On Tuesday morning at 7.30am, as is usual before our Alpha Female leaves for work, Ziggy and I were let out.
We took our usual trot around the garden. It was on reaching the front of the house that I realised the gate had been left open by a delivery person.
I considered my options. I know I am not supposed to leave the garden. This is for my own safety.
My thought processes were temporarily interrupted by this thought:
I ran. Ziggy followed.
Somewhere in my doggy brain I could hear Alpha Female, but stronger and louder was the call of
I kept on running down the footpath, through the barbed wire fence, through the thistles and brambles and nettles, across the field, and down to the river bank, where there are hundreds and hundreds of
I did hear, for fifteen minutes or so, the sound of Alpha Female calling our names, in varying tones of forced patience, grim firmness, and finally, slight hysteria. I popped my head up several times, and even started to make my way towards her, but then I remembered
She stopped calling, perhaps to go back home for treats. It is touching that she loves us so much she brings us refreshments when we are chasing rabbits.
It is true that I heard squealing, perhaps as she attempted to climb over the barbed wire fence, and to negotiate the thistles, brambles and nettles. If only she had four legs: she could leap nimbly. The wellies don’t help. Particularly when paired with work-wear.
I don’t really remember what happened then. I was busy with
Alpha Female has something called a ‘job’ and a ‘professional reputation’ and she had an ‘important meeting’ in ‘another part of the county’.
I think that is why Nana arrived. I heard Nana calling. Alpha Female probably told Nana not to jump over the barbed wire fence, and so Nana opened a tin of tuna and left it by the gate. I didn’t smell it, because I was busy with
Nana walked around and around the surrounding fields and lanes. She likes to stay active.
I am well camouflaged, and Ziggy can get almost his whole body down a rabbit hole, and therefore we are ‘difficult to spot’.
Nana made friends with all the local dog-walkers, even giving her phone number out to them.
Alpha Female was in contact with Nana between her ‘important meetings’. Nana informed her that we were still missing, and that the local dog-walkers expressed fears about dog-nappers (whatever they are). Alpha Female rang our vet [shudder] and left messages with the ‘Area Dog Warden’ [?]
I don’t know how much time passed because I was busy with
I realised I was a little bit thirsty and a little bit tired, and I could detect a whiff of tuna. I remembered where I live, and that I have a family who love me, and an Alpha Female and Alpha Male to take care of me.
I reminded Ziggy, whose tongue was lolling in that undignified way he has. He was looking muddy. We trotted towards the smell of tuna.
We were just enjoying the reward of tuna which was waiting at the garden gate, when Nana came out of the house and greeted us with joy and wonder. She was very proud of us. We had managed a whole SEVEN HOURS of rabbit chasing. That beats our previous record by six and a half hours!
We fell asleep in our basket.
I woke up just as Alpha Female arrived home from ‘work’. I went to greet her. I sensed something humans mysteriously call ‘disapproval’. I sat on my bottom as she took her boots off. I couldn’t quite meet her gaze.
She spoke to me sternly for a full five minutes. She was wagging her finger and did not pat me. She kept repeating these words: ‘worry’, ‘inconvenience’ and ’embarrassment’. I needed to ‘think about my behaviour’ and ‘the betrayal of trust’ and I should ‘forget about eating any more tuna for a while’.
I wagged my tail a bit. My paws hurt. I’m really tired.
I just followed Ruby. My paws hurt. I’m really tired.
How do you explain consequences to a dog? Can a dog express remorse? How long should a pair of dogs be shunned by the pack?
What if they wag their tails a bit?
Two days on from the little adventure, Ruby is still showing signs of remorse. She is not so insistent in her nosing or licking, but approaches more hesitantly. Every time I walk past she is looking up at me, as if to check we are ok.
Ziggy is still asleep.
This made me reflect that all relationships involve occasional mistakes, and hurt, and thoughtlessness. It is easy to forgive someone who realises their mistake, and feels bad, and tries to do better next time. It is hard to forgive when there are no signs of understanding, let alone remorse.
I can forgive the dogs, because they are dogs. Even so, some dogs are better at remorse than some humans.
This blog is usually about gardening, but events occasionally take over.
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I will get back to bulb-planting when I have stopped growling at the dogs.