Sunday, August 10, 2008

Gibby is an Escape Expert

He got out again. Got to the farm yesterday, and there he was, creeping around the corner of the house to see who drove in the driveway - dancing when he saw who it was. He came running over, dove under the gate, and got to me almost before I got out of the car. I took him back to the pen, secured the gate, and went back to move the car. Gibby was out again before I got to the car. I took him back again - at least, he walked with me like he enjoyed where we were going - he had slipped off his collar, so he walked like a real gentleman, even entering the dog pen as soon as I undid all of the chains supposedly securing it. Then, foolishly, he showed me exactly how he had gotten out.

The bottom of the gate is covered with a sign that says "Caution Registered Quarter Horses". I took it off of a horse trailer that had come up from Texas, where maybe the drivers respect the safety of registered horses more than just ordinary horses. When a very determined Border Collie, named Spot, bent all of the bottom wires and released the bottom of the gate from it's frame so he could escape, I wired the steel sign to the gate. He was the most escaping escaper there ever was. Unfortunately, he escaped one too many times and was killed on the road. My road is extremely dangerous - the speed limit is 55 but it is a major route from the expressway to the distant lakes and subdivisions and people drive it at horrendous speeds. That is why I worry so much about escapism. Gibby learned how to apply pressure on the steel sign, broke the rusting wires that were holding it, and chewed up a number of cedar shingles until he could move the whole bundle out of his way. I chained the sign to the gate and that seemed to solve that problem. Gibby was crying when I left.

The one insecure spot no dogs have ever found in the dog pen is the south wall. It's the board wall of the garage/shed that is rapidly tumbling down. It was probably built to hold Model Ts and has never been big enough for my cars or trucks. I haven't put any effort into saving it because I thought it was right on the property line - although I have recently learned that using a satellite system to find the line gives me four inches of free space. That dog pen shared wall is the most secure of the whole little building. For a few years, we had horses living there and had lined the walls with some strong boards. The other side held a clever Humane Society rescue donkey for a while and he ate right through the stall wall and then kicked out the original back wall. We passed him on to some neighbors down the road, who passed him on to people who passed him on... Anyway, that dog pen/garage wall could probably be eaten through easier than destroying the wires holding the steel sign on the gate - knock on wood.

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