Sunday, May 29, 2011
Michele asked for an update about Zeus, and I am happy to oblige. Especially now that she is famous. I have been working long hours and he has been under the care of my daughter. Since they don't have much of a history (she was away at school), she has no trouble with opening the door to let him out in our fenced yard and leaving him out there for short periods of time. I didn't tell her what I perceive to be his fears, because I wanted her to evaluate him for herself.
He is more comfortable in the backyard by himself. Even though he does still sit on the porch and stare at the door most of the time he is outside, he does spend some time in the yard when he is by himself. Here he is playing catch.
I took him to the vet shortly before my big work stint. He had fallen off our porch and gotten a scrape. He had gained 10 pounds since we got him. He was underweight when we got him, but 10 pounds seems pretty significant on small animal. I wondered but didn't ask if he was now a healthy weight. Apparently he was wondering too, because since I have been working, he hasn't been eating as much. He will either skip his morning meal or eat it later in the day, which makes it hard to decide how much to give him for dinner. The vet wasn't worried. He acts healthy and has energy, and he does eat, so I guess I will let him decide what is best for him.
Our Big Adventure
I take him out for a walk in the park in the mornings before work. If no one is around (and there usually isn't) I take him off the leash and let him run around. I call him to me from time to time to keep him from going too far, and to give him practice of coming to me. It is a rectangular patch of grass with a pathway all around. There is a fence, but there are some spaces where the fence has been broken. I walk around the pathway, while he explores the grass.
A couple of days ago, he was running around, and he took off the middle of the rectangular patch all the way to the other side. He did not come to me when I called him. Because the grass was high and wet with dew, I didn't see where exactly he went. I wasn't going to follow him through the grass. I followed the path as fast as I could, but he had gone through a space in a fence and did not come when called. There are several spaces in the fence, and I didn't know which one he had gone through. I kept calling and calling and he either did not hear me, or did not heed. I didn't want to be late for work, but I didn't want to leave him here either. I had to hold out hope that someone would see his dog tags and call. I waited a little while, and a young man came through the fence on a bicycle. I asked him if he had seen a dog. He said no. I resumed my search of calling him. Finally after several minutes he came running to me.
I couldn't punish him, since he did come to me, but I decided that he had lost his freedom privileges for the day. I tried to put the leash on him, but his collar was missing! I wondered if the young man had tried to steal him and take off his collar, or maybe he got his collar stuck on something and managed to slide it off his head. If someone had found him, they might have thought he was homeless. We walked to the car with me calling him close to me if he even tried to wander off the path. When we got home, I saw his collar on the couch. My daughter had taken it off when she was brushing his fur.