We had a bit of tense situation involving Max, our golden retriever, on Monday. I let him out the front door to go the bathroom, then ducked back inside for a second to grab a poop bag in case it would be necessary.
When I came back out, Max was nowhere to be seen. That wasn’t too surprising given that he likes to wander around to the side of the houses and sniff around. Our next door neighbor had just come out to let her own dogs out and was commenting that she wished her dogs were as well behaved as Max – if only she knew!
I went around to the side of the houses and . . . no Max. Sometimes he’ll chase a deer into the woods behind our house, so I looked there . . . no Max. I called out his name . . . no Max.
At this point I started to become concerned. It wasn’t like Max at all to wander off. His separation anxiety usually keeps him very close. Furthermore, it was dinner time and he hadn’t yet had dinner, which usually means that he races back to the front door as soon as he’s gone to the bathroom. So I was concerned but also just confused – something didn’t add up.
I grabbed Max’s leash and squeaker toy and began running concentric circles out from our house, calling his name and squeaking his toy. Some neighbors offered to help me find him, but they hadn’t seen him either.
After I had canvased most of the neighborhood, I still had a nagging feeling that Max running off seemed highly improbable, so I returned to our yard to look for clues. As I walked around the side of the houses to check the forest again, I noticed a white cushion in our nextdoor neighbor’s window . . . a white, fuzzy cushion.
I called out Max’s name and, lo and behold, the cushion in the window moved – it was Max! He must have sneaked in while she was letting her dogs out. Max loves her house because there are usually dog treats lying around at accessible heights (Her dogs are much smaller than Max.) so he probably thought he could pull a quick one.
Once our neighbor returned (from helping me look for Max elsewhere in the neighborhood!), she opened her front door to let Max out. All’s well that ends well, but it was a pretty tense 30-45 minutes of not being able to find him. Of course it turns out that he wasn’t in any danger at all; he was just earning his title of of Max the Mischievous!