Monday, April 4, 2011

Mystery Escape

Otto, the fearless leader

When we leave our home for an outing there is a complex string of tasks regarding the animals that must be executed for their protection. The dog door must be capped from the inside keeping all canine beasts in the house and out of the yard. A gate must be placed between the kitchen and living room leaving Otto and Maive, the big dogs, on the living room side and Rock, a JRT, and the cat on the kitchen side. The door which connects the kitchen and laundry room must be latched to remain open 4" so the cat can access her food and litter box without the company of the JRT. We exit the kitchen door (our house is a "back door is the front door" kind of a house).

Yesterday the family and I set out for a morning of egg blowing and brunch with friends (that's another post, folks.) I let the chickens out of their coop to graze the yard while the dogs were locked in and we were out.

When we returned Maive, one of the big dogs who likes to hunt, was darting wildly around free range style - not in the fenced in dog yard mind you - free like a bird.... bird.... bird?..... the chickens!! Wait! Rock, the JRT, and Otto are both barking at me from the yard! The cat!

Maive, the huntress and Houdini

I tell the boys to wait in the car until I determine who is alive and who is dead. I approach the house and the door is already open. What the? In the kitchen I see the cat sleeping happily by the fire. Phew. But the gate is still up. Huh?

Max and Evan ignored my request and when I came back outside to tell them they could get out Max was yelling "The chickens are alive! I found them! They are alive! They are behind the barn! How's the cat?!" "Alive!" I say.

I will never understand how the door got open, Maive got out, the dog door got open, and Rock got on the other side of the kitchen gate with Otto and out into the yard. Critters sure do keep you on your toes. I can't tell you how many times I wish I had a surveillance system.

All is well that ends well. But what about the next time I leave the house?

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