Good Times, Bad Times
My Personal New York Fashion Week

See Beau Run


So I casssssssually mentioned in Monday's post that Beau is a runner. That was...ever-so-slightly understating the situation by like, fourteen million words. 

His foster mom warned us about it: Keep him on the leash at all times outside, even within the fence. Don't open car doors until you've got a firm grip on it. Watch him around doors in the house, because he can bolt out like a flash. And the more you chase him, the faster and farther he'll go, because YAYAYAY THIS GAME IS FUN LET'S KEEP RUNNING FOREVER.

Both Jason and I had dogs just like that growing up, so we assured her we understood the behavior and would be very, very careful. And we'd thoroughly explain the situation and need for caution around opening doors to the boys.

Yeah that's going GREAT.

On Friday night we went out for a quick dinner. I put Beau in his crate and went outside to the car. Noah was still inside, trying to track down a full selection of screens and chargers and whatnot, and suddenly I looked up and Beau -- off leash, not yet tagged or chipped -- went shooting out of the garage and over to our neighbor's yard.

"I'm sorry!" Noah wailed. "He sounded so sad!"

I'm pretty sure I felt a significant portion of my brain physically explode as I jumped out of the car. Beau was still close by and spotted me, but instead of moving towards him, I turned around and ran back to our car.

Sure enough, he chased me, then excitedly jumped up into my open car door. Where Jason promptly tackled him and took him back inside.

"Noah." I said quietly, in the ohhhhhh you are in for it now Tone. You know the one.

"Do not. Ever. Do that. Again."

At dinner I held their screens hostage while we talked AGAIN about the crate and the leash and the doors doors doors whyyyyy do we have a house with so many doorrrrrs. 

The next morning I went right to the pet store and got Beau a tag, and all final holdout discussions about possibly changing his name were shut the fuck down, because NOPE. Not going through that again. 

Except we totally did, the very next bloody day. 

Noah and Ezra were outside playing basketball, which was distressing Beau greatly. I was still in my PJs and puttering around doing housework, and Jason was out back working on his new raised garden beds. Ike put on his coat and opened the front door to join his brothers, and MOM MOM MOM BEAU'S OUTSIDE BEAU'S OUTSIDE.

I ran outside and tried to repeat the trick from Friday, but unfortunately the car was locked, so Beau would chase me for a bit, then veer right past me and continue on running. The kids were running all over the place and making everything even more chaotic. I shrieked for Jason "KEEP A VISUAL KEEP A VISUAL," sent the kids back inside and went to grab the first jacket/shoe combo I could find, which was a big heavy North Face parka and a pair of knee-high rubber rain boots.

These were very unfortunate choices, because Beau took us on an hour-plus-long adventure through dozens and dozens of backyards and front yards and wooded common areas. It was the 2016 Trespassing 5K. 

We'd get close to him, and he'd take off. (MY KINGDOM FOR A LEASH.) He'd chase us a bit but zoom right past at lightning speed. Pedestrians tried to help, one homeowner offered to open his door and tempt Beau with some treats, we waved like idiots at passing cars to warn them that there was a tiny brown dog weaving back and forth across the street RIGHT THERE, and no, we couldn't just walk over and PICK HIM UP, those stubby legs are fueled by the very fires of hell.  

(I also want to remind you of the visual here, of me in rubber rain boots, Christmas pajama pants, sweating my ass off in a big heavy puffy jacket, and Jason covered head to toe in mud and topsoil, looking like he just buried a body.)

Eventually we sort of gave up on actually catching him, but resigned ourselves to keeping him in our line of sight until he tired himself out or cornered himself somewhere. We apologized to multiple homeowners for our casual trespassing through their yards, occasionally tried sitting or lying down in the grass in hopes he'd come over for some petting/face licks, then would sigh, get back up and start running after him again. 

Finally. FINALLY, he ran through an open gate of a fenced backyard. We had no idea if anyone was home but we were officially out of fucks to give and followed him in. The gate clearly had not been shut in YEARS, but I maniacally fought with the rusty hardware until I got it loose and slammed it closed and locked it. Okay. Provided the yard was in fact, fully fenced, there were no escape routes. This was going to be where it ended.

