Destiny is officially off of her mandatory kennel rest following her heart worm treatment and has been enjoying longer walks and some games of fetch in our fenced in yard. Along with her newfound freedom to run and frolic, we have also enjoyed spring weather with temperatures into the 60s over the last few days. Mother nature’s timing was perfect for once.
Along with these lifestyle changes I have been lucky to experience some personality changes in Destiny. Walks are magical for dogs since they get to work both their bodies and their minds and as a result, Destiny has been much more relaxed and is showing signs of being a full-fledged snuggle pup. The dog who would not turn her back on anyone when she first arrived here and who leaped away if you touched her anywhere other than her head has now taken to laying in my lap like a large baby. She has also learned the joy of a tummy rub and trusts us enough to lay on her back with her four legs up in the air to indicate that it is time to scratch her now fur covered belly. I suspect she has learned this from watching Tinkerbell.
Yesterday, however, we learned something new and most definitely not ideal: Destiny can jump a four foot fence. We also learned that my husband can jump a four foot fence, which he did as he followed her out of our yard.
We were enjoying the beautiful spring Sunday with Destiny in our back yard and she was having a blast playing fetch with the new Jolly ball with the rope through the center that Jackson received for his fourth birthday last week. It was beautiful watching her stretch her legs and run through the grass without a care in the world. As she ran with enthusiasm I pictured her learning to do flyball or agility.
Over the last six weeks with Destiny I have noticed that she has a great sense of smell and is often sniffing around the deck trying to get to the rabbits who must live under it. A few days ago she chased a rabbit around our swimming pool but she immediately came back to me as she always does with a few clicks of my tongue and the command, “Destiny, come!” In fact I have marveled at her amazing recall and joked to Jackson and Tinkerbell that “Destiny comes to momma better than you two do.” She has sniffed around the perimeter of the fence but never jumped up or put her feet on it or given us any reason to think that she wanted to leave our property.
I was only mildly concerned when she jumped up against the fence yesterday the first time, jumping high enough that I could see that she could get over it if she really tried and if she really wanted to, but fairly confident that she would not actually do it. I was wrong. She did it, from a sitting position no less, up and over the fence.
Instead of landing in our neighbor’s yard and being contained in their fence she landed between the fences and had an escape route through them to the road. Fortunately she did not choose that path because her attention was focused on a rabbit who ran under the fence into our neighbor’s yard. Destiny, who it turns out is equally agile getting under a fence as she is going over one, shimmied under the fence where the ground had eroded a bit, in pursuit of the rabbit and found herself in our neighbor’s yard with my husband right behind her.
For now it is back to the long training lead when we go into the fenced yard for our agile little foster dog since she showed the typical Labrador selective hearing during her adventure. It is time to break out the training treats and work on a reliable recall and to make sure that her quick response to “Destiny come” was not simply a coincidence caused by the fact that the subzero temps were freezing her little paws. She seemed pretty pleased with herself and her adventure as she trotted back inside the house with us yesterday with my husband’s firm grip on her collar, as if she was happy that someone finally cared if she ran away, but this little yellow Labrador has come way too far to be lost again.