Tanner Keeps Watch in the Yard
Tanner and I had a moment on Wednesday. Not what you would normally consider bonding, but this most certainly was a situation where Tanner took charge and did what he could to protect Oliver, despite the situation under which it all took place. I found myself feeling especially thankful for his brotherly love.
One of Tanner's talents is his ability to open the front door. He's willing to invite anyone in, friendly boy that he is, but he also enjoys going outside to visit passersby. And so that's how my story begins.
I was working at my desk when I vaguely became aware of more outside noise. Honestly, the weather has been so spectacular this Winter (Sounds strange; I know!) that it was a pleasant fresh-air sort of enjoyment that I didn't really respond to consciously. Until I happened to turn and look out the office window.
When I discovered Tanner outside I gasped. That meant the door was open, and Oliver? Oh my! Where was Oliver? My little 10 lb. boy was outside? Or maybe not!
I raced all around the yard, visually checking the neighbors' landscape. No Oliver! I ran back inside hoping that maybe he was just napping in the house and had not followed Tanner outdoors. All of his beds were empty and he was not at his usual hangouts.
I grabbed my keys and Tanner and I took off. If only I could have asked Tanner where Oliver was. As it turned out, he knew all along but was unable to tell me. I mean, I guess he sort of was telling me with his gaze, but I was not really thinking of this as a "Lassie, is the barn on fire?" sort of moment. Little did I know that Tanner was watching out for his 'brother'. I guess he learned some mothering skills from Xena because as it turned out he knew all along where Oliver had taken off to. In hindsight, I guess that's why he didn't appear too worried.
After a round of the neighborhood, calling Oliver's name and trying to think like a 10 lb. Papillon (Could he be heading for the pet supply store?), we circled back by the house and saw a neighbor heading toward our corner. Tucked under his arm was a shivering white pup--Oliver!
I thanked my neighbor for bringing the little guy home and asked where he had found Oliver. He said that Oliver was on his doorstep when he came outside. This neighbor has an adorable little pup that Oliver fancies as a friend, so I guess he had gone on walkabout to check out Maggie's goings on. Why not; he was a free agent for the moment and may as well have put this opportunity to good use with no Mom around calling the shots. Leash free, whoopee!
Tanner, on the other hand, is trained to stay in our yard. He was sitting in the corner nearest Maggie's house, looking in that direction when I discovered he was outside. I guess I should have put my Cesar Milan hat on and thought it through. Tanner was watching over Oliver. I just couldn't see Oliver on my neighbor's doorstep, it's out of view from the road.
Home Safe Now
Tanner and I welcomed Oliver back and pulled into our driveway, with Tanner licking Oliver in a way that said "Hope you had a nice adventure, Bro". I'm sure Tanner would have loved to tag along but I am so, so glad he watched over Oliver. I'll know next time that Tanner's body language is meaningful; I should spend more time reading it. I learned some things about my boys that day and we'll definitely be looking into ways to assure the door is always locked. I'm having ambiguous feelings about Tanner right now. Should I admonish him for opening the door or thank him for keeping watch? Either way I love him so very much. His talents continue to amaze me. Bonded? You bet!
Care to share your dog's story of causing trouble and then helping with the solution as well? The comment link is open.