He ran around in circles for I don't even know how long, while Jason and I stood by panting in exhaustion, waiting for him to realize the game was over. Finally, he went back to the gate and stood still just long enough for Jason to grab him. 

He immediately leaned over and started licking my face, and he wagged his tail contentedly the entire walk home, while Jason kept a death grip on him and his harness. He'd covered several miles of territory, easily, and it took Jason and I little while to even figure out where the hell we were in relation to our house. 

(Meanwhile, the boys had gotten alarmed by our extended absence, and wandered off to look for us. Then they went to a friends' house and informed his mother that "our parents went to look for our dog and never came back." She eventually showed up at our house with them, where Jason and I stood there slackjawed and still breathing heavily, having ZERO IDEA THEY WEREN'T EVEN IN THE HOUSE. I assumed they'd taken advantage of the situation to play Xbox in the basement. Oh. Okay. So my children were technically missing there for a few minutes too. Sorry, I only have the bandwidth to panic about one living creature at a time.)

It would be great if the story ended there, right? You would really think that would be the end of the story. 

(Last night...)

"Hey kids, it's recycling night. Can you take the bins down to the curb?"

"Sure Mom!"

(Two motherfucking seconds later...)


Yep. Noah went out first and opened the garage, Ezra opened the inside door a few seconds later and bam. Out. Again. 

Jason was furious at the kids but really that one was our fault. We knew recycling involved opening doors to the outside and should have had Beau restrained or contained ahead of time. WE'RE LEARNING. SLOWLY. THE HARD WAY. WE'RE ALSO GETTING A LOT OF CARDIO. 

This time I didn't even bother with a coat or shoes, another regrettable choice because DAMN IT WAS COLD. I was on "keep a visual" patrol and Jason hopped in the car, hoping to tempt Beau in for a ride. 

He didn't get quite as far this time, but darted back and forth across the street a couple times, and considered and calmly rejected getting into the back of the minivan. Neighbors came out to watch our antics and literally held their breath as he stood by the van thinking about it, and then were all "NOOOOOOO!" when he turned and ran away instead.

Finally he paused at a hydrant while I opened the passenger side door and got in, and at that point Beau was like, "OH OKAY SURE" and jumped onto my lap.

This morning I took him in the backyard for some exercise (with leash attached, because I no longer trust our fence or our gates or probably any containment system short of an impenetrable bio-dome) and tried to figure out some tricks to get him to actually come to me when he's in full-on runner/chase mode. He is tagged and chipped (although not a lot of good those will do when he's running off into the sunset away from all civilization). We've locked the front storm door so we all have to stop and think about Beau's whereabouts before opening it. (He can jump and push it open anyway, so the lock is already a must.) I'm gating off the inside door to the garage and Jason is installing secondary back-up latches on our fence gates. I have extra leashes so there's always one handy to quickly hook him up in case of an unexpected visitor or someone spacing on the whole Door Thing In General. 



(Who, me? What?)



my pointer was like this, OMG the few times he was off leash were fucking hellllllllllll (yes with that many l's) the only trick that ever reliably worked was finding some poor person walking their dog and then paying attention to that dog because jealousy, it burns. Good luck, be vigilant and hope he outgrows it?

Also OBEDIENCE, so many obedience classes because he is a terrier and they are remarkably stubborn and resistant, but hopefuly it will help :)


You're probably inundated with training advice but implementing "touch" (where he comes up to nudge you and gets a treat) is a trick you can practice and practice with low stakes, which is good bc yelling "COME HERE" at a dog that's playing keep away is never a good look (talk to me about the three hour dog park visit some time. Talk to me about it. I dare you.

Gail Z

It seems Beau has lots of energies! You could try taking him for bike rides, him ON LEASH, and you riding the bike. Plus you can wear out the kids too.


