That time Rainer almost got lost

Last night, while brushing my teeth, I asked Guion, “Hey, would you let the dogs in?”

They had been out in our backyard for about three minutes, for their last potty break of the night.

Coming for youAbout a minute later, I hear a frantic knock on the door. It’s Guion, breathless and panicky. And he utters the three most dreaded words: “Rainer got out!”

Guion grabbed a flashlight and a leash and ran out the front. I dropped everything, pulled on some rain boots, and ran out to the back, calling frantically for Rainer. It’s dark and I can’t see anything. Pyrrha, however, has let herself into the sunroom and is looking at me with a fascinated expression.

Because here’s the impressive thing: Pyrrha didn’t leave the yard, even when Rainer did. A gate had been left open when Guion was showing a friend our garden, apparently. And so Rainer just sauntered out.

Rainer's bed

I put Pyrrha inside, grab another leash, and am about to dash out the front door, with all of these horrible thoughts in my mind — we are the worst fosters ever! We are never going to find him! He probably wouldn’t come to us! It’s so dark; what if he gets hit by a car? — but… then…

The front door opens, and it’s Guion and Rainer, who is slowly wagging his tail.

Guion said that Rainer had wandered a few houses over, and the neighbors had seen him. Guion could see Rainer, but he didn’t want to run up to him, wisely reasoning that Rainer would probably run in the other direction if he thought he was being “charged.” Instead, when he saw Guion, Rainer willingly trotted down the driveway and ran right up to our front door. Guion didn’t even leash him, but when he got close enough to Rainer, he slunk down and was very nervous. I think he was bewildered and disoriented, but wow, how surprised and grateful I am that he came back!

Lessons learned:

  1. ALWAYS LOCK THE DAMN GATE (cough, cough, husband).
  2. Pyrrha is a good girl! I am frankly astonished that she didn’t run out, too. I am so proud of her for staying in the yard. I still kind of can’t believe it, especially given her history of wandering off.
  3. Sometimes shy dogs will surprise you and just come on home. Good boy, Rainer!

Glad that we still have you. Shoo. Not a fun way to spend your Wednesday evening.

But the other bright news is that a potential adopter is coming to meet Rainer on Saturday! Will keep you posted!

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9 thoughts on “That time Rainer almost got lost

  1. So glad it was quickly solved! Rufus took off after a rabbit during his second week with us, and I drove around for 30 minutes bawling, calling out his name after a quick walk around the block with no luck. Just when I was about to call the rescue and tell them I lost my foster, I pulled into the driveway to see the jerk waiting for me. I opened the car door, and he was whining and jumping all over me like he had no idea what he had just done. He was quickly forgiven 🙂

    1. OMG, worst feeling ever! What a good boy, though. I think I really underestimate dogs’ abilities to find their way home. I think it’s just this fabled ability of theirs, but they really can and DO get home on their own! (Not that it’s an excuse to let them wander!)

      1. So true. The crazy thing is that Rufus was caught as a stray, which means his first home was a place he did not want to go back to or they dumped him in the middle of nowhere so that he couldn’t find his way home. For a dog that was very shut-down, I was so flattered and excited that he found his way back after only a few short weeks with us.

  2. They will always find a way to get out, unfortunately! We have had dogs slip out the door while another dog was being taken out, jump through a screen door, pull down baby gates (no good spot to install a swinging gate or solidly secure a regular one), had to drop a leash to avoid being dragged downhill through gravel, clips suddenly get stuck open, a rope bitten through quickly (he was pulling sticks and decided the rope was a stick), and had broken harnesses, ropes, leashes, and collars. Stuff happens, so ID tags worn 100% of the time are vital for fosters and forever dogs alike. Thankfully, our current foster will come back after a short joy run.

    1. Whew! Agreed! It’s true. I was very grateful that he was at least wearing an ID tag with all our info on it… I’ll never, ever have a dog who isn’t wearing tags all the time!

  3. I am so feeling you. We temporarily lost our foster Cherie when she slipped through the fence while my husband was back there with her and didn’t even notice (so don’t be too hard on Guion).

    Thank goodness for the Good Samaritan who found her and called the SPCA who gave her our address so they could return her to us.

    The whole 20 minutes she was missing I kept saying, “They’ll never let me foster again” over and over.

    So glad your story turned out so well. And good for Pyrrha choosing not to wander as well. That says a lot for how comfortable she feels in her home.

  4. I think we’ve all been there at some point! We have a turn out pen that’s a small fenced area for the dogs to take care of business and I had a foster who jumped up and hit the gate just right, which jostled the handle and opened the door. I seriously have no idea how it happened, because it usually sticks. Anyway, he decided to take a tour of our neighborhood, but fortunately did not go very far and I put the leash on and walked him home. After that, I always used his leash as an extra guard to keep the door closed, but I’ve never had another dog be able to pull that off! It’s a good thing, because I think I lost a few years off my life in those few minutes before I caught him!

  5. EEK, scary but also solved, what a relief! Smart of Guion to not just run at Rainer in his need to get him back, truly. That’s a hard impulse to resist. Also, good on Pyrrha! I love your description of how she regarded the frantic goings-on. Maybe she urged him to go? “Hey, the neighbors have pizza! Good riddance, runt.”

    Now the gate thing, come down on him for that as hard as you’d like 😉

  6. Oh my gosh, what an awful feeling. I think this is a great post because it shows just how easily dogs can get out, and it can happen to any of us. I am so impressed that Pyrrha stayed in the yard. What a good girl!!

    So glad everything worked out ok.

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