Let Freedom Reign

We went to Campbell Valley off leash park today for some Big Air.

We were a little out of practice.

First we got some small air.

Then some FAIL air.

And a combination of the two.

Finally we got some Big Air.
(he did catch this on the way down)

We were really having a super good time!

And then ….

I saw this.

A couple minutes later, I saw this:

A few moments after that, I lifted my head and all I saw …

was this.

For Wootie had, yet again, vanished.

Ever since his Runaway Woo episode a couple of weeks ago, Operation Scare The Shit Out OF The Food Lady has broadened in scope considerably. It now encompasses sub-operation Make TFL Really Stinkin’ Angry, as well as Mission Return Wootie To The Pound. IOW, Mr. Woo is channeling The Littlest Hobo and is making a career out of wandering off – at high speed.

First we lost him while hiking in Belcarra earlier this week. We had a massive pack of dogs with us (here’s about half of them)

…including my newest favourite, Fonzie.

and still, the little furry orange bastid vanished into thin air and was gone for the longest time.

Two nights later, I let all the dogs out for a last pee at midnight and all but Woo returned. I spent half an hour wandering through farmer’s fields in my pajamas and a pair of gumboots, with a city girl’s flashlight, whisperscreaming his name and getting nada in reply. When I got home, I found him peering out at me from behind my van and when he saw me coming he took off down the driveway and tried to hurl himself through the solid matter known as my front door. Because he KNOWS damn well I’m comin’ for him.

There are so many ironies at work here. It is ironic that I have put reliable recalls on about 200 foster dogs in 10 years, but can’t get Mr. Woo to so much as flick an ear in my direction when I call him. It is ironic that last night in agility class, I gave Mr. Woo to Auntie Fiona to run as she was down a dog, and he couldn’t run a whole course with her because it was “too far from Mummy” and he kept running back to sit on my lap. It is ironic that my 5 month old puppy listens better than my 4 year old dog.

*shakes fist at Woo*


Ha ha. You don’t mean that.

Dude, you really shouldn’t try her patience. You are going to be in so much trouble.

Did I mention he is long-line wise? He won’t go anywhere if he’s on a long line (which, incidentally, he sports when he goes out for potties now. The other end is bolted to the porch, until we get ourselves a fence) and, in fact, he won’t go anywhere if he knows I’m watching him. But if I take my eyes off him for 10 seconds, he’s gone like a bat outta hell and he doesn’t come back until he’s darn well good and ready. And what can I say? I don’t have Dexter’s eye, I can’t watch him constantly.

This behaviour is all brand new – it either coincides with Dexter’s arrival, or our move to the Sticks. I think it’s the latter – Wootie was born to hunt, and the countryside is just too full of opportunity for him to indulge his passions.

Neither food, nor the Wootie Toy, holds his attention any longer.

How long do I have to keep this up? I wanna hunt me some wabbits.

Ahem. *I* come when I am called. *I* win the competition run in class every Thursday. *I* am a good dog. Pay attention to me. ME.

Did some say RECALL? I’m coming!!

Me too! Me too!

Oh well. I guess I’m not the worst trainer in the world. After all, I’ve taught Dexter to play with a frisbee!

Dexter, bring it here.


Just kidding. Dexter is very good at fetch now.

Piper: Nature’s Transit System

So … anyone got a GPS system they want to lend me? I can’t track Woo. Maybe a satellite can!!!


  1. oregonsunshine says:

    My Copper likes to take off on me sometimes. Only sometimes though, when he knows I'm really, really distracted. And like Wootie, he always comes home. But, I DO NOT like that behavior! Nor do I like his barking crap at our horse. And I've not gotten him to stop!

    And my Freya hunts. A LOT. Since moving here to this farm in August, it's become her favorite pastime. She's better at it than the cats, all 6 of them combined! However, she is starting to pull the "What? I can't hear you!" routine now from time to time. But, I'm more likely to cut her some slack as she's getting up there in years.

    But, no slack for Wootie! He's not old yet!

    If you solve Wootie's recall issue, let us know. And how did Reudi break Wootie of his sheep issues?

  2. I have a GPS for you. My email is broken right now (much to my dismay), but if it doesn't come back up soon I'll find some other way to get in touch.

  3. painted_ponies says:

    I don't know if you've already tried this, but –
    back in the day, one used a doubled piece of cord a few inches long as kind of a jump ring between the collar and the long line. The theory was that, once the long line was removed, the short piece of cord was still left attached, and the dog, feeling weight on the collar, didn't realize he was free and unfettered and able to cause his owner grief and worry. :-)
    Anyway, best of luck.

  4. Incredible photos and I'm so glad I've found your blog – it's joyful!

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