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Sibe Quentin is a maximum security facility.
We have an eight-foot, chain-link fence on the perimeter. The fence has been trenched one foot deep into the ground. Dig guards – fencing placed perpendicular on the ground next to the fence around its edge further discourages digging. Our gates are chained shut with not one, but two padlocks.
Non-Siberian Husky owners consider this paranoia, but we are a breed built to run. We can run at 12 miles per hour for four to six hours without a break, easily getting 50+ miles from home before stopping to check our surroundings.
Since our ancient lineage traces back to the Chukchi Indians, a nomadic tribe from the Siberian part of Russia, we are quite comfortable being on the move and, when appropriate, turning on the charm to worm our way into whatever human tribe we meet.
In short, we can never be trusted off-leash or outside a serious fence. And a typical backyard fence of 3-4 feet can easily be jumped if we see something more interesting on the other side. It’s not so much that we ever want to run away, but that we are so curious about what is around the next corner or in the next county.
(For the record, every time Hu-Dad – or any serious Siberian Husky owner – says something like this, someone will inevitably mention that their Sibe is trustworthy off leash. Congratulations. You have the one in a thousand. And Hu-Dad can introduce you to 99 Siberian owners who thought their Sibe was trustworthy off-leash until, one day, he wasn’t.)
In addition to the exterior security, Hu-Dad has a two-door rule inside the house. At no time is any member of the Herd less than two doors from the great outdoors. That way, just in case one door fails, a second door still contains our wanderlust. Those rules apply to everyone – except Cheoah. She has exhibited such trustworthiness that she is in minimum security and only the one door rule applies.
Shortly after lunch yesterday, Hu-Dad heard the UPS truck backing down our driveway. He quickly confirmed that everyone was appropriately secured behind at least two doors. Except for trustworthy Cheoah who was napping on the couch in the den, a mere one door away from outside.
Hu-Dad opened the front door, carefully closed it, and greeted the UPS driver. Yesterday’s packages were loaded in Hu-Dad’s arms and he returned to the front door. He opened the door, spied Cheoah nearby, and told her to stay as he juggled packages inside. And he felt her fur brush his leg as she ran outside.
Tossing the packages to the floor, he turned to watch Choeah running up the driveway. His calls to her were ignored – Siberian Deafness had been engaged.
He raced up the driveway and spotted Cheoah standing in our road. We don’t have any traffic, so no real danger, but she needed to be caught. He turned and ran away from her, an old trick that usually works. Cheoah took one look at him and ran in the other direction. Hu-Dad took off after her, but she could easily outrun him. That senior status and former TPLO surgery didn’t slow her one bit. All Hu-Dad saw was her fluffy red tail disappearing over the hill.
Realizing that he had no chance catching her on foot, Hu-Dad raced back to the house, leaped over the jumbled packages, grabbed his Jeep keys, and started pursuit. He pointed the Jeep down the road over the hill where he had last seen our red-headed bandit.
Our woods are quite wild and full of dangers for dogs. In addition to the wildlife – bears, bobcats, elk, coyote, snakes, etc, – domestic animals like horses and cattle are quite adept at defending themselves. And farmers have every right to defend their livestock from stray dogs causing harm. Hu-Dad had the worst visions dancing in his head as he crested the hill where had last seen our red heroine.
Sitting in the grass on the side of the road, carefully planted in the shade, was our red fiend. Her look to Hu-Dad said it all, “Why did you stop running after me? Weren’t we having so much fun?”
Hu-Dad pulled up beside her, opened the door, and asked if she wanted to go for a Jeep ride. She jumped in, nuzzled the Hu-Dad, and wooed her excitement for a Jeep adventure. After a short ride, they returned to the house and safety.
For the record, Hu-Dad instantly applied the two-door rule to the Cheesewhiz.
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This Week's Thundering Herd Special Features
Weekly thoughts from our Hu-Dad with the latest updates on his writing projects, the books he's reading, and a gratuitous dog photo of us.
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Each week, we reach back into our vault of over 4,500 previous posts and share a favorite. We hope you enjoy this look back.