When The Dog One Depends on Goes Missing

My wee little doggie is my best pal. She lets me know when someone is at the door (although we are still working on the fact the big bell is the same thing as a knock on the door) and all sorts of things other people take for granted that they will hear.

Yesterday was a busy day at the casa with the property manager and the maintenance guy here a couple of times. Antonio (maintenance) was here twice dealing with the chiminea problem (smoke backing up into house) and after he left I was missing one wee little doggie.

There were options for why I could not find her: 1 – shut in a dressing room or other room where I could not hear her (it has happened before). 2 – jumping in Antonio’s car (this has happened with a friend, so not unlikely). 3 – got out the door and wandered. Β After checking the house twice I checked the immediate vicinity, then sent an email to the property manager to ask the maintenance guy if she was in his car uninvited (it was going to be COLD again). Then the house to house search was on with one of my neighbors who has two dogs.

Twenty breathless minutes later one of my other neighbors with dogs walked down the road with the wee little doggie under her arm. Wee little doggie was cold and scared and had gotten way down the end of one of the little dirt side roads here.


I have had problems with her slipping through the wrought iron door before and thought I’d closed it off enough to prevent such IMG_3753an incident. After I got her home I got serious with the tape (until I can install a dog gate or something) and there is no way she’s getting out through that! Hey, it is messy, ,but it works! πŸ˜€ I’m not sure my heart can stand another panic-stricken event like that!


  1. Oh thank goodness!
    Sandy would wonder sometimes, she was an escape artist I swear, could find the tiniest hole in a fence. Scared me to death! Once she was taken to the pound and spent the night. Oh what a night that was for me. Turns out she was pampered and loved there, they knew she had a home because of her tags. (I had just moved so the address on her tag was wrong, made it hard to find me at first, and she was found by a neighbor right before the pound closed…curses) I was devastated, but she looked like she thought it was an adventure.
    Every time she went missing it tore out my heart until she was found.

    Tell me how did you train her to tell you when someone is at the door?
    I asked specifically if Kiki would let us know when someone was at the door and was told yes she gets very excited. No, she just perks up her ears and looks at the door, she doesn’t move from where she is. If I’m not looking at her I wouldn’t notice.

    1. McKinley is “she who has been designated to watch the world.” She’s always been that way. This place is distinctly unfriendly to that occupation as there is no table to jump on to watch out the window.

      She has resorted to barking loudly and then bouncing against me if I don’t respond to a knock at the door. Partly this is because she wants to be petted by whomever is on the other side and my not answering it interferes with her goals.

      She taught herself. She is very much aware I either cannot or do not hear her at times so a non-response means it is time to get Grandma personally.

      At this point she barks when someone drives by on the gravel road. This is both good and bad. Most of the people who drive by are just driving by. However, I think trying to get her not to bark at the vehicles that don’t stop is more than the brain of 2 year old can manage. And that is what I’m working with. So now I know when every car (not many) drives by. Much more noise if someone gets out and slams the door, but it could still be not for me. If I lived on a busy road I would have to extinguish the barking on gravel response.

      The bell, though, is nothing she has had experience with. It is a stereotypical small mission bell that clangs. And she has no experience with what this means. To really teach her I’d have to recruit some neighbors over the period of a few days and use her food as a reward for leaning to respond to the bell. I’m not sure either of us retired females want to work that hard. πŸ˜€

      Some dogs are more into who’s at the door. If you want to train her to do this then it requires using food as a reward which means using the food normally fed as the reward so the dog is hungry and will work for food.

      1. thanks.
        I wish she was more like McKinley….and just naturally did it. as I was told.

        Problem is, she is a bit afraid of most people still. So she doesn’t really want to see who is at the door. She might want to keep them away from her mom when if they come in the house, but other than that, she’d rather they just go away. And it doesn’t help that often there is no one there when we open the door (getting deliveries where they just knock on the door and leave the package, that is most of the knocking on the door that I get. haha). She can see outside and growls a little when the mailman or the yard people are walking around in the yard, sometimes she’ll bark at them and come tell me….Hey there are people in the yard. I praise here and go look. Then I let her know, oh they are ok people, sometimes I take her out to see. But I really, praise her and give her a treat that she let me know.

        Working on the knocking is hard for us right now because it’s hard for me to get to the door….dang hurt back/hip…and she is simply not interested….and Stuart is too tired to work on it. there’s a lot we need to work on with her….I hate I got hurt and started having vertigo right when we got her. poor baby. Not that she is neglected, but she hasn’t been trained as well as I would have liked. (she’s a bit more spoiled than I would have liked)

        We live on a road where there is more dog walking traffic than cars, so she is very interested looking out the window. But she doesn’t bark at the dogs, she is just very excited! She loves other dogs and their owners! But people without dogs, she is afraid of them, especially men. Took her a little while to get used to Stuart, now she loves his very, very, much!! Can we say, attached! πŸ™‚

        Oh we women and out doggies. We’re as bad as those women and babies. hahahah.

      2. If McKinley were ever afraid of someone I would not let them in the house. ‘Kinley leads with her heart and she loves everyone.

        When we were in Chula Vista yesterday waiting on a bench outside the Apple store many people (adults and children) asked if they could pet her and she was all wiggles and joy. One silver haired man with a walker said he’d love to take her home with him (I hear that all the time) but he can’t have a dog.

        You could see if there is a service dog trainer around. But if your pup is afraid of people that could be an issue. I’m not sure how to address that. Could be that she is your boon companion and nothing more than that which is a gift in itself as our dogs are generally better people than most humans are.

      3. Kiki has gotten much better with people than she used to be. She needs to be socialized more. We don’t have many people coming in and out of our place. She was abused it is obvious. She is my companion.
        Sandy was like your little on. People were always in love with her….Stuart would say…Everyone loves Sandy! Even cat people. I actually got a landlord to allow me to have here even though they said no pets. as said….Everyone loved Sandy. πŸ™‚
        I only had Sandy react negatively to 2 people ever, and 1 a roommate brought home and when he left I told her he was not allowed back in the apartment (luckily she was living with me). The other I met while we were on a walk, and I couldn’t get away fast enough, I was scared that evening. Yes, Sandy had a good sense about people.

        Kiki has gotten to where she likes to be loved by women and kids when we go out, but she still doesn’t care for men, unless they have a dog with them. I think the dog must tell her that their man is a good man. I’m hoping Kiki will start to develop a better sense about people and not just be afraid of men because of what happened to her. It’s amazing she isn’t afraid of women too, her last owner was a woman who was a hoarder and that was a bad situation too. But I guess she at least didn’t beat her….and break her leg, like her fist owner. She has been through a lot in her 2 years.
        She is a very good companion. And she doesn’t like my sister even though she normally has no problem with women, so she must have some sense about bad people. lol.

        Have a wonderful day!!!!

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