I have an amazing story to share with you all. It comes from a friend of mine named Lora who lives in Tacoma, Washington. I've heard such stories before but always chalked them up to Urban Legends. This story, I know, to be absolutely true!
Sorry for the long email, but I want to share a good story with you. :)
Most of you have met our cute little Australian Cattle Dog, Sheila. And many of you know our latest challenges with her; after we moved to our new place down by Titlow Beach last year, it has been IMPOSSIBLE to keep her in the yard. Short of putting up a 6 foot chain link fence around the entire half acre, we have tried almost everything. I was considering an "invisible fence", but a friend that had a similar problem with their dog recommended against it. She said the shock was worth getting thru for the freedom. In spite of all the associated training. That would definitely be Sheila.
She seems to have an otherworldly call to run. Therefore, she would break out of the fences and hedge and all the wonderful things David did to try to keep her in the yard. We have a very dense laurel hedge that lines our steep yard, which David lined with fencing, to try and make the hedge an impenetrable fortress. She would climb the fence, go straight thru the hedge, and down the hill. Off to run on the beach (and roll in whatever disgusting dead thing she could find)! She would always come home though, after a while.
Finally, I decided that she just didn't want to be with us, so I, sadly, put a "free dog" ad in the paper. I thought I'd find her a place in the country with acres to run on. I had dozens of calls from people in Graham with a 10 acre farm, etc. Perfect. So we decided on an elderly couple who had recently lost their beloved Australian Shepherd. Very much "dog" people, with several acres, fenced. Horses next door. I checked their place out, then they came to see her and fell in love, of course. She jumped right in their car and was ready to go.
A few days later I called them, she was happy, getting plenty of treats and love. They even let her sleep on the couch (a no-no at our house). She loved driving around town in the pickup with the dad, and running in the acreage.
A few days after that, I got another call. Apparently she had gotten spooked (she is a very spooky dog) when they were dragging a bag of rock salt out of the garage, and "took off like a shot". They jumped in their pickup and chased her. They'd get close and call her, she'd look back at them and then run even faster. They knew they were getting close to highway 512, so they stopped chasing, not wanting her to try and cross the highway. I offered to come down and help look, but they said they would just wait.
Now, about a week has passed, and the temperature has plunged well below freezing. I have been losing sleep over the thought of her out in this awful weather. But, yesterday morning I got a call from my dad, who lives in our old house (the first place Sheila lived with us). He told me they had a visitor. Have you guessed...yes...Sheila! She crossed at least two highways, and God only knows what else, to find us. Over 15 miles! She spent last night on her new bed, in front of the fireplace. Very happy.
Merry Christmas to you all...Love, Lora