Wife, Husband, and Dog move from Rochester to Buffalo. Backyard configuration in new house is completely different. No fences in any backyards. No posts for tie-outs. Patio is much bigger and shaped differently, reduces Dog’s business area. Wife has an old screw-in doggie post laying around. Husband puts it in as a temporary fix and stretches chain to fit next to sliding glass door to patio. Dog uses chain, but business is landing in bed around patio instead of grass. Husband finds a length of clothesline amongst pile of boxes. Husband ties clothesline to screw-in and to chain. Husband used to fish, and ties improved clinch knot at both ends. Husband knows fishing knot is very strong, stronger than clothesline. Husband also thinks about Dog possibly breaking line, and dismisses it. Dog uses new chain configuration, and business is better.

Husband is on vacation all week in order to move. Rain forecast is 100%, and proves to be true. It’s late afternoon, and Husband is removing wallpaper in master bedroom. Husband is busy thinking about how wallpaper is evil when he hears Dog making unusual “time to go out” noises, and Wife putting Dog on chain.  Moments later, Wife rushes into bedroom and says there’s a deer outside. Husband and Wife look out back yard windows, then go to sliding glass door and see a deer under a pine tree at extreme end of back yard, and Dog on chain, standing like a statue. Husband starts back towards bedroom, then hears Wife screaming Dog’s name. Dog is loose and chasing deer!! Wife and Husband break into a full run across backyard in pouring rain, with no coats, Husband in khaki shorts in cold weather, but can’t find Dog. Neighbor says Dog went across road towards woods. Husband and Wife go back to house, get coats. Wife says she wants to call 911. Husband says no, no need. Both get into cars, but Wife takes off first, doesn’t know how to get to road behind house, and takes wrong turn. Husband knows how to get to road and proceeds immediately toward Neighbor’s house. Neighbor says Dog was just at his house a second ago but he wasn’t able to grab her, and points back towards Husband’s house. Husband parks car and goes through back yards towards his house. Husband sees Dog waiting on patio! Husband walks towards Dog, is talking to Dog, but she starts barking. Dog has different barks for different things, and this bark is Intruder Bark. Husband figures that Dog hasn’t seen him in hoodie sweatshirt with hood up before, but he is able to grab Dog without incident and lead her back into house.

Husband thought Wife ran out without cell phone, but calls Wife anyway. Wife answers. Husband tells her that Dog is safe. Wife says she lost her way but will return shortly. Husband dries off soaking wet Dog, cuts across back yards in pouring rain to get to car. Husband stops to thank Neighbor for assisting him, learns that there is a major deer run that goes across back yards, then returns home.

Husband goes back to patio and looks at screw-in. Screw-in is still in place, as before. Husband observes that Dog snapped clothesline in middle, and fishing knots did not come loose! Husband is surprised. Dog is modest mid-size dog, not 800 pound gorilla, but somehow broke line in middle.

Broken lineWife returns home. Wife looks like Dog’s antics scared business right out of her. Wife says she was very scared that Dog would get hit by a car. Husband didn’t mention it, but at old house, Dog would have been dead. Old house is on a major road.

Husband and Wife think it over and talk. Dog has very-very likely never seen a deer before. And Dog was inside and heard deer outside before she went out, which was why her behavior was unusual and she wanted to be outside.  Husband and Wife are puzzled as to how Dog figured that out. Wife is completely surprised that Dog found her way back to house. Dog had been in house only a few days, parts of which were spent at LittleDog’s house instead, as Dog needed to be out of mover’s way. Husband remarks that Dog is very smart.

Husband is surprised that Dog didn’t take right off into woods and never come back, as he has heard that dogs will chase deer down for days on end. Husband says he thinks that territoriality saved Dog’s life – Dog ran deer off her property, then returned to protect her territory, even from Husband-in-hoodie-disguise. Had she not returned, she could have died on road or in woods, or been killed by chain that was still attached getting wrapped around something, perhaps even a moving car.

Husband is considering options for new backyard configuration. Old house had two posts connected by a line, one was fence post, other was porch post, and line was about 6 feet up. Dog could run back and forth along length of line, from a short chain attached to it. Currently, new house has no provisions for two-post configuration, but could be added. Screw-in configuration is only inches off ground, but Dog was already wrapping herself around a not-too-expensive shrubbery that previous owner has in place. Husband has sawszall with a blade for branches, but can’t consider removing shrubbery until house officially closes next week. Husband has decided that no matter what configuration he goes with, he will have to inquire with Buffalo’s Call Before You Dig first, and Dog will have to be walked outside for business in meantime.