Ahhhh, welcome to life with a runner. We've got one. And she's part pit, so she also has the advantage of scaring the crap out of people as she runs toward OUTSIIIIIIIIIIDE and also chipmunks and rabbits and birds and all the prey.

Pro tip: even once you get your own children fully trained regarding proper door technique, there's still a chance you'll come out of the bathroom to find that the neighbor kids have... "Why is the back door open? Talia, what are you doing here? WHERE IS THE DOG?!?!?"


Lots of people just keep a leash on a new dog all the time. More stuff to grab at in case of escape or rule breaking.


Oh my gosh. So funny. I love the description of your husband's appearance. That was the best. Thanks for sharing.


2016 Trespassing 5K
That is perfection! What a stinker.

Kari Perry

Aaaaand you are now the neighborhood's favorite reality show. Picture it, middle of dinner "Storch's are in pursuit again!" All run to the window. That's my role on our street as our Chihuahua can apparently dissolve through doors and gets out and runs for freedom like we hold her hostage. I've worn innumerable awful outfits in pursuit of this tiny little hell hound. Good thing I love her. LOL


2016 Trespassing 5K. This will make me laugh for DAYYYYYYYYS.


Oh, but that little face!!!


Our neighbors used to have a dog who was a runner (also named Beau!), he was generally seen running down the busy street like he was being chased by the flames of hell. I don't think my anxiety could handle that.


My Lola was a runner, the more I chased the more she ran. There is nothing like tramping through the neighbor's yard at 8 am while wearing P.J's. Lola would take off for hours, whoring all over the neighborhood. Once some kids found her brought her back to us. They had renamed her Unicorn Cupcake. Whenever she would run my husband and I would say. Lola's gone all "Unicorn Cupcake" again. It's extremely stressful, I feel your pain sister girl.


We have a terrier who is a runner as well. We have had a lot of success with a metal thingee in the yard that screws into the ground with a long leash attached to it (tie down? something like that), which we put him on when we're all outside with him because it's a lot more reliable than a fence and but it gives him a little more space to run around. Just make sure you use a leash that he can't chew through and a harness so he doesn't wiggle out of his collar. We took a "recall" class that was very helpful as well. Terriers.. they are the best of times, they are the worst of times.


I'm laughing but this is SO familiar. I wouldn't trade my beagle for anything, but sometimes I do longingly stare at those families that can take their dog on leisurely off-leash walks. You've got the right idea with extra latches, gates, and always locked doors inside the house. We also have a fenced in yard AND an electric fence because one wasn't enough to contain her. (She needs both the visual of the fence and the slight shocks from the electric fence to keep her from running into the next county.) Also... She's six. So I'm not sure it's ever going to get better bc she hasn't grown out of it yet. And I'll warn you now, Halloween with the doorbell and door opening/closing a billion times, just go ahead and crate him the whole night.


2 words. Electric fence. And a good trainer to teach him about getting shocked if he leaves the yard. Smart dogs get it quickly and then never get shocked again. A squirrel can be 2 feet in front of my dogs' noses and they just stand there barking with frustration. And it takes care of the front yard too.


Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Also, I think you need to put one of the runs to music. What soundtrack would you create? I'm hearing lots of DMX.


My LT is a runner, and that is fun when we have house guests or my friends kids are over. Mine will run back if he hears the car locks. But that's only helpful if I have the keys in my hand before he is away. like in playground parking.


One thing that has worked really well with my dogs is a trick where you suddenly collapse on the ground and pretend to cry. Beau will come over to save you! Might work especially well if you get one of the boys to do it.


Try finding a squeaky toy that he really REALLY loves....then don't let him have it until he escapes, then squeak it like crazy and reward him with it when he comes...then put it up again til the next time. Worked great with my greyhound...


If you have a hallway to the door that is able to be spanned by one of those metal tension gates that has a an automatically closing gate you can walk through that keeps the dog away from the door entering or exiting. Our St. Bernard would get out like that and 150 lbs of dog pushing past you is hard to stop. Shredded cheese was also a thing. If we got the bag and shook it she would come. We trained them by sprinkling it on the kitchen floor so she would know what it sounded like.

