I took the dogs on a walk down the trail behind our house. As is their wont, the dogs scattered to the winds, save for the two I had on actual leashes due to their predilection for wandering over to the nearby goat farm to hassle the kids. After 10 minutes of standing around in the clearing at the end of the trail, I clapped loudly and most of the dogs came back. Sadie, who I’d last seen wandering beyond the pasture fencing, failed to return immediately.
Back home, I got everyone into their shock collars and went outside to clap for Sadie again. She was in the yard waiting for me, most of her white fur covered in thick gray mud. I knew she would need hosing off before she could come in the house. I also knew she’d never stand for it. I walked over to her and could see she was on her guard against me grabbing her collar. I allowed my fingers to brush along the fur behind her neck and she was away in a shot, running around the side of the house. I continued into the garage to turn on the spigot of the hose, then unrolled some of the house from the hose wheel. I called for Sadie, but she did not come. It occurred to me that the back door was wide open, my wife seated just inside reading a book. I popped my head in the front door.
“Hey, you probably ought to close the back door. Sadie is coated in mud and headed this way.” The wife complied.
I returned out front and called for Sadie some more. No dice. So I did a little yard work, sprayed the surface of the former holes a certain other dog has dug in my hard, which I recently filled with dirt, grass seed, and a variety of dog shit, to prevent redigging. Probably 20 minutes went by with no Sadie to be seen. I marched around the house looking for her, expecting to find her on the back deck. Nope. She was also not on Sadie Knoll, the perch she likes to lay on in our side yard. She wasn’t hiding behind the retaining wall. She wasn’t in the wood shop. She wasn’t lurking in the bushes or under the side deck. That damn dog had “run oft,” I thought. She was probably hanging out in the weeds, knowing what was awaiting her if she did come back when called. At least, I hoped this was where she was hiding. Worse would be if she was out roaming the neighborhood, biting all of its children and goats and leaving muddy footprints on its front walks. I went in the house.
“You’re sure Sadie’s not in here, right?” I asked. The wife said she didn’t think so. I went in our bedroom. Sadie wasn’t on our bed, or on her dog pillow. She also wasn’t on the cool tile of the bathroom. There were no muddy footprints to be seen, though there had been a smudge of mud near the back door. I checked a few more places downstairs, but saw no evidence of the pooch, so I went outside to clap and call for 10 more minutes.
“She’s still not back?” the wife asked upon my return. I told her, no, and that I was getting pissed. But there was one more place I wanted to check, just for kicks. I went to the stairs and began to ascend. I knew Sadie could not have climbed them before me because our cream colored carpeting on the stairs was only mildly filthy with standard issue dog dirt. Similarly, the landing at the top of the stairs only had the same high-traffic foot dinginess that we’ve been looking at for weeks. I mused aloud how this was a fool’s errand, for surely if Sadie had snuck in the house before the wife had been alerted earlier there would be a visible trail in her wake. Then, I peeked into the office and saw this…
That sneaky little cuss had indeed run in the back door and hidden herself away in my office before anyone knew to stop her. And she’d sat up there, hearing me call and clap for her for the better part of 45 minutes. You can see from her expression that she was sadly aware that the jig was well and truly up.
I fetched a leash and led her down to the front yard where I sprayed her til the water ran clear. Took 10 minutes. She then lounged on the back deck, drying in the sun.
In her defense, the carpet on which she lay down in the office was actually a left over piece of carpeting that was resting atop the regular carpet. So it’ll be easier to clean. I hope. Sadie herself may yet need another bath.