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Monday, August 14, 2006

Runaway Lab!

Last week was like heaven for us. The family was on vacation all week and our distant family drove up to spend the entire time with us - along with their two small dogs. Needless to say, we had a great time and were often coming and going.

It was early afternoon and I went into the kitchen to give Dakota and Cheyenne their normal mid-afternoon cookie for being so good. Dakota came immediately but there was no Cheyenne. What? Cheyenne is the biggest food hog I have ever seen and she was not the first to heed my "Cookie!" call. Panic set in when I looked on the counter and realized that my husband had taken off both girls' collars because they were playing in the water earlier. A search was set out and all 4 of us ran around the house; opening all doors and cabinets; thinking she was stuck somewhere. She was no where in the house! That was when my heart stopped! My 9-month old Lab baby was not in the house and didn't have her collar on! Sure, she was microchipped but how many people check for them!?! This was crazy - she never goes out of eyesight from Dakota!

We all ran outside the house and checked the backyard. This is where the real panic set in because someone left the gate open! Sure, the girls are trained to stay in the yard when the gate is open but that is when we are paying attention to them. We immediately set out in opposite directions yelling "Cheyenne, want a cookie?". Yes, we weren't playing games and resorted right to pleading with her to come back for food. I decided to even check the neighbors backyard since she will run over there from time to time to see if their golden retriever is outside to play with. No golden retriever and no Cheyenne! My heart was hurting as I thought about us being 1 block from a major street. I yelled out one final plea before heading back to the house: "Cheyenne, want some cheese?". Now I was grasping at straws since cheese is a major treat and given very seldom. Still no response and as I turned to leave the neighbor's yard, I saw Cheyenne running straight for me with her tail wagging and a huge Lab smile on her face. My heart leapt and I gave her the command "Backyard", at which she turned and bolted for our own backyard.

Needless to say, that was the longest 15 minutes of our lives! As it turns out, the two men in our family went out to do something in the garage and didn't notice that Cheyenne was right behind them heading out the back door. As soon as they turned their attention to fixing something in the garage, Cheyenne saw it as her opportunity to check out our other neighbors flower bed. Normally the girls are not allowed to go near those flowers but since no one was paying attention and mommy was in the house, Cheyenne saw it as her opportunity to go exploring. She was only on the other side of our 6 Ft cedar fence the whole time and my husband will never hear the end of it!



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