Amy in StL

OMG, I've had two foster dogs that were runners, the beagle would slip out of his harness while walking and take off. The little spaniel I thought i had figured it out; until the A/C guy came early and I opened the front door and out he went. Luckily, one of my dogs came with me and they started to play chase and when my dog came to me so did the other. but OMG, worst thing ever.


This is one of those posts that I feel bad laughing with... I feel so bad for you. All you want to do is keep the little dude safe... but Noooooo!


Cesar Milan. Totally cured our dog of that.


We got a rescue and I chased her repeatedly. I thought she was a runner. A year later we can walk her off the leash, she stays close when I'm bringing in groceries and she always comes when called. It actually makes me a little sad, because clearly she wasn't a runner she was just trying to get home, but now that home is more problems.


Totally second the recommendation for the electric fence. Makes all the difference in the world, takes a smart dog (which I am SURE Beau is!) only a day or two to get it, and it will secure your front yard as well as the back. And until you get the electric fence? Scat mats. They're like little doormats that vibrate when a doggie steps on them, freaking him out but not harming him-- put one in front of or just outside every door in your house that leads to the great outdoors.

Emily Crosby

We just hired a very pricey dog trainer to get our small terrier mix under control. He fixed years of bad behavior in minutes with an electric shock training collar. Everything from barking/growling at neighbors, wanting to murder small children, running at open doors. Dogtra is the brand he recommends. Will work for up to 400 yards away. If it will keep your new little guy from getting run over, its worth it! It only takes a few corrections too before they get it and learn what not to do. We are SO HAPPY!


Oh good lord, I'm tired just from reading this. I hope you guys figure out a method that works, short of leashing him to your waist at all times.

Worker Bee

Your post brings back hilarious memories of our sweet dog who was also a runner. He was truly the best dog we've ever had, but he never outgrew the running. He got slower with age, making it easier to catch him and thankfully, he didn't try as hard to escape as he got older. Despite the running, we loved him immensely and miss him very much.

Donna P

LOL. Beau looks like a very, VERY good dog to me!


Recall training sessions with an "emergency" recall word. Pick something unusual; not here or come. Example: unicorn Put the dog on a long lead, let him run it out, then say unicorn excitedly several times while reeling him in. Reward with lots of high value treats/high value toy that he only gets for this emergency recall. Repeat as necessary until he will drop everything and come back for this word.


Oh, I am so thankful that our rescue pup is not a bolter - we don't even have a fenced yard. We'f be in so much trouble.He haas the opposite problem - separation anxiety, don't leeeeeaaavvveee me. So we've hired an expensive trainer (5x the cost of the rescue, but we get training for the life of the dog,) and we are working it out. Because damn - I am too busy providing structure for the kids, figuring out how to provide it to the dog at the same time is beyond me right now. And yep - I got me a special needs dog to go with my special needs kids. Dang cute, though.


Double comment - and hell, I wish I could spend a couple of Benjamins and figure out how to teach the kids what they need to know!


I am so sorry I laughed, but damn you tell a good story. The fires of hell fueling Beau's feet.
The electric fence saved me and my dogs life. We live on a super bus road. Took one zap while training her and she learned quick. Most days she doesn't have her collar on, but she still remembers the zap and it has been 8 years since we installed it. Best $1200 ever spent.

Beth Funston

My dog is a runner too. Playfully one day I decided to put her on my treadmill, slow speed of course -- she loved it! Now I have her walked the treadmill at least once or twice day. After a couple of months. No more running away. I mean she still does occasionally, not as far. At least not every time the door opens.


One word for Bo: decaf


We have a 75 lb chow that's a runner. Plus he's a total dick around other dogs, so win/win for me. He outweighs the girl by 10 lbs and he has quickly figured out she's the weak link, he will bulldoze her over to escape. Our neighborhood is full of dogs so we keep his harness and leash on 24/7. He uses his neck rolls to slip out of collars, so in a harness he stays. We keep a stash of treats on the table by the door to distract him long enough so we can get out.

