Wow, where do I start? There have been so many little situations and incidents it is difficult to remember many of them......and of course there usually isn't a camera on hand either; but for the most part, they each led uneventful and peaceful lives.....thankfully.
We acquired Gismo from our daughter at around age 7 . She had to crate and fly her from Washington Natl Airport to Palm Beach Intl and we were somewhat nervous about the trip. I had observed and dealt with many shipped pets during my commercial aviation career but now I was the pet owner and one's perception gets different........but she did fine. She didn't soil her crate liner and she didn't seem the least bit traumatized by all the jet noise on the ramp nor the trip. The Shih Tzu breed is a pretty stout breed. They are more muscular and dense than they appear , somewhat like a bulldog, and many breeds are far more resilient overall than we realize. So....off for Stuart we went. Gismo had visited our house a couple times and knew exactly where she was and it wasn't any time at all and she was playing catch-me-if-you-can around the coffee table in the rugged living room......because she thought she could get away with it. Shih Tzus are stubborn and somewhat hard to train but she had learned how to High Five and several of the basic sit-stay-come-no bark commands......but she had a ball running Grandpa and Grandma ragged when she wanted. She could tear around that coffee table when she wanted......seemingly for exercise. We lived in a lease community so she didn't get too many chances to actually run when we took her for walks and she acted completely bored the few times we took her to the dog parks and she was terrible at fetch with a ball........but she loved to play pull-toy. She would really get worked up pulling on a pull toy.
Gismo runs away with the Pizza man
Gismo loved to ride in cars and she would jump into any vehicle nearby if the windows were rolled down or the doors were open for just the shortest time; even the neighbors cars. Well......one night we had some neighbors over and we ordered pizza. The pizza guy shows up and a couple people take the pizzas to the kitchen and someone else pays the pizza guy and it's chow time. Usually Gismo would be under foot waiting for falling scraps but eventually we realized Gismo was not in attendance....so we casually started calling her name and then checked under the dining room table and the bedrooms......no Gismo. Then.....someone asks the panic question: " would she have gone out and jumped in that delivery guy's car?" Instant assumption. Yikes! Panic. We call the pizza place and ask them to call their delivery guy as he may have our dog in his back seat .......and they , of course, think we're drunk. Ha. We scour the neighbor's yards but Gismo never strayed too far or wandered the neighborhood in the past. The pizza guy checks in and says: " No dogs with me". We are fetching flashlights and cars to expand the search when........down the hallway comes Gismo with hair all tousled on her head and one ear flopped over her head.......and a big yawn. She had burrowed, unseen, between the shams and pillows on our bed and taken a big fat nap! Being the highly trained and responsive pet that she was.......with a full belly earlier and a busy day at the beach, she was not about to respond to our inconvenient calls. The microwave saved our pizza and all was forgiven. The neighbors were not impressed. We had a good friend near our mountain cabin call at midnight two years ago on the 4th of July fearful her 13 yr old Schnauzer girl had bolted during the local fireworks and was in jeopardy because, even though populated, the community is frequented by bobcats, bear, and that year a pack of coyotes who would howl their dusk and dawn pack calls. After searching the neighborhood for an hour we went back to Bobbeye's house to find Fiona , highlighted on the hippuppy.com Facebook Page, hiding under the bed in the guest room. Sometimes we just have to be more thorough and realize most pets feel the most secure......at home. Tomorrow I'll bring up the debate between leashing and not leashing......because we think our pet will never bolt. Oops.