My dog got out today. Not too far, thanks be to God, but definitely not in his own back yard like he was supposed to be. He was chasing a pesky, non-boundary-honoring-squirrel out of “his” back yard. It was the quiet time in the morning when I write in my journal, read my Bible and inspirational readings, then say my Liturgy of the Hours in my Christian Prayer book.
One minute he was sitting right next to me in the sun room, slightly snoozing with one eye on the yard. The next, he was no where to be seen. Suddenly his brother Pepper was standing in the middle of the house (how he knew that is beyond me, it was pretty much absolutely exactly the center) barking his little head off. I got up to quiet him down, but he just kept on. My dense human brain finally realized he was yelling at me. He was greatly disturbed and would not be silenced.
Walking back out to the sun room, it hit me that Yuri was not where I thought he was by my chair. I called him and began looking around the house. After two turns through the house, I went outside. After two turns outside, I went back in and took two more turns around the house. Pepper was following me sort of whimpering and barking every once in a while. I looked over at him and his worry finally connected with me. Yuri was out!!
I went out the front door, still in my PJ’s at almost 11:00 and called him. I thought I heard what seemed like his bark, but not being sure, went back inside. Pepper kept whimpering and following me around the yard and the house as I did one more turn, just to be sure I didn’t walk past him three times while he snickered in his hiding place (which is one of his favorite pastimes).
Outside again, I heard his distinct bark. He was next door!! I could just barely see his fluffy body through the tiny holes in the fence. Outside again, this time out the gate. I could see him through the fence, standing on the neighbors deck, waving his gorgeous fluffy tail at me as if to say “Hey, look where I am”. I called him over to me. At first he hesitated, probably thinking “dang, I gotta go home already? I just got here”. But then came right over to the fence. There was a gap between the post and the house that a Lab could have walked through. He sauntered through it like he knew all the time that was how to get home.
As I reflect on this unsettling adventure of my Great Escape Artist and his need to see what is over there; it made me think of us humans and how we do that too. We couch it differently though. We say it is a ‘learning experience’ or maybe an ‘adventure’ or how about a ‘exploration of another possibility’. What ever we call it, it is the same thing. I want to see what is over there, I want to experience living like that over there, I want to run after this that is so very enticing to me. We all have a bit of Yuri and his art for slipping under the fence and into a new possible life.
So, now I have the task of putting up the garden fence that hopefully will keep Yuri in his own yard. But, now that he knows what is over there, now that he has wriggled under the dark of the deck and found a whole new place, will it really keep him here? I wonder if he thought he had gone to the other side of the world as he shuffled and wiggled in the darkness under the deck, only to come out in a place that was new and foreign and totally different than what he had left behind.
He is inscrutable in that revealing of his thoughts. He is, after all, really supposed to be a Buddhists Monk’s only dog. Prince Yuri Ivanovich, Dog of Lhasa and Dog of the Western Steps. His thoughts are his own.