Stop, thief!

By Mir
August 9, 2009

Super is still at large. When the entire night passed without a single sighting, I concluded he’d finally left the neighborhood.

Then we got a phone call early this morning, and the hunt was on again. When we couldn’t find him, we came home, and five minutes later a nice lady walking her dog rang the bell to let us know he was sitting in our neighbor’s yard, right across the street. The ensuing chase can only be described as completely comical, culminating in the Pinnacle of Ridiculous when Super neatly flew down our driveway, stopped long enough to GRAB THE ECONOMY-SIZE BAG OF PUPPERONI WE HAD SITTING THERE, and took off into the woods. Now at least we’ll be able to track him by his flatulence in a few hours, right?

I am completely demoralized. Other than getting to know all of our neighbors, finally (which is lovely), this process has been agonizing.

In completely unrelated news, I am giving away an Acer laptop. I’m lousy with dogs, but good with contests. I guess I’ll tell Otto to make sure that gets put on my gravestone after I die of worry and frustration.


  1. Rasselas

    But.. he came for the Pupperoni! To you! He’s skirting closer and closer to home. Eventually he’ll realize no danger awaits him with you.

  2. KG


    I can’t wait until you’re able to see the humor in this later…
    Assuming Chickie’s “What has been lost may yet be found. Have hope.” holds true!

    Please don’t blame yourself, we moms have a multitude of other opportunities to blame ourselves for things going wrong that were actually our fault. In this case- most certainly not!

    We’re all hanging on the edge of our seats waiting for the outcome!

  3. JennyM

    So, I’m thinking fill the live trap with Pupperoni and place it on your driveway.

    I have nothing to offer but sympathy and encouragement. Our newest pup, who has been with us for 4 1/2 months now, escaped three times in the first two weeks, once through our own carelessness in not securely fastening a gate each thought the other had closed, and twice by slipping neatly through a space I could barely get my arm through (and she’s a 50-lber!). The first time, we spotted her nearly a mile away and I was convinced she was headed back to Athens on some kind of Incredible Journey-like odyssey, but inexplicably she turned and jetted straight back to our house. The next two times, she didn’t go as far afield and returned to us on her own — and she has not escaped or even made the attempt ever since (though we have since blocked the two “escape hatches” more securely).

    So, yes — have hope. Dogs are such creatures of habit, that moving to a new home with new people, no matter how comfortable, is a traumatic experience for even the most laid-back and well-adjusted animal, not to mention one that has reason to be fearful and distrustful given his past. You’re doing everything right. Best of luck to you guys…

  4. Ann

    I can’t tell you how many times the ‘well-adjusted’ black cocker spaniel has run away in 13 years. Give him an opening and he’ll run. Trained, YUP…us better than him. But, we’ve always gotten him back either on his own or w/help of neighbors. I can imagine how you feel–worst feeling in the world. Have hope and faith…and let us know how things are going. I’ll watch for him here in NC !!!

  5. MomCat

    I’m hoping with you – hope he’ll be back for treats soon.

  6. Mrs. C

    The best dogs are the ones that take longer to get to know and put you threw H***. Both of my dogs are pound dogs and I went through H*** with both of them at first and that including them running away, but I love them now and couldn’t imagine my everyday life without them. I’ve had Cassidy (husky) for right around 7 years, he’s very old now maybe 11. Elliot (Pom Pom) I’ve had for 2 years and he’s 12 now. I actually hated him because the old lady that had him didn’t train him to do outside and he would only poop on carpet. Thank goodness I had 99% wood floors. So once you get him home, you will end up loving him and the bond you create will be a very strong one. DON’T give up on him because probably everyone else in his life has…

  7. elswhere

    For some reason that part about the Pupperoni gives me hope.
    Fingers crossed fro you all…

  8. Alicia

    When you find him…make friends with Animal Control (cookies help).
    My parents had a set of perfectly behaved boxers that turned into Houdini-bolters in lightning storms. We never figured out how they escaped a dug-in 6 ft privacy fence but suspect leaps of dazzling heights. Animal control got to know us so they would just round them up and deposit them back in our yard. One of them cried when we told her the boy had incurable cancer and had to be put down.

