My worst fears came to fruition last night.
As many of you know, we've had a lot of snowfall over the past 7 weeks. Right now, my knees are level with the branch that we keep our bird feeder on, one that is usually 3.5 feet up in the air when it is weighed down by the full feeder, and over 5 feet up when the feeder is empty.
The dogs have been making trails around the yard to do their business. There are circles and zig zags. There is one trail straight over to the neighbor Janet's. There is another one to the back fence, where they are making their deposits.
We had a deep freeze and some freezing rain, which has made the snow super hard, hard enough to hold up an 80 pound dog.
Last night, Brodie and Jack figured out that they can just jump/step over the fence.
We were sitting here, Gonzo had come inside but the other two did not. Doug figured they were along the back fence doing what dogs need to do. He waited 10 minutes, and usually by that time Brodie is "knocking" at the door. She stands on her hind legs and jiggles the door handle.
They weren't knocking.
So Doug opened the door and called them -- no stampede resulted.
We figured they had jumped the fence, and suited up with boots and coats to go look for them. Doug went out to the driveway to head to the street, I went into the back yard to see where the low point was and try and dig a trench to prevent future jumpings.
Both dogs were sitting on the other side of the fence wagging their tails... happy to see me. They were obviously confused. They couldn't get DOWN off the high snow to get to the street, so they were running around in the second driveway on the corner ... only, that driveway hasn't been plowed so they were just able to run around and look stupid.
Doug came out to me when I called him to tell him they were here, and he hoisted them back over the fence. Funny angle, difficult stretch, 80 and 55 pound dogs successfully retrieved.
They did it again this morning, only with light they figured out how to get down off the snow. Doug was making coffee and Brodie walked into the patio area outside the kitchen. He opened the kitchen door and found Gonzo and Jack in the driveway. Luckily, they didn't walk down the driveway and out into the street. Usually they stick to the sidewalk when they escape, but there are no sidewalks right now, and they would be hit for sure. So relieved that they were wise enough to run around in the driveway, and that Brodie went where she did, getting in Doug's line of sight, otherwise he would have just gotten in the shower and gotten ready for work.
So now we have a "No Dogs Outside Without Adult Supervision" rule. I have a huge sign on the door for Geoff in case I am not here when he gets home, letting him know this. His routine is to come home, let the dogs out, make snack, let the dogs in...
I cannot wait for spring at this rate.