Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thursday night nightmare

Yesterday I was working a 12 hour shift from 11am until 11.30pm. I got a phone call at 7pm -it was Ben, he'd just got home from work "Hi, Um have you done anything with Pepper today?" me - "No, why, what do you mean???" (quietly panicking) "Ummm well shes not here, she's not at home" (Now I'm really panicking) My first thought was that she was lying sick somewhere, it was dark and had been raining too, so I got Ben to get a torch and look under all the bushes and under the house while I became mildly hysterical and told my boss I needed to go home (Puppy obviously being much more important than sick people). Ben called back - she was no-where to be found.

As I left work I turned my cell phone on (no reception in the emergency dept where I work) and a message was there from an hour ago from the Dog Control people - a member of the public had found her and she was at their kennels. While relieved that we knew where she was and that she was safe I was so confused. We spent over 3 months looking for our new place, the most important thing for us was that it was fully dog proof and this house is just that, even a bit over the top. The fences are 2 metres high at their lowest, the driveway gate only opens with a remote, the only other access is a gate that automatically closes and locks and can only be opened with a pin code. I'd left home at 1030am, Pepper had been happily munching a pigs ear on the front steps. I always double check the gate when I leave, although there's not even a need to do that because it slams itself shut anyway! So I have no idea how she escaped. The only clue we have is a courier card that was left - do they have the gate code and accidentally let her out? I'll be ringing them today to find out.
These pictures show our fences, they go all round the property. It's like a flipping doggie proof dream yard.

The dog control people said it was too late to pick her up last night (even though I protested and offered to pay if someone would get her out for me) but they said no. So I've been up since 6.30am pestering them on the phone to get her back - she needs her medication and I want her home! They don't have anyone at the kennels until 9am, so I'm still waiting to hear back from them. Poor Pepper, I feel so guilty (and still confused). Thank god for microchips, ID tags and registration tags to allow for easy dog identification. Hopefully they have the name of the person who found her so I can take them a thank-you present. I wish Pepper could talk and tell me how the heck she got out!


  1. Pepper! How did you pull this one off?

    P.S. - I once had a Siberian who built a ladder to get out of a fence. Honest. She drug logs from a stack of firewood and placed them in the corner of the yard so she could climb out. Sigh.

  2. dearest Pepper...Its really not a good idea to go wandering around without your humans. Not only does it give them grey hairs, but its not a very safe thing to do! Thank dogness a nice person found you and turned you in.

    So glad to hear everything worked out!

    wags, wiggles & slobbers

  3. Poor Pepper! Glad she's somewhere safe until you can get her!

  4. Oh my goodness, Emily - I only just saw this post now...what a horrible ordeal!! I can't imagine how panicky you must have been feeling. Thank goodness someone picked her up and took her to safety - people can drive so fast in Auckland! I wonder how she got out??!!


  5. Oh Emily! I can't imagine how awful you must have felt when you heard Pepper was not home! But I am glad she was found and safe.

    Actually we had an incident with courier men too. Usually courier people close the gate after entering it to come to the door. But, that day the man had an assistant with him, and the assistant was holding the gate open (The gate has a spring in the hinge so that it closes automatically). Then, Cinnamon came from behind me and went out to the front garden, while I was signing for the courier. Usually that is not a problem, because the gate is shut. But, the assistant didn't close the gate even after he saw Cinnamon walking toward the gate. What is worse, he kept holding the gate, watching Cinnamon passing him out to the footpath. I yelled at the man, but he still didn't move at all. Because our house is on a busy road, I was really upset! When I went outside, Cinnamon was still walking on the footpath, but when I called her, she went out onto the road, perhaps because she was frightened by the tense in my voice. It was lucky that there was not as much traffic as usual, because it was very early in the morning, and Cinnamon came back to me without getting hit or anything. I know it was my fault that I hadn't trained her well enough. But, I was really cross about the courier man!

    Cinnamon's mum

  6. Hi Pepper

    Mum says to check where is your electricity meter, do the electrics or gas meter readers have the code to get into the backyard to read a meter or something. Or our escape artist friend Brody used to shimmy up the compost pile and over he went. Tell you what, I got out a few months back and Mum was absolutely scratching her head. And then she found that one of our fence palings was nailed good and tight at the top but it swung at the bottom. And I managed to nose it out of the way and get out. And then it was like Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and I couldn't get back in. Glad you're safe and hope your Mum finds out how you done it real quick.
    Bodie & Magoo the escape artists.