Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I adhere to the "farm dog" method of taking care of your pets. It goes something like this:

- Dog bathes itself in the pond.
- Dog is fed on a semi-regular schedule and is supplemented with rabbits, mice and other various creatures.
- Dog has a small pan of water, but again, supplements with pond and creek water.
- Dog has a dog house for shelter, but prefers the hay loft of the barn.
- Dog roams hundreds of acres and returns home occasionally to chase the cows and nap in the flower bed.

Now that I live in town, the farm dog policies don't exactly apply. Seems it is appropriate to have a collar on your dog, keep its shots and tags up to date and to fence it in at all times.

I know so, because I just retrieved one of our precious dogs from the impound this afternoon.

Yesterday evening, as I was putting water in the kid's pool, I decided to let the dogs out. Brent was out of town - hiking and camping in the cool Colorado mountains - of course. (It was for work; so don't feel too sorry for me.) His black lab and I have had plenty of "near misses." I chased her down while six months pregnant with Noah as she began to thrash a neighbor's chihuahua to death on the street. I lost her another time Brent was away, but she came home hungry and thristy a few hours later. I thought this time would be no different.

The dogs had only been loose for a few minutes before I noticed she was missing. I heard lots of barking a couple houses down, and started after her. I spotted her, yelled for her (in my best "farm girl hollaring for the dog" voice), and watched her run the other way.

Thankfully, my mom was in town, so we put the kids in strollers and started to go after her. I "hollared" a few more times, but she was hot on the trail of a rabbit. So, we turned home. I filled her food dish and water pan and assumed she would be home in a couple hours.

Wrong.

By 9:00 am this morning, still no dog. I made the reluctant call to the police department. They returned my call shortly to inform me an officer had picked up the dog last night and that I could retrieve her from the impound after paying a $65 fee, getting her rabies shot up to date and renewing her tags.

$80.20 later, the dog is at home.

And just so you know, if I had never made that call, she would be been euthanized on the city's bill in seven days.

Something tells me I should have kept my mouth shut.

Or, we really need to move to the farm.