Carl called around on Monday evening and we sat and chatted. Suddenly I realised Jack was not there. “Did you shut the gate Carl?”
He was gone. Carl headed out to find him in the ranger’s truck, and I followed in my car. Carl picked him up heading straight for the house of his former captors. He didn’t seem too please to have been intercepted. We were more careful with the gate after that. He behaved himself when I took him for a walk out at the airport. I guessed it was far enough away that he would not be distracted by any spurious homing instinct.
Next morning I locked him in the yard, told him to behave and not eat the frogs, and promised I would see him at lunch time. I had hardly settled in at my desk at the Shire when the phone rang. Richard from the yard had just seen Jack heading off through the primary school. he had escaped almost as soon as I left, once again making a beeline for the same house. I despatched Carl who promptly picked him up. I have no idea how he got over the fence, I guess he climbed onto one of the tree stumps. He is a smart dog. The problem is that he was well treated by his captors, and they have two dogs of their own for him to play with. In many ways he’d be better off there, except I believe that would not be the wish of Jack’s owner at this time.
Carl took him to the pound, and there he stayed that night and all today. Apparently he did a lot of howling. I figured the experience of doing a stretch inside might make him feel better about being at my place but really, I don’t seriously think that is how dog psychology actually works. Once he was released on bail with a good behaviour bond, we took another trip to the airstrip with Carl, and gave him a good run. Back home, fed and watered, he seemed pretty tired. As I type this he is laying beside me again, tuckered out.
I had not seen a frog for quite some time, and wondered if Jack had eaten them, or scared them off. I think the cold weather may have put them into a torpor. This evening was a bit warmer, and around eight I spotted a frog sitting on one of the stone slabs. Jack spotted it too, and was most interested. He wanted to get close but I was not sure what he would do if the frog jumped. If he snapped at it I am sure it would be killed. However, I merely had to say “No, Jack. Leave it” and he sat down obediently while continuing to stare intently. I think he is just curious. I would love to get one of those cute shots in which the dog and frog are nose to nose but I am just not sure if my verbal hold over Jack is that good.
If I had Mach, my old German Shepherd from long ago, I could have trusted him completely. In fact I could have sat the frog on his nose. Thinking of Mach I wandered down nostalgia lane for a while and pondered the possibility of getting another dog of my own. I thought of Frankie, who I left in Fiji, albeit in good hands. All at once my mind was filled with dozens of reasons why I did not want a dog after all. I realised that I no longer wanted the worry, or the inconvenience of such a pet. I don’t want the commitment. I don’t want the heartache. In fact I will be glad when I can give Jack back to his owner, hopefully soon, before he worms his way too far under my skin.