posted by Matt W on February 12th, 2014

The other day I received a phone call while I was making dinner. I didn’t recognize the number.


“Are you missing something?” said the man on the other end.

“I’m sorry, what do you mean?” is my confused reply.

“Are you missing something?” he again questioned.

“I have no clue what you are talking about. Who is this?” was my irritated response. I flip the beans so they don’t burn.

“Are you missing your dog?” he questioned.

“Apparently so” is my now agitated reply.

“What do you mean, I don’t understand?” he says, confused.

“Well, I’m assuming you wouldn’t have called me if you didn’t have him. Where do you live and I’ll come and get him?”

“Well, I live at… My wife found your dog across the street… He’s such a good dog I gave him lots of treats…” He blathers on. By the way, just for reference, across the street is the far corner of the vacant lot that’s part of my backyard.

“I’ll be right there.” I respond as I pull my burning salmon from the oven.

I have a border collie. He’s really smart. He can figure out when the electric fence charge is weakening before the warning light alerts me the battery is dying and debates the merits in his head as to whether to proceed to make rounds through the neighborhood visiting anyone that has ever given him a treat. Good enough treats and a low voltage and he’s gone. Wag tail get treat, come back. Wag tail, don’t get treat, cross them off list. Add this guy to his treat list. Seriously, this is not rocket science; my dog can figure it out. Apparently my neighbors can’t.

Years ago, the older couple across the street thought that Sundance looked hot and “sad” in MY front yard while we were away. How does a dog look sad? They came and got Sundance from my yard, took him into their basement, gave him water and thawed a steak for him. Seriously, they gave him a steak because he was sad. Sundance started making regular trips over to their yard after that, because apparently the prospect of steak is worth a shock from the electric fence for a dog. They actually complained to me that Sundance was coming into their yard too much. YOU GAVE MY DOG A STEAK! My god, I tried to look sad in the front yard for the next month in hopes of being fed, can you blame my dog?

Now I admit that my electric fence has a few issues (I hate it!), but 99.9% of the time my dog stays in the yard mostly because he knows I’m the most likely person to give him food. When that little fact changes, he will test the fence. Sure enough the next day he bolted towards his new “friends” house when I let him out and as I am apparently the only person in the neighborhood who can semi-match wits with him, I met him at the back corner of my yard before he left the yard for another feast.

I have a really smart dog, unfortunately for his safety and my sanity; he’s smarter than my neighbors.

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