Why, why, why, why, why
She ran away
And I wonder
Where she will stay
My little runaway
A-run, run, run, run, runaway
Refrain from Runaway, sung by Del Shannon
We’ve had our Akita dog, Sunshine, for 6 weeks now. On day one, she escaped but we found her in our trees. On day 2 she escaped and a tourist from Ontario found her dragging her 15-foot leash behind her at a nearby campground (see RunawayMap.jpg).
So we were very vigilant as to how we walked the dog in the future and how we hooked her up.
Today Sunshine’s “tie-out” was wrapped twice around a tree and the easiest way to get it fixed was to uncouple her, then pull the cable. As I was doing that, Sunshine was startled by a squirrel, turned her head causing me to lose thegrip on her collar. She turned and ran like she was being chased by a mountain lion. I called but she was gone through bushes in less than 2 seconds with no looking back.
I gave chase anyway but saw no sign of her. I called Barbara, gave her a leash and told her to try and intercept her through the bush while I jumped in the truck with another leash and high-tailed it down the highway, knowing that on “Day 2” she got to the campground in only a few minutes.
I was turning at the point where she was found on day 2, and lo and behold, I saw her running up the highway in the “wrong” lane, but directly down the center of it! It was on a hill but I pulled over about halfway off the lane (very narrow shoulder), put my flashers on and got out of the truck. She ran TOWARD but right PAST me, like I wasn’t even there! This was going to be difficult I drove up to where I could turn around and went back to the campground where I noticed a large flock of geese had moved from the property to the water in the cove. Likely Sunshine had been there.
Figuring Sunshine was on a 20 kph tear in the same direction she must be further down the highway so I moved on, driving down someone’s driveway. There was Sunshine. I opened my truck door again (as I had on the highway), called to her and she came running past again, not slowing down at all. Arrrggghhh!
I went back to get Barbara and we drove to the Ocean Stone Resort, down to where the cabins are and spoke to a man in a suit, who put ourinformation in his smart phone telling other staff they would look out for her. “Will she respond to her name?” he asked. I had to laugh and tell him how she ran past me twice, not caring at all who I was, or that she even HAD a name!
We drove even further and on our way back dropped in a few more driveways, including that of our contractor, Paul. He said he would watch out for her and had a dog biscuit in his pocket to entice her. Good luck, Paul.
We went back home and I printed off a photo of the dog so we could show it around. There was a message on the phone from Ocean Stone: they had seen the dog and tried to capture it but were not able to do so. Once again we went back to the Resort to look around, and further down the highway.
We couldn’t find her and we were quite dejected at the thought of her running down the highway or getting lost. After ½ hour of searching we decided to go back home, print some pictures of Sunshine, with our phone number attached and an offer of a big reward for finding her. I had to cancel a 1 PM meeting in Tantallon.
As I approached our house, guess who was standing there, watching us come up the driveway, approaching the porch stairs?
Despite having been spotted almost 3 km away, somehow Sunshine found her way back. (And she did it without too much highway use because we were on it for much of the time). Barbara thinks she came back because she was THIRSTY! She did drink two bowls of water, about 2 litres!
She stood there, and didn’t take off despite not having a leash on her. We brought her in and after all her drinking she laid down and rested.
So did we.
Update: The story above was Escape #3. Since then she escaped twice more...once when she broke her collar (see photo below) and another time when the upper deck gate was left open. She saw it before we did and she was GONE! Again, she returned both times. These actions have certainly made us more astute and cognizant of the ways Sunshine can get away.
Map of her trail: RunawayMap.jpg