The Great Escape (Attempts) – Part 1

My puppy Aiya is always on the go and can get mischievous in her attempts to escape! Read on to find out more…

1. It’s all about timing

Aiya’s first semi-successful escape attempt comes when my mum is here – partly to help with the puppy, but mainly to help me search for my recently lost sanity. I’ve taken the dogs out in the garden while she brews up a pot of much-needed tea. I’m finished considerably sooner than expected and rush joyfully back inside, just as mum is crossing through from the kitchen to put the milk back in the fridge. Time seems to stand still for a moment, with the open stair gate leading through to the rest of the house creaking on its hinges – a Narnia wardrobe to an 11-week-old puppy! And then she acts, leaping through it before anyone can grab her young, collar-free neck. We lunge after her far too late and see her fluffy bottom prancing through to the lounge, tail high, ears back – a pup on a mission. She’s racing a circuit around the room – over the cream carpet, crashing into the tall set of shelves on top of which we store our china (they clink ominously, a taunting reminder that I meant to move them to a more secure location before puppy arrived), then a gazelle-like sidestep around the new leather sofa (a poorly timed purchase). In all the excitement she’s not sure what to do next, where to go, and that moment of hesitation is all I need. Escape attempt failed!

2. Look what I learnt…

This escape attempt, once again, is not in the slightest bit my fault (naturally). As well as our troublesome pup, I should also mention the presence of our black Labrador, whom we have affectionately named as Aiya’s uncle. He is charged with teaching her the ways of the world: dinner is at 5pm, don’t chew shoes, the humans don’t like it when you poo on the hall carpet (even though it feels much nicer than all that scratchy grass!) – and hopefully a few other basic house rules. However, on the day in question, Uncle Fudge decided to teach our impressionable new arrival that the stair gate is futile. With one swift leap he is over it and off, forgetting about his young niece in his quest for stray crumbs – like all Labradors, he is governed by his stomach. It takes Aiya just a few scrabbling attempts, front paws hooked over the top of the stair gate and back paws cycling wildly through the air, before she figures out the benefits of a run-up and she’s over as well. Once again, she heads for the lounge, this time seemingly to find us and excitedly let us know about her latest achievement. Foiled again.

 

3. Delivering freedom

In this day and age (and with a young puppy to boot!), by far the easiest way to do the food shopping is online. It seemed so simple – a few clicks, choose a delivery date and bingo, the cupboards are restocked without ever having to leave the house in my bedraggled state and with a constant fear of what I would find when I returned. However, this nifty plan all relies rather heavily on my not being an idiot. For example, when the doorbell rang, I should have shut the puppy safely in another room, rather than merrily flinging open the door and watching her race gleefully past me into the big wide world (at this point I would like it noted that for this particular incident I will be shifting the blame to my thoroughly sleep-deprived state). Thankfully, this was puppy’s first experience of there being a world outside our house and fear froze her to the spot. Sinking as low to the front lawn as she could go, ears pinned back against her tiny head, she was almost grateful as I scooped her back up into my arms and took her back inside to tell Uncle Fudge all about her latest life discovery!

To be continued…

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