Jenn H

I laughed all the way through this (2016 trespassing 5k-- pure GOLD!) because it's was so relatable. I have chased my runaway dog upwards of 100 times. She is now 12 (TWELVE!) and still runs away every time she smells a cracked door. And I have 5 chronic-door-opening children. It's a losing battle over here. We've tried EVERYTHING. I've resorted to introducing all my neighbors so they're in a first name basis. Thank goodness my dog ("Doggie"-- it's like the universe knew she needed a generic name because EVERYONE AND THEIR MOTHER would be yelling it as they chase after her through the neighborhood) is cute.
We're hoping she realizes how old she is any day now.


Ahhahaaha, I'm sorry, but hilarious. Love the visual. My Jack Russell Terrorist (mix) requires an invisible fence, for us it worked like magic and changed my life, highly recommend. Also, lots and lots of positive reinforcement for coming when called (because he would still run from us in the yard and refuse to come inside, especially right before bed at night, awesome, I loved that). He would also get himself trapped under the 1' high deck (requiring boards to be pried up to free him, on 3 occasions- one being in the morning, before work on a 95° day, love dogs). Whoa, sorry to vent, I hope your dog does none of that. It will get better! This has brought back a lot of traumatic memories, we were frequent visitors to dog shaming those first few years! Terriers, sooo infurating, so cuddly.


If you feel the need to change his name, might I suggest in Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world. Hahaha. Beau/Bolt...kinda sounds the same...he wouldn't know the difference! Also, I didn't read the other comments, but I'm sure everyone has offered advice on catching him when he escapes. The only thing that worked for our dog was a loud and exaggerated, "Come see! What's this?!" (while pointing at something totally bogus on the ground) Our dog was always so nosy and curious, so of course she'd come look and Bam! Caught! :)


omg, that last picture, he is ADORABLE! The visual of you in your pajamas and boots and Jason looking like a grave digger had me lol!


We have a runner. Although we think he is reformed now after a year and a half of having a consistently good home (and no testicles).

One thing that helped was a collar with his name and our phone # on it. You can get them from Petsmart and have been my go-to Christmas gift for years (I replace the whole family's every couple years). The collars have gotten several dogs in my extended family home at different times and we feel much safer knowing that Jasper has that back-up (frontline?) defense along with his chip and tags.


We have a coonhound who is a runner when she catches a scent and can go for miles. We keep a GPS tracker on her, from for peace of mind.

Sue W.

I have no assvice since I've never had a dog. I hope things calm down with Beau as he gets more used to you.


Electric fence has been huge for a friend of mine with a runner, although they reinforce with cheese when dog gets spooked by the fence. Over there is hurty and hear you get cheese.


Gah!! "Here" not "hear."

Mary Ann

I fell down on a hill and dropped the leash and the treat bag one time and off goes the beagle, with all my incentives. So, I'm filthy, bleeding, ripped clothes, limping, standing in the road trying to convince the dog to come, literally incapable of chasing her... And a car kind of stops. "Open your door and call her. She'll come to you."

The dog did, in fact, run to the friendly stranger. Who then gave me a lecture about obedience classes. Then I limped the dog into the house and waited for my husband to come take me for x-rays.

I'm glad your neighbors are nicer than mine were.

Amy A

You should consider getting an English bulldog as a companion for Beau. They are lazy and will only go for a walk under duress (we call them drags and and have pretty much stopped trying, due to possible onlookers' incorrect assumptions--ugh).
Anyway, they are a wonderful breed, love, love, love their families, and are just big, wrinkly babies. It might, maybe (?) put a bit of a damper on Beau's wanderlust, if the bully just kinda won't run along, yo.


You might have already mentioned this, but an invisible fence might be a good idea.

Something like this:


If you have to buy any baby gates, we love this one, it keeps our 80lb pup contained.


We had a dog who did that growing up. He loved car rides though, so all you had to do was open the passenger door of the car, and look like you were getting ready to go somewhere and he's come running. Good luck!


