We do not have a fence around our property. There are coyotes and wild animals around, so we need to be careful when letting our small pets outside.
Riley and Stella, our 2 dogs, are 20 and 12 pounds respectively. That means they need special protection. When they go outside, they are either on a leash or some sort of tether.
Yesterday it was a beautiful day here. Blue skies, white puffy clouds, a slight breeze, and a fabulous 72 degrees. Riley and Stella wanted O.U.T. I was trying to work and couldn’t stop… didn’t want to stop… to take them for a walk right then. So I put each one on a leash and wrapped the leashes around a porch post. I’ve done this hundreds of times before. They have a medium distance they can wander, I can see them from my office, they get some fresh air, and I get to continue working. It’s a win/win. Well, it has always been until yesterday.
Every now and then I look out my office to check how things are going outside. Usually Riley is sitting, relaxing in the sun, and Stella is jumping on him trying to get him to play with her. I expected that, and that’s what I saw yesterday, the first 3 times I checked. The 4th time I looked, however, Stella was gone. Riley was sitting at attention, looking right at me…. probably wondering why I was such a bad parent, why I hadn’t noticed Stella missing right away.
I raced outside, and started calling Stella by name. Riley was pulling on his leash, so I unwrapped it from the porch post. He started pulling me up our driveway, looking back every few steps to be sure I was following him. Our driveway is long, really long …. and leads up to the main road. My heart, which was pounding already, skipped a few beats, as I realized where Riley was taking me. (I’ve got to admit I had a flash-back to the days that I used to watch “Lassie.”)
When I got to the road, I called Stella’s name again. She didn’t come, and I didn’t see her. I knew I was going to need to get in the car to go look for her. I ran into the house, grabbed my phone and keys, and headed to the garage. Just as I got the garage door open, Stella came running down the driveway. I’m not sure where she had been, and at that moment I didn’t really care. I just cared that she was back.
So the title of this post is “Coincidence or Intent.” A few days ago, when Stella was outside tied to the post, I saw her chewing on her leash. She’s still a puppy, really, so that didn’t surprise me. I just put a different leash on her. So yesterday, when she was chewing on her leash again…. was it coincidence or intent? Did she know with a certainty that if she chewed long enough on the leash she would have freedom? We’ve only had Stella for 3 months, and her history with her previous owner is unclear. Has she done this before? Did she know what she was doing? I’m not sure. But if she does it again, my answer will definitely be “intent.”