  9. The Other Leanne

    Mir…you are not lousy with dogs! You didn’t have this one long enough to even make that claim. The dog is a pistol, but that’s not your fault.
    BTW, do not chase this dog, he likes it.

  10. Justin

    I believe you may be living in a Disney movie. That means a happy ending! Right? Love the picturce of him snagging the snacks and taking off again. Sounds like there may be something special about this dog.

  11. Paula

    I once fostered a Pom named Harry. He escaped and was lost for a month. We finally found him and he went to a lovey home and lived happily ever after! I never fostered again…the guilt and stress were just too much! I think the pupperoni stealing a great sign…

  12. Half Assed Kitchen

    What if you make a trail of Pupperoni, hansel and gretel style, up to your front door?

  13. Sara

    Hope you get Super back super quick. And the part about Pupperoni and doggy flatulence? True dat.

  14. pharmgirl

    Oh Dear. Every great dog has a great story. Leave the gate open and food in the yard. He knows where you (and he) lives. He’ll be back.

    Personally, I like Bolt…or Boomerang (Boomer for short?)

  15. Melody

    I am hoping too that Super comes back. Our cat was a rescue, had been caught with a trap when she was a couple of months old. She was very timid and hid all the time. We had to lure her out from under the couch with toys that twitched just so we could handle her and teach her that she was safe. She escaped at about 6 months old. We searched and called. I cried and finally slept on the floor by the open patio door. She came slinking in in the morning, having been mated. She had been in heat. I bathed her, called the vet and had her fixed. Now she is 10 years old and has only gotten out one other time, recently. I heard her crying, followed the sound and found her hiding, terrified under the backyard deck. I crawled under there through the dirt to get her out. She burrowed into me, and I got her back in the house. Sooo stressful! Now Super knows that you have Puperoni! He’ll be back!!

  16. Giyen

    Owning a dog is supposed to be calming and have therapeutic benefits right? RIGHT?


  17. Randi

    Aww! Poor Super! Poor Mir family!! My husband (the wanna-be dog whisperer) says that if you want to get him back the next time you’re in the same area as him, just sit on the ground quietly and let him come to you.

    Or call Cesar Milan and tell him about your emergency :).

  18. Karen

    Mir – we had a similar situation… and caught the dog by putting a sweater and dog treats inside a have-a-heart trap big enough for the dog. Next morning… caught! Put it in your driveway since he returned there.

  19. Sarah

    Waaaah! I’m depressed with you. Poor doggy. He has such a sweet face.

  20. marge

    thanks for the update, he’s been on my mind and in my prayers. the bible says something like a sparrow can’t fall from a tree without God knowing about i know He cares when a little dog is lost and frightened!

  21. getsheila

    Super is toying with you. It is hilarious to, uh, those of us not involved. I hope you nab the escapee soon.

  22. joaaanna

    Oh Super – come home!

  23. Nicki

    This is one of those times you’ll look back on and laugh. (But not for a while yet…) I’m holding out for your happy ending.

  24. Karishma

    But he came back close to your house! And he would have known it was close to your house! Now that you know he loves pupperoni, stick it in the live trap, maybe in your backyard or something? Maybe he just needs to slowly trust you, so just keep putting food in the driveway, closer and closer to your door, don’t chase him, and wait until he learns to trust you through the feedings? Go outside whenever you think he’s around so he’ll associate you with the food? I don’t know, it’s just ideas, but I’m sure something will work. Don’t be demoralized. The fact remains that he would have known where you guys are, through scent, and still came back. He has to learn to trust you completely, and that will come with time.

  25. ChristieNY

    waiting on pins and needles for more SUPER spottings and the news that he’s been brought safely home to you so the kids can meet him. i can NOT believe he snatched the pupperoni, at least he’s not starving tonight, right? {{ hugs }}

  26. paige

    My advice, if you can actually see this tricky little guy, is to sit down on the ground, don’t make eye contact and don’t think about catching him, grabbing him or taking him home. Contemplate what you’re having for dinner, or think about The Big Picture or see how high you can count while waiting.

