She knows how to sit, stay, shake, and come – with hand signals. Ok, ok, maybe I need to coerce her a little bit once in a while, but overall she is learning pretty quick – staying true to her “border collie” roots.
I wish, however, she knew these commands while off-leash. I prefer to practice her obedience training from the comforts of my own home with four walls to hold her in since Matt and I learned the hard way that Bonnie neither knows these commands nor would heed them if they were called to her if she were outside off-leash.
Yep, Miss Bonnie (or “Roo”) is a little escape artist (and definitely was bred to be a mushing dog). I present Adventures with Bonnaroo: Part II:
(Part I can be found here)
We pulled into our garage from Fairbanks around 8pm on Sunday. We put the leash on Bonnie and let her out of the car and into the house where she proceeded to sniff out her new digs. It was quite apparent she was very uncomfortable and was looking for a way out of the house (she was used to a doggie door at her foster home). Matt was putting stuff away in the garage and had Bonnie join him. What I hadn’t realized was that the garage door was still open. Matt is used to the other dog, Rider; the dog with selective hearing but doesn’t take off running away from us when off-leash. Matt made the wrong assumption that Bonnie would act the same way. She did not. Instead she ran down the ally into a little wooded area and Matt went after her. I found out she had ran away five minutes later when Matt came into the house with a very concerned look on his face and a headlamp over his head and asked if I had seen Bonnie recently.
Crap! Bonnie had taken off in the dark, in downtown Anchorage, and she had no collar on and she had not been microchipped. Crap, crap, crap! Less than 24 hours in and we had lost her!
Matt went back outside and I grabbed a leash and some treats and took off running in the opposite direction of Matt. Where do I even begin to search for a dog I do not know, in the dark, who has a black coat, and is obviously scared and probably won’t come to me if I call her name?! I passed Matt a few more times and the look on his face…let’s just say it broke my heart.
Ten more minutes ticked by and I called Matt to find out where he was and I could hear him saying he had found her. I could tell he was out of breath and was calling for her, but I was extremely frustrated because Matt was asking me to come with the treats and a leash, but I couldn’t understand where he was. Three additional phone calls determined he was five blocks up the road and had her cornered in the woods where a fence had stopped her (seriously, a big shout out and thanks to God for that fence). I went sprinting up the road; well, as fast as one can sprint in big boots. I was freezing. It was about 20 degrees and I wasn’t wearing a hat, gloves, or jacket.
I made it to where Matt and Bonnie were in the woods. I couldn’t see them, but I waited there in case she bolted back into the road. For thirty minutes I stood there while Matt sweet-talked her and inched his way toward her until he could pick her up. As I stood in the road, shivering I had a few people on their evening stroll give me the stare down wondering what the heck I was doing standing under a street light shivering while holding dog treats and a leash.
All I kept thinking was we were going to lose a dog we had just adopted. I began to wonder why we had even adopted her in the first place if this was going to be how the story ended. It broke my heart to think how bad Matt would feel and it made me feel even worse for Bonnie since I knew she was just trying to find her “home”. Poor gal. Fairbanks was going to be a long haul and the direction she was heading was out to sea and not north (she needs to learn her directions).
Thirty freakin’ cold minutes later Matt finally had her and was making his way out of the woods with her. I could hear him as the twigs snapped under his feet and I held my breath until I could see them both under the street lamp. There they were! I could barely feel my hands as I tried to snap the collar around her neck. Then Matt said the funniest thing, “She shit herself and it’s all over my jacket and her fur.”
Stink Bonnie, she just can’t get enough of the poo. When we got home we spent the next fifteen minutes cleaning her up and realizing that she was going to be a lot of work, but she had both Matt and me hook, line, and stinker sinker.
**Since this event there have been two additional episodes of the “escape artist” darting through open front doors on Halloween evening, and slipping through her collar and then chasing a truck two blocks down the street at 25-miles-per-hour. Yep, she is a stinker (in more ways than one).**