Maggie went AWOL!

I’ll start with the end first. Everyone is fine, except my heart rate is still well above normal.

I think people who know me would say that I’m a cautious dog owner. Both back gates are locked. I go outside with the girls every time. They wear collars with tags. They are microchipped and their info is up to date. We are always on leash outside the yard. I could go on but my point is, I’m careful. I’ve never lost a dog. I look at the lost and found site and sometimes, in my head I feel a little… superior. Like, how do these irresponsible dog owners lose their dogs? 

Then this morning happened and now I have to roll back all my “better dog owner” judgment. I had one window open in the house. One Window. And it has (had) a screen. And there was a curtain in front of it. If Mags wasn’t such a smarty farty she wouldn’t have even known that it was open. I opened it last night before we went to bed and closed the door to the room where it was open and had actually forgotten about it. But no one ever said she wasn’t smart. And I suspect there was a squirrel or a cat that contributed to this event, and when they’re involved all bets are off.

I fed the girls and I was pouring my first cup of coffee in my pajamas. I didn’t hear anything, but the girls started barking. Not unusual in itself but something made me go check on them. Maggie wasn’t standing there, and the curtain was still in place but it was like a shot that hit me. I knew exactly what happened. I pulled the curtain back and the screen was gone, and so was Maggie.

I pride myself at work on my calm demeanor. Nothing is ever better when I panic. But I swear it was like an out of body experience. I panicked. I didn’t even shut the window - and later I looked over from outside and the puppy was just standing at the open window looking out. If she had gone out too I don’t know what I would have done.

What do you do first? Do you put on shoes? Do you get in the car? Do you post to facebook so other people can start helping you look? I just ran out the front door and started screaming. At first there was nothing. I had no idea which way she went. But she couldn’t have been more than 30 seconds ahead of me. Honestly, the whole incident was probably only five minutes, but it felt like a lifetime.

So I’m standing there, and I’m prepared to run the whole city in my bare feet and pajama pants when I saw her bouncing in a bush at a house across the street. I picked a quiet street to move to on purpose, and I’m glad I did because I’m sure she didn’t look both ways before crossing. And it’s no secret that she’s had some issues with her recall that we’ve been working on. She blew me off like I was invisible. But we’ve been on enough walks that she does know where she lives. She crossed the street again (ugh) toward the house though, and I made the “I’m so so serious about this” face and she let me catch her. Because if there’s anything she’s proven in the past it’s that I can’t catch her unless she lets me. I wasn’t going to let her out of my sight though, so it’s a good thing she decided she wanted to come with me, or we’d still be out there.

So, all’s well that ends well. But I guess the windows won’t ever be open around here again, at least until someday I replace them with the ones that open from the top.

What a morning!




(mom says I'm in the doghouse)

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  • Omigosh Stacy! What a horrible morning...and BEFORE your coffee. Maggie is too smart for her own good, that's for sure. I am so so so glad you were able to catch her soon after this happened. 

    • She really is smart. And most of the time she seems so laid back and mellow. She's not a hyper dog. She just lays around. But whatever motivated her this morning must have been really exciting. No more windows for her. And we have to continue working on that recall. I do think she knows what come means, she just think it's a suggestion that she can take or leave. A lot of the time there is something else she would rather do (like ignore me!)

  • Oh Maggie. Please don't do this again. (Not that you'll have the chance, I'm sure.) 

    I'm so glad you started this discussion with the end, because my heart stopped as soon as I saw the title, lol. I hope you're having a glass of wine and relaxing now.

    You could still open your windows, just not as high. There are little thingies you can put in the sides of the frame (I never know the names of the parts of windows) that stop the window from going up above them. Here are a couple of links:

    Window Wedge

    Window Warden

    Some windows have them built into them, they're called vent stops. I wouldn;t even have known I had them if a painter didn;t show me, lol. 

    Window Wedge - Cresci Products - 2 Pack
    <p>The Window Wedge with the Slip-Resistant Base, was designed and tested to act as an Adjustable Window Stop for double hung, single hung, and horiz…
    • Yes, she's definitely grounded. No more jumping out windows. I am mostly recovered but we all had a really long post stressful event nap this afternoon. 

      Those window thingies look pretty neat. I might have to invest in some. I don't think I have any safety features built in. I still have the original wood windows from 1950 I think. Safety devices weren't as much of a thing back then. Dogs just had the good sense not to jump out the window!

      This girl is an athlete. And I knew it. I just thought we were past the days of doing things like this. I measured afterward. The bottom of that window is 30" off the floor. The hole that she jumped through (that she made) was 12" high and 19" wide. And then it's probably 4 feet to the ground on the other side. Plus she went through the screen, dodged a bench and a couple pots before she hit the ground. But she's terrified of the agility tunnel. Go figure. I'm just glad she didn't break her leg or get hit by a car or lost forever or any other of the million terrible things that go through your head in an instant. 

      And people wonder why I crate the dogs. If that's what she thinks of when I'm standing less than 30 feet away from her, can you imagine what she could think of if she was home alone? 

  • Oh, and I'm glad she's safe and home! 

  • First of all, I am so glad  Maggie is okay.  Now to let you know you are NOT a bad mom, Clancy, our old Springer Gordie, my daughter's lab, AND my son's poodle have gone through our screens at one time or another.  Luckily some of those screens simply open to the backyard, but the ones in the living room are open to the world.  We finally got screens that were stronger, plus we try to keep those windows closed if we leave, but even then, my daughter's old lab has developed anxiety and  when she leaves him with us, he will go push the screen out and bend the frame :-{ to look for her.  We need bars on our windows!!!!

    I'm pretty confident that Charlie would play games with me and NOT come when called, especially if he thought he was in trouble (like Maggie, he had a past life where that was a great option).

    • I thought I had the only goofy dogs that went through the screens. Now the screen porch is a different story. I'm not sure who did that first. It might have been Ava. No matter how many times I fix it they think it's their own personal dog door. I finally gave up and put stronger screen in the one panel they kept jumping through and left the door open. And then Willow went through a different panel. While the door was open. In her defense, I don't think she even realized it was there. The window though. Who even does that? I guess Maggie does. My mom suggested bars as well. 

      I know part of Maggie's sometimes reluctance to come inside is because it's possible she might come inside and I will go to work. She's smart. She gets it. She's also the only dog who really cares if I leave. She's gotten better, but she knows when I put on work clothes. I have to put her on leash to let her out after I get dressed for work. The rescues come with a few quirks. Not that all dogs don't have a few, but I feel like sometimes the rescue kids require a little more creativity to come up with solutions.

  • So glad she is okay!  We chose a quieter street for kids and pets but some houses are still under construction so it's quite dangerous until the fall at least.  Riley got out once and it was scary!

    Rell Maggie no more adventures!

    • I told her. No more adventures. I swear she thought she had the best time during that little five minute jaunt. She was just as happy as she could be. I'm pretty sure it was the joy of chasing whatever she was chasing.

  • Don't feel bad, Stacy!  Things happen.  My first dog as an adult was a rescue half dachshund and half cocker.  Before I went to get him I got all of the things I needed and had a fence put in  I thought I was ready to go!  We went into the back yard, he immediately went under the deck.  Unbeknownst to me, he found a spot between the flower bed that led directly out to the front yard.  By the time I got to him, he was down several houses by the creek.  I forgot to grab the leash, so here I am crying about what a terrible dog mother I am, and carrying this 45 lb boy back up the hill.  But it did get better!!  I fixed that hole fast!!   lol

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