Ever since we adopted Willa back in October, she has been inside or on a leash. The few times she was let loose, she would NOT come when called and had to be run down and grabbed. We worried that left to her own devices, she'd take off and we'd never see her again.
This worked fairly well all winter -- she got lots of walks and attention and seemed reasonably content. But with the coming of warmer weather, Willa became aware that there was a Whole Big World out there, full of tantalizing smells and she wanted to go and see
about each and every one of them..
I tried tethering her on a long line while I worked in the garden but found that I was spending more time untangling her than doing my garden cleanup. When finally she got wound over, under, around and through a big weigelia below our driveway, I had to slide down a bank and under the bush to free her. And all I could do was to unsnap the tether.
She was gone like a flash. I, on the other hand, was trapped in a tangle of dead branches. After about fifteen minutes of futile scrabbling, I had to admit that the way I'd come down was too slick to climb back up.
No one was home to come haul me out. Finally, I resorted to slithering on my belly under the tangle of branches to open ground. It wasn't a pretty sight.
Meanwhile, Willa was all over the mountain, yipping and yelping as she followed scent trails. I would catch sight of her and call and she would ignore me. Then she'd disappear again.
About four hours later she came home, exhausted, muddy, and radiantly happy.
She's been out for extended adventures for three days now -- enjoying the weather and chasing furry critters and lying on the porch in the sun, just like the other dogs. We'll still keep her in at night -- she'd be no match for a coyote. But we're all of us glad she can run free at last.