|Fenway caught red-pawed|
This must be the 15th escape attempt (most of them successful, I might add) since we fenced our backyard three weeks ago. The conclusion is obvious.
My dog doesn't believe in fences.
I should have known that from the beginning; after all, that's how the scruffy little poodle became part of our family nine years ago. I found him as a one-year-old pup, barely out of Huggies, trotting down the center line of a busy road at rush hour.
The vet said judging by the filthy dreadlocks matted to his bony body and the callouses lining his well-tread paws, he'd probably been on the road for many months.
A travelin' man.
This was more than confirmed when we cleaned him up, gave him a crew cut, and hung a collar around his neck sporting a tag that read, "I'm Fenway Coty. Please return me to 833-562-7814."
I can't begin to tell you how many new friends we made from the dozens of neighbors within a 3-mile radius who called that number within the first year. Fenway always appeared overjoyed to see us, leapt wriggling into our arms, licked our faces, and then took off again at the next opportunity.
Eventually the little dickens seemed to work through his born-to-run tendencies and as his hair grayed and energy level diminished with middle age (just like his Mama mia!) he generally stuck close to home. Or at least within a few blocks.
Then came the ill-fated day last month when the new fence went up around the yard to protect the wee grandbuddies playing therein. I could see my betrayal reflected in Fenway's confused eyes as he stared down this slatted foe that taunted him with definitive parameters.
He turned his furry head and looked directly into my eyes, his incredulous look plainly stating, "Are you serious? After all we've been through together?"
I felt like Judas Iscariot.
So now on a daily basis, little Fenners presents me with big innocent chocolate brown eyes and a dirt-encrusted snout. He's clearly risen to this new challenge as testified by neighbors on adjoining streets who've told us he pops over for brief visits and then hurries to pop back under before his homies realize he's gone.
Although Spouse has tried to thwart Fenway's escapes by digging chicken wire into the dirt beneath the fence in all the obvious gaps, Fenway has managed to unearth and exploit all the UNnobvious gaps. He constantly tests the perimeter for weak points like the raptors in Jurassic Park.
I just can't find it within me to stay angry at the little rebel. Fenway simply doesn't believe in fences. That's who he is. I can identify with that. I recall many a time over the course of my life when I've dug my way under boundaries Papa God has erected. Most of the time my forays into the wild have turned out badly. There are penalties to pay. Backtracking to do. Holes to attempt to cover up (but somehow you never quite can).
So I've learned to respect those boundaries and recognize that Papa put them there for my own good. Because He's my Papa and He loves me dearly.
Even when my snout is clogged with dirt.