Friday, May 17, 2019

Husky Houdini

When we moved to Canada we got a husky. We installed a new fence all around the back yard to make it husky-proof. In all the years we had Gypsy, and later Ellie, our Australian Shepherd, we never had a dog escape unless someone left one of the side gates open.

Sadly we lost Gypsy in 2016, but now we’ve added Mishka to the family, a five-month old husky who gets along fabulously with Ellie.

Tuesday afternoon: Panicked call at work from Megan, who’d dropped by home to pick up some groceries. Mishka is missing. Ellie is still there, and the gates are secured, but no Mishka.

Immediate conclusion - someone’s taken her.

Luckily, a neighbor whose property backs on to one of our next-door neighbor’s, called Ali to say she had Mishka. She has two huskies herself, in a fenced yard, and noticed she had mysteriously acquired a third. So, we were glad to have Mishka back but instead of one mystery, we now had two. How did she get out of our yard, and how did she get into our neighbor’s - both supposedly husky-proof?

Tuesday evening: Check the fence all around the back yard. No signs of digging. No loose fencing anywhere. No obvious way for her to get out.

Wednesday morning: Feed dogs as usual and let them loose in the back yard. A little while later, spot Mishka roaming the front lawn.

Conclusion: Somehow, she can escape. So likelihood is that she got out on her own yesterday. No need to assume some stranger had let her out for some reason. From there, our favorite theory is that she found her way through the neighbor’s property to the road behind, and someone found her wandering. It’s possible someone mistakenly though they knew where she lived and let her in with the other huskies.

Wednesday evening: Take Ellie out the front and pretend to go for a walk, leaving Mishka on the deck under covert observation, hoping she’ll repeat her feat and let us see how she escaped. No such luck. A lot of plaintive whining and wandering around on the carport roof, but no jailbreak.

Wait ... what? She’s not supposed to be able to get onto the carport. We have a deck over the garage, with the carport alongside. The roof comes up level with the railing that runs around the deck. Very early on, to stop Gypsy climbing up there, I installed fence panels along the edge of the roof nearest the deck. It stopped Gypsy, but not, apparently, Mishka. She happily squeezed around the end of the fence in the few inches between that and the edge of the roof.

That’s the far end of the fence in this picture. The carport is behind the fence to the left.


More worrying, she then decided to jump into the hedge jutting out and shielding the carport entrance. She floundered in the greenery ten feet above a very hard driveway.


Luckily I was able to reach down from the deck and haul her out. She must have decided that was fun, because she repeated the performance later that evening and had to be rescued again. Not very comforting. What if she did that when we weren’t around?

Regardless, whenever we tried to tempt her to escape again, she went straight for the carport. Current theory is that she escaped previously by jumping down the far side, only a five or six foot drop into the neighbor’s yard because we’re on a hill. But clearly the carport has to be out of bounds.

Thursday morning: New lattice panel added to the deck to act as a deterrent.


Friday: No more escapes. Fingers crossed!


7 comments:

  1. Hi Ian - I remember it well; oh gosh dogs escaping are a worry ... I hope you've resolved it - but at least the neighbours are empathetic. I hope she doesn't decide to do any more high hurdling ... I expect landing in the bushes was fun (for her!) ... but could feel your anxiety - and all those possible scenarios ... let's hope she decides home is a good place to stay. All the best - cheers Hilary

    PS I gather it's a bank holiday - Victoria Day ... have fun ...

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  2. She was very clever! I hope the lattice keeps her in.

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  3. Hilary, looking forward to a long weekend, although it's going to be busy. And I believe your Spring bank holiday is next week?

    Alex, she's too clever by half, but then that's typical of the breed.

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  4. Good luck! We've had dogs before who were adept at climbing fences, and they occasionally went on "walk-abouts." Once, I got a phone call from a fella who'd found one of our dogs about a mile away from home, so I went to get him. He'd been rolling in something reeeeally filthy and had bits of sticky tar in his fur. I almost wanted to pretend he wasn't ours...

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  5. Susan, we've not yet had this problem with a dog. Cats, yes, dogs, no. However, though it might be tempting fate to say so, no more breakouts since then.

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