animal pulls these bad tricks. We purchased a harness for our little doggie,( it is a Ruff Rider)which it would seem impossible for any dog to break out of. It is used for when they travel in the car...buckles into the seatbelt for their safety as well as for walking the little fellow. God is faithful to us as well as his little animals!
Have a Blessed Day!

meggie said...

So glad Choco was not hurt, & came safely home. We love our dogs, even when they are naughty!

Sew Create It - Jane said...

I agree with you...nothing happens by chance. Oh Choco was just trying to have a bit of fun...but not fun for you I'm sure. Glad everything turned out ok.

Caroline in NH said...

Have you tried a martingale collar or a limited-slip collar? Martingale collars are sometimes used for sighthounds (greyhounds, salukis, etc) and are intended to prevent the dog slipping its head out. Limited-slip collars are similar. I looked for some like mine (nylon collar part, chain "slip" part) but didn't find them, but I've had mine for over 10 years.

Ima Baglady said...

Our neighbor uses the limited slip collars on his rescued greyhounds. They seem very humane and not at all like a regular choke collar.

We have an escape artist too. Breta easily sails over our gate and then plays chase with our second - one one each side of the fence. So far, she stays pretty close, but we worry about her getting hit by a car! Our smaller dog jumped the gat once, but must have hurt herself because she's never tried it again!

The Calico Quilter said...

I'm so glad Choco didn't get hurt and came back to you. I have seen dog collars that consist of two bands around the neck, one higher under the jaw and one lower on the neck, connected by strips of material at two points. I think Cesar Millan sells these. (He has a dog training program on TV; don't know if it is shown in Japan.) I seemed like that arrangement would be harder to slip off and also give you more control of the dog when walking on leash. Check out for the style named the "Illusion" collar. I'm not a dog owner so I don't know if this is merchandising hype or good, but it may be something to try. Good luck!

Lazy Gal Tonya said...

glad that episode ended well. get a harness - there's no way to escape those and it doesn't go around the neck so no worries about choking. we ended up putting those on our little cats to get them through airport security and they worked great.

Anonymous said...

We've had good luck with "no slip" or "grayhound" collars too. Look for them when you are in the states next week - we got ours at Petsmart, I think, for about 8 dollars each... They way they work is that they are loose around the dog's neck until they try to get out of it - then it tightens down.