    Even better, lie down and do these things. Most fearful dogs will approach someone who’s sitting or lying down and actively not thinking about grabbing a loose dog.

    I’ve used this technique over and over for shy or panicked dogs. It does take time and patience and you absolutely cannot get impatient. If he comes, try to move slowly and touch him very slowly and gently. If he’s got a collar, distract him with a good treat (hot dog pieces work even better than pupperoni) while you carefully grasp his collar. If he doesn’t have a collar, then using a leash with the leash part passed through the handle to make a “lasso” works well. It’s also very hard for a dog to back out of.

    The whole time, stay focused on something other than capturing the runaway. Dogs read body language uncannily well and if you think about grabbing, he may bolt again.

    Good luck and stay calm. I’ve had this happen with rescues and foster dogs who don’t know me well and it is so frustrating and guilt-inducing, I know. It may take a while, but I have a feeling that you’ll get hold of him eventually.

  27. David

    Says this amused observer: “Looks like y’all gotcha one o’them free-range dawgs.” Sounds like Super is a right proper scoundrel, playing a merry game of hide-and-seek/tag with you all. And yes, Bolt sounds like a very fitting name.

  28. Megumi

    Hang in there, Mir – and Super: Come home!!

  29. Amy

    I have faith – he is coming HOME!

  30. Eight Women Dream

    Sorry to hear about Super – how frustrating. I had a cat like that once who ended up liking the neighbors down the street where we moved (I think he was mad at me for moving him) and is still with them to this day. I tried Tuna, but he would come eat it and then run back away up to their home.
    If it helps we women of 8 Women Dream named you our Inspirational Blog of the week. Stop on by and have a read, if you want the badge code for the award let me know, otherwise enjoy – and good luck with Super!

  31. Aubri

    I have a good friend who’s a dog trainer, and I have to agree with Paige (and everyone else who alluded to this). Dogs can read minds… seriously. The sitting is good, treats are good… just don’t THINK about catching him, he’ll know. Also, I agree that he likes the chase. He probably thinks this is the most fun game he’s ever played!

    Good luck, keep the faith… and Super, if you’re reading this… come home! Those kids of Mir’s? They really want to love on you. And I suspect Mir does too.

  32. mama speak

    I mentioned earlier that we had a second rescue dog that was “high-anxiety”. The escaping was why we had to finally give him up. He was lab/border collie (so similar sized dog) and when overwrought would “climb” our fence. He would jump up and “hook” his claws into the top of the fence and pull himself up. THEN he would walk along the fence like a freaking cat. We live near a major street and I was sure he was going to get hit, so when he started w/this for no obvious reason I told my husband to take him back to the shelter. I wrote a huge letter of his anxiety history and the director was fostering, (she called me to talk about some of his “issues). Ok, so short story long, on the couple of times this dog got out he the same, 5 houses up, stop and run thing. He enjoyed the chase. We figured out that the way to catch him was to have someone (preferably a large man) come at him from the opposite direction we wanted him to go and “herd” him to a “familiar place” (our gate opened yard or open front door.

    He’s around, he’s working on trusting you and he’s smart. You’ll get him back. May I suggest a double gate on your yard? If one gets left open you have a second to hopefully reduce the chance of him getting out.

  33. She-Ra

    I agree with trying the sitting/lying down options. We had a dog that we nicknamed Houdini that would escape and wouldn’t come if called. My FIL once lay down in the middle of the sidewalk of a neighbor’s house so that the dog would come back to him. Also, when we moved to our new house, Houdini dog escaped again. I asked a total stranger to call the dog because she would go to others but not to me. That last example wouldn’t work for Super I’m sure but as long as I’m here, thought I’d share! Good luck. I’m pulling for you.

  34. Leandra

    Well. Huh. That just goes to show you that I don’t know squat about dogs.

    I hope you find him soon — I know this is tearing you up!! BUT, it’s not your fault so don’t beat yourself up. You were in a fenced in backyard. Who knew the dog was secretly Houdini reincarnated??!?

  35. Kathy

    My heart is aching for you. Hang in there.

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