Monday, December 28, 2009

Jilly at home with her new Christmas toy.

Jilly: A good dog comes home when she’s called. Finally.

Jilly ran away from home today and I didn’t even know she was gone. How did that happen? Well, earlier today we had new internet and phone service installed in our home. The installer left the gate open on the side of the house and I didn’t notice until after I let Jilly out in the backyard.

Big mistake. I know. Especially because Jilly has a history of running away and not coming when she’s called.

Three years ago, when we adopted Jilly from Guide Dogs, she was being ‘career’ changed because, she wouldn’t come when she was called. They called it puppy training issues. I called it a good dog with bad messages.

It’s taken me a lot of time, treats and training to get Jilly past most of these bad messages. Some, I know will never go away. But Jilly and I have worked hard to get past the big one, coming on command. And we’ve made huge progress this year.

She played on the beach, off leash, and stayed close to me. She follows me up and down the street off leash, too. Now, she’ll even run from one end of the street to the other between my husband and I and not run away.

So today, when I found the gate open, I whistled for her. When she didn’t come running to me, I used the ‘call’…Jilly, where am I? No response. Ok, I responded with quite a few @#$$##@@ but we won’t print that here.

Then I ran in the house, put on my coat and Michael got the car. As he turned off our street to the left, I went to the right looking for her. Michael hadn’t even gone ½ block when he tooted the horn, there she was!

I stopped, turned and yelled, “Jilly, where am I?” She started running right to me and I started running for home. She followed me, passed me and ran right up our driveway into the garage and sat on the rug in front of the door looking up at me. What did I do? I gave her a treat and a kiss, of course. Then I told her what a good dog she was to find her way home. And come when she was called…finally.

That makes my year happy new or old.

Then I locked the gate!


goldenbird said...

Thank goodness that story had a happy ending. Good girl Jilly! I fear my indoor cat getting loose ... it's so scary when that happens.

Susan Gallacher-Turner and Michael Turner said...

I know what you mean about your cat, mine, luckily just wanders about the backyard and only on nice days. I think it helps that I have a catnip plant in my garden...keeps her occupied when she wanders outside.

I'm glad it ended happily too...and all my hard work training her paid off, finally!!!