The other night I did what I usually do while cleaning, and tossed Dexter outside into the fenced yard. It’s fenced with five foot chain link on three sides, and a 4 1’2 foot stone retaining wall on the fourth. The only dog it hasn’t been able to hold is Tula, who we discovered could – and would – happily scale the wall if it meant she could get to where I was at. Thankfully, unless I’m outside the yard, Tula never bothers to try to escape, and she’s never allowed access to this part of the yard if I’m not at home and watching her.
When I finished up cleaning, I went to bring Dexter inside, only to discover an empty yard and no dog in sight. Dex was gone, and a search of our property (first stop – the pool and the pond, with my heart in my throat) didn’t find him. After twenty minutes, I drove up and down our road, and finally came back ready to start calling Animal Control, the newspaper and the shelters. Grabbing the phone, I heard a huffing sound coming from upstairs, and knew it had to be Dexter. He was on the front deck, on the verge of heatstroke and apparently quite happy to be back home again.
Dexter had obviously learned how to scale the retaining wall, a fact confirmed that very evening when I put him outside and watched him leap to the very top of the wall, soccer ball in his mouth. He proudly strolled up and down the wall’s edge, and came back to me quite happily when I called him. The little monster didn’t even need to grab himself a foothold on the way up – he just leaped vertically straight from the ground to the top of the wall. Since I am rather perversely proud of his ability – even if it does make my life twice as difficult – I had to snap a photo of him this morning, as he leaped the wall to retrieve the football that I absolutely positively did not toss up there.
I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised – their Great Grandfather Felix could easily jump low fences, and what he couldn’t jump he’d climb (especially if there were ladies on the other side – like his son, Felix loved him some ladies). He was also quite happy to jump OUT of things, including once out of a second story window after vaulting across Ryan’s back. Felix’s Grandmother was another fence climbing monkey dog, and back there further is a Great Great whatever who could climb low trees as well.
The implications of this for Luke and Leah’s litter is rather disconcerting. I’ve managed to combine our two resident circus dogs’ genes into one litter of puppies, and I’ve been eying them warily for the last few days, in case they start swinging from the light fixtures or climbing up trees.