Some of you have met Cody and readers of this blog know him as the dog that Husband and I adopted from NYC Shiba Rescue as a brother for Tiki the Wonder Dog. Cody’s middle name is Houdini, since he has the uncanny ability to escape from any situation. He can flatten his body and if his head can fit through something, the rest of his body easily follows. Knowing this, we are very careful about the situations to which Cody is exposed. For example, while both Tiki and Cody can jump a 5 foot fence in a single bound, Tiki respects barriers in a way that Cody does not. So, as a result, the dogs rarely go to the dog run anymore – its just too stressful wondering if you will have to chase Cody through Manhattan.
This weekend though, we took both dogs to the Catskills to visit Husband’s aunt. The plan was to spend the weekend walking the dogs through the snow covered mountains and getting some exercise and relaxation. Unfortunately, both Husband and I came down with colds and spent most of the weekend napping.
We were taking just such a nap on Saturday afternoon (Cody’s second birthday) and both dogs were happily napping on the bed with us. The door to the bedroom was cracked open so that the warmth from downstairs permeated the room and all four of us were completely content. A perfect birthday snooze.
Suddenly, we were awoken by a yell that the dogs got out of the house. We were up and dressed in a flash and outside calling the dogs. These are city dogs that are never off leash and have pretty poor recall. Plus, the snow had a thin coating of ice so that the 30-pound dogs could easily walk on it, but as adult humans weighting slightly more than 30 pounds, we fell through into knee deep snow. There was no way to chance them through the woods on foot so Husband got in the car and followed along the roads while I waited in the hopes that the dogs would circle back. The only saving grace was that while neighbors are few and far between, so are cars so we were not concerned about a dog getting on the road – in fact, we would have preferred it.
A bark. A call from Husband and Tiki was in the car. While the word “come” does not entice Tiki at all, the call of “Do you want some Cheese?” Had both dogs running to Husband. Cody wriggled away but Tiki was caught and locked in the car. Cody came circling back. I tried every dog trainer trick I know. I did an Emergency Stop. No luck. I tried running away from Cody in the hopes he would chase me. Nope. I also tried falling (well, it was slippery so I didn’t really have to try that hard) in the hopes that Cody would come to investigate. Nothing.
Husband jumped out of the car and chased Cody on foot. Cody darted in and out of bushes, wagging his tail and enjoying his game. Husband fell into the snow in defeat. I was crying. Husband was swearing. We were devastated. For a brief moment, I envisioned life back with just Tiki. With no doggie that would spoon me while I was napping on the couch, not being awoken by kisses at exactly 7am daily and walks without having to be ever-vigilant about potential food sources that a dog would try and eat (that includes hot dogs out of the hands of children who pass too close) – life suddenly seemed bleak. Unacceptable.
Then, miraculously, a neighbor came out and asked if we had lost a child. I explained we had lost a dog and, hoping that the neighbor would have dog treats, I asked if he had a dog.
“No,” said Neighbor. “I have a cat.”
“Cat?” I suddenly got excited. “Do you have a fish-based cat food?” Cody loves fish and I was hoping this would lure him to us.
Neighbor disappeared and returned a few minutes later with a Tupperware container of dry cat food.
“Cody,” I called sweetly. “Do you want some din-din?” I shook the food as extra enticement. Suddenly, Cody ran over, eager for the treats in the bowl. I slipped the leash on his and hugged him. Cody looked at me like I was insane. After all, he had just had the best birthday fun imaginable. And, having my dog safe, well that answered every thing I would have wished Cody on his birthday anyway.
We got the dogs back, gave them extra treats and rawhide bones and refused to let them out of our sight the rest of the day. Cody may have had the best 2nd birthday he could imagine, but in doing so, he took at least 2 years off my life.