I'm tired and stressed just from reading that! Wow.

So, our dog wasn't nearly as much of a runner, but when she did get out it was a huge game, like Beau. We finally figured out that she would let us reverse the game. When she got pretty far ahead of us, we would turn around, calling her name, and start jogging back home. She would then chase us back home, even if it meant lapping us multiple times. One difference, though, was that she was always careful to keep us within her sight when she ran. So, we knew she wanted the game of chase, not the running.

Another thing was to use a long, long training leash at all times. Seriously, 24 hours a day until she learned recall. It allowed us to train her any time the opportunity arose, but also gave us something to grab if need be. I don't know how well a long leash dragging behind him will work with young children around, though.

Beth Rich

My Oreo likes to sneak out and wander the neighborhood. After 14 years of this, the neighbors know to just yell at him to go home. He shows up on my doorstep barking to be let in. He used to be a sprinter, but he's mellowed. I hope the same happens to Beau.

Lois Crawford

My daughter has this dog's twin. We got to know the neighborhood very well when she got out on one of our babysitting weekends. 3 kids 6 and under. Dog running everywhere. The only thing that got her was the car, and that was only after she was so tired she just wanted a ride home. Good luck with this.


Haha, I say that ALL the time about our most challenging dog: it's a good thing she's cute! I was already thinking that about Beau before I read the end of your story. But seriously, he is SO cute!


Our trainer recommended working on the down stay, and then "down from a distance". Instead of trying to get him to come, I tell him "down, stay" and then I go to the dog and put his leash on. My dog is great off leash but if he sees another dog, he'll bolt, so this training has saved us many times. We did use an E collar to reinforce the training at first but he doesn't need it anymore. If you're not opposed to an electric fence this would be a similar method but works anywhere.


We have a runner....and recently purchased the "Whistle" dog gps tracker. It's given us GREAT peace of mind.


I have no advice for you guys (no personal experience with a runner) but a few other commenters have great ideas, and I hope one or two or some combination works. Even though a tiny part of me kinda hopes you still have funny stories to tell, maybe less exhausting. So good luck! He is certainly a GOOD DOG and soon hopefully an easier one to protect.

Jen S.

I also recommend an electric fence. It's the only thing that worked for our dog. He got the hang of it in one day and now is contained to the back yard and a small portion of the front yard. I first tried a do it yourself one that I ordered on amazon but did not have success with it so I got a professional company to come out and install it and then they also spent some time with the dog training him to understand the boundary flags etc. Well worth the expense!! My Sully is harmless and just wants to play but the joggers in the neighborhood did not appreciate a 60lb dog running after them :)


Not sure if someone mentioned Bark Busters already but I've had luck using their techniques on my runner. Basically, you teach them that they are not allowed to go out the door without permission. Might be worth looking into...


GPS collar, HEAVY clicker training, long lead attached to both harness and collar. NO SHOCK COLLARS.


or shock fences either. nobody who loves their dog has any business shocking it.


I am astounded by the amount of suggestions for using electrocution for dogs. I'm not animal activist, but the thought of electrocuting an animal as part of training is barbaric. There are plenty of alternatives.

(I foster dogs and have recently had a runner in the shape of a Jack Russell Terrier. Two weeks of positive reinforcement training and the adopter could let her off the lead the week he got her. It's longer, harder work, but it does work.)

The Cartoonist

Welcome to the world of a running dog. I'm a husky owner, been there, done that, lived through it. BTW: I'm a new reader and thank you for the link to the at home euth vet... having had to help one cross recently, and having 2 seniors, we may need that info. Anyhooo, there's nothing that says you can't just leave a leash on him during the day while he's in the house. Husky owners do it all the time, and it's easier to leap wildly at the leash and slide on pavement in bare skin than grab a tiny fast moving rocket of a puppy.


I'm sure this has been suggested, but can you have him on a stake with a tie out cable in the backyard? Then you wouldn't have to worry about holding the leash and he could be out with the kids.

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