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My very own Houdini

I think my dogs – at least one of them anyway – has finally figured out how to outwit me.

I’ve had Heather and Katie for eight years and during that time they’ve spent days outside in a kennel and nights inside with me.

It’s been our routine for years with no problem, until now.

I’m not quite sure what has gotten into Heather lately, but she’s become a rather naughty not-so-little girl. She’s usually the best behaved of the two.

You see, Katie has a lot of border collie in her, so she also has a lot of energy. She has a hard time staying still for long and she loves to “yell” at me with her loud voice when she wants something and I’m pre-occupied with something else.

For example, if they empty their water bucket, she has a knack for knocking it over and kicking it around the kitchen floor.

She’s discovered the sound of a bucket flying around the kitchen floor catches my attention better than her yelling.

And she’s done a lot of yelling for the past few months because I’ve been pretty busy at work and have spent most evenings behind my laptop, pecking away at the keyboard.

I’m figuring that’s where the problem with Heather comes in. She’s used to sitting in the chair beside me when I’m watching TV, but since I’m busy on the laptop, she’s not been able to do that much lately.

Some nights she does her best to make me feel guilty by sitting just in sight over the top of my laptop screen, staring at me. It’s kind of hard to miss those sad brown eyes locked on me, with real tears running down her cheeks.

Yes, that’s right. She cries real tears. I’ve never seen a dog do that until her.

So, I’m guessing she’s either trying to give me some payback for “ignoring” her or she’s truly desperate to spend more time with me.

Last Monday, when I was sort of off from work, I was sitting in front of my laptop, typing a story, when I heard Heather bark.

Hmmm. She sounds awful close to the house,” I thought. “No. She can’t be; she’s in her lot.”

About that time I noticed a black streak pass by the small, narrow window in my front door. I leaped to my feet and stuck my face to the window, trying to see if I saw what I thought I saw.

I couldn’t see anything, so I went to the back door and there, sitting with a big grin on her face and a wagging tail, was Heather. I opened the door and she ran inside.

Now I was really perplexed because I’ve taken every precaution known to man to keep her and her sister inside their kennel while I’m away.

I grabbed the leash and went to get Katie, who sounded mortally injured that her sister had gone off and left her behind. I wondered why she didn’t get out too.

I opened the kennel door and started to squeeze my way inside, but there went Katie sprinting by my legs and making a mad dash for the back door.

I guess I should be glad they at least went to the house instead of visiting every property in the neighborhood, but the fact they had found a way to escape was too perplexing to think of the bright side.

After depositing Katie inside with Heather, I returned to the lot and searched for the escape hatch.

Apparently a clip on the kennel had been bent by the lawnmower, enabling my ever-so-industrious Heather to squeeze (and it had to be a squeeze) between the kennel frame and fence wire.

Katie would have been an easier fit, but she must have been scared to try it.

So, dad came up that afternoon and fixed the clip so they could be returned to their lot.

Unfortunately, when I came home that day, Heather was in the process of “unraveling” the chain link wire for her next daring escape.

I wasn’t aware I had my very own Houdini.

I’m now having to line the lot with a heavier gauge wire.

If I’m lucky, there won’t be anymore black streaks flying through the neighborhood.

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