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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

In which Cody slips his collar and runs like the wind.

He is what you might call a bad dog. An un-trainable dog. But I have that recessive gene that just makes this quality more endearing to me. Something about Cody and the way he completely ignores me, even has me checking his hearing, just makes me like him more. Cody is lucky that I appreciate this primal element of his personality. Because he has tested my patience to the limit in the seven years I have known him. Cody is closer to fourteen years old, by the way. If the rule of ‘dog years’ is upheld, that makes him about ninety-eight years old. Far too old to be pulling me on the end of his leash as we do our three-to-five kilometre walk in the afternoons. Far too old to be jumping over fences, off balconies and into idling cars the moment the door is opened. And yet he does. In his simple mind, he is still a pup. And so he pulls, and jumps, and races. Sometimes, in the extreme heat of the summer, he walks a little more slowly on the way home, allowing me to catch up. But then he has to stop at every ditch, pond and swamp puddle along the road to quench his thirst and cool his hide. To date I have not been pulled in with him, but it has been a struggle.
One day I was writing in my office, next door to the kitchen, when I heard a sharp “Bang.” I got up and walked into the kitchen. At first I didn’t see anything amiss. I took another step and peered around the corner into the living room. Cody was there where I had left him, apparently still sleeping on his rug on the floor. Then I noticed the cutting board, lying on the kitchen floor. The cutting board that, when I left the kitchen earlier, had a defrosting boneless rib roast sitting on it. I picked up the board. It appeared to have been licked clean. I looked around the kitchen island for the missing rib roast. I walked into the living room and gave the dozing dog a nudge with my foot. The folds of his blanket-rug held no roast. Behind the couch: no meat. Under the coffee table: only dust bunnies. Where was my roast? Just then Cody burped. The rest of the night he seemed to be quite uncomfortable from a digestive perspective, but we never saw any trace of what was meant to be our Sunday dinner. He’s kind of weirdly magical that way.
I didn’t think Cody would be able to walk the entire 5-k loop of our road with me but the cooler weather has invigorated him and he has learned to maintain an easier pace. He loves our walks. So much so, that he decided not to wait for me one night, and took off on his own. He just pulled on his stretched-out collar and suddenly he was free. Someone likely saw my bad dog trotting down the middle of County Road 20 and pulled over. When they opened their car door, I imagine he hopped right in.
I was pretty worried when we couldn’t find Cody, even after a survey of the neighbours and a slow walk followed by a drive around the block. I worried I would find him in a ditch somewhere, because he is not at all road-smart. But the next day I found him, at Big Sky Ranch. He had spent the night in an outdoor cage beside a lovely Boxer dog and a German Shepherd. He seemed quite anxious to go home and sleep off his adventures.
I paid the fee to get him back, and had the Farmer tighten his collar so he can’t escape so easily again. But I suspect if he really wants to go he will, for it’s in his nature.

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