Monday, 7 May 2012

You'll never walk alone...

We’ve had Mila for nearly 7 months now and in that time she has only attempted to take herself for a walk twice. 

I’m proud that it has only happened twice – because, thanks to some incredible stupidity on my part, she has certainly had a few chances to leave us and often decided that an extended snooze is more inviting. One morning I went out for a run while Mike was still asleep to return an hour later to find the front door wide open and Mila standing in the doorway waiting for me to return. I had obviously been so excited about my morning jog (yeah right) that I had left the house without realising that I hadn’t closed up behind me. Mila had had every opportunity to leave while I was out but, like the good guard dog she is, had decided to keep an eye on the house for me instead.

The first time she decided to chance her arm at a solo walk was bright and early on a Saturday morning last December when I let her out the back to go to the toilet, forgetting that we had left the gate around the front open the night before. Very calmly, she walked outside, did her wees and then kept walking. Around the house, down the stairs, out onto the footpath and along our normal walking route. We were having a bit of a lazy morning at our place and she had obviously decided that our usual saunter down to the café for a coffee just wasn’t coming quickly enough. I probably would have panicked more if the sight of a large black greyhound trotting down the road in bright purple jarmies hadn’t been so hilarious. I jumped in the car and followed her as she calmly wandered down the road, pulled over and opened up the boot. The promise of a ride in the car was just too much and she was in like a flash – a quick drive around the block and we were content enough to be back home and asleep on the couch. 

The second time was yesterday when we were out in the garden doing our bi-annual section maintenance. Using wheeli-bins and bricks, we had (very cleverly, we thought) cordoned off a wee area of the back yard so Mila could be outside in the sunshine, pretending to be part of the action, while we worked away uninterrupted.  Somehow – and I am starting to think that she can walk through solid objects – she bypassed our elaborate security system and was suddenly standing right beside me. Of course, we had let her spend the day lazing around the house inside without her collar on and hadn’t put it back on yet – so when she turned up at my side, I had nothing to grab on to. So, here I am attempting to lead her back into the house as calmly as possible, bent almost in half with my arm resting casually around her neck, when we get to the wheeli-bin road block. I need my hands both to keep guiding Mila back inside and to move the bins, which I fail at completely, ending up with the bins going nowhere and the Greyhound backing out of my grasp. I can see exactly what Mila is thinking as she takes one last look at me (presumably to gauge how much trouble she is in), turns tail and races away. Not even a visit to the rabbit cage to check up on her buddy Otis to slow her down!

The speed at which she left the property suggested she was on a mission - and miles away before we could leave ourselves. A quick scan up and down the road and I couldn’t see her anywhere. So we tried the car trick again…this time with two cars – one for me and one for Mike. Around the block, down to the park (where there were tonnes of very exciting looking dogs, children and ducks), down to the bike track and over to the shops…nothing. So I decide to head home to meet back up with Mike and decide on our next move. I pull into the driveway to find Mike and Mila standing at the top of the stairs. Turns out that Mila made it only as far as two doors down before finding something interesting to sniff.  We might be dealing with a trained chaser, capable of covering large distances in seconds – but luckily for us, we are also dealing with a dog who is easily distracted by things that smell nice.

Today’s lesson? The cobbled together wheeli-bin/brick barrier is not greyhound-proof – the dog is just pretending she can’t get out when really she just can’t be bothered.  Also, an escapee dog is a sure-fire way to get out of having to do any more gardening. Perhaps I should be thanking her after all.

This is Mila roaching after her exciting day out and about. She is SOUND ASLEEP - and apparently very comfortable!! If only we could all sleep like that...


  1. George has been known to decide to explore the farm 20 metres up the road from us. Cattle-stops aren't greyhound-stops - he sails over in a single bound. We don't! The 'call of the wild' is a powerful thing :-) Like Mila, he comes to a halt at the first interesting smell, which almost always happens in the driveway before he goes over the cattle-stop. In fact, his attention span is so short that he's never got down to the farm itself, as the cattle-stop and gate are near the top of the drive.

  2. Our Jimmy has made like Houdini twice and we know That Look all to well! The quick glance over the shoulder, the confident "Yep, see you later..." He's neer got out with his PJs on though - maybe that's the secret. His are not very manly so maybe he's too shamed to go far!

  3. Our Sparkie took himself home the other day when my partner was out walking our two greys! He was giving him some off leash time down by a creek & he was being ever so good until he just decided to take off. He didn't stop to sniff anything - just tore down the creek, over the bridge, over the road (luckily no cars came by) and straight to our front door. Luckily I was home @ the time and passing the front door as he arrived. He looked ever so proud of himself, but here I was wondering what had happened to the other two! I walked out the front door to see them tearing up the path from the creek. We were very lucky!