The Ballad of the Runaway Hamsterdog
That's So Ezra, Part Four Million and Three


Who's a good dog who learned her lesson? Who?


Oh my God, y'all, you guys, people. This dog! This poor old senile blind-ish deaf-ish stupid damn dog.

She'd barely been home from her Big Adventure for a few hours before she made another break for it. I let her outside (collar and tag and license and fully registered microchip all intact), then had a mild panic attack a few minutes later when she didn't return to the door quickly enough.

(I spent most of that day with a touch of low-level dog-related OCD, where the sight of an empty bed or crate would immediately compel me to run around the house to confirm that yes, okay, she still was inside the house.)

But this time the worry was justified. I looked out the family room window and SURE ENOUGH, there was my dog, once again on the wrong side of the fence. At least this time she had enough sense to seem worried about it, as she was mostly just running around in circles like OH SHIT NOT AGAIN WHAT DO I DO?

I ran outside and swooped her up, then took another look at the fence for possible escape routes. I barricaded the gate with old garden containers and plastic Ikea bins, then came inside to lie down for awhile. At least until Happy Hour.

And yet she managed to repeat this stunt TWO MORE TIMES over the weekend. The first time I was still in my PJs and had to send Ezra out into our neighbor's yard with her leash while I tried to find some shoes; the second time Jason happened to be out on the deck and luckily spotted exactly where/how she was getting out. 

She was making a beeline for a loose slat in the far corner of the fence, a slat that looked completely fine from a distance but somehow our little raptor dog had discovered how to nudge it open and slip through. Sneaky smart! Until you get to the part where she had zero idea how to get back through it from the other side. 

(Maybe the memory of all those hand-fed cheese slices at the shelter trumped the whole "I'm lost and terrified and miss my family" trauma?)

Best guess for her sudden out-of-character Houdini-ness is that our new neighbors have a beagle, and Ceiba seems weirdly obsessed with him. They've met a couple times on walks and it was no big deal, but when he's inside and barking at her through the windows, she suddenly and desperately wants to either 1) Get into his yard and find him, or 2) Get into his yard and pee on it just to drive him even more up the wall. 

The loose slat has since been nailed back down securely, along with a general fence inspection and new gate latches. But I've gone ahead and ordered her a harness and one of those retractable yard leash thingies anyway, because my nerves can't take this. (And I imagine our neighbors' yard will also be appreciative.) 




Oh silly Ceiba! We have a now 15 year old dachshund named Weener Dog who we lovingly refer to as Ween-Dini because of his unique ability to find the smallest home to squeeze through and escape.

I bet you're right, it's the memory of cheese :)

Good luck!


You may need to watch the dog, at least from the deck or window, any time she's outside. Leaving a dog with trachea issues unsupervised on a tether may not be the best move either.


So I just called and made appointments to get both of my dogs microchipped after reading your story. I could not handle it. My Jack Russell terrorist would definitely run away given the chance. He kills the batteries in his invisible fence collar three times faster than my lab. No more tempting fate!

Sue W.

Hamsterdog. Craves. Adventure.


Regarding retractable yard leashes and decks, be SO careful. I know two people whose dogs wrapped the leash around something, then jumped off the deck and hung themselves.


Makes me think of my mom's std poodle who is 13 now. This dog used to be quite standoffish with other dogs. But now that she's gone a little gaga she loves. all. dogs. Walks are a lot more interactive now. Good wishes for whatever makes your yard little dogproof and brings peace of mind.






Of course the lead will be in the YARD and not on the deck ( that??) And we ordered a body harness that doesn't touch her neck.

Julie in TX

Yep. We own Houdini too. Our chihuahua was so interested in the golden lab next door (and the feeling was mutual) that we got together with the neighbors and built them a doggie door in the fence. Now they come and go between yards as they please, and they are super friends. However, our dog has now moved on to other yards, ugh. The neighbors 3 houses down with the perfectly manicured yard are not as pleased to welcome her.


I also have a wee Chihuahua with a collapsed trachea. I ordered her an embroidered cat collar (stay with me here), embroidered with her name and my number, instead of having a tag. Mainly because she was waking the baby with her jingly tags. But it seems more comfy for her. Just an idea. From Amazon, like $8 or something. Somebody could probably embroider a harness too if you were so inclined.

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