by Noam Livnat
When we bought our house here in Old Mountain View, we acquired a new family member. My wife’s family’s dog, Opie, came to live with us from her home in Orange County. Opie’s a loving, gentle dog – great with our kids and well behaved. But despite her twelve years, the spirit of the West is strong in Opie. She loves getting loose and sniffing the neighborhood news from bushes, trees, and fire hydrants.
And there’s the rub. Opie loves to get out, but she isn’t much enamored with asking for permission or verifying that a responsible adult is along for the ride. If we leave our front door open for a second while bringing in groceries she’s Adios Amigos! She also excels at sneaking out the side gate if someone carelessly leaves it unlocked (I suspect she’s figured out how to unlock it herself, but have no proof yet. She refuses to cooperate with the investigation.) In the few years she’s lived with us, she’s found her way out dozens of times. It wouldn’t be so bad if this happened only while we were home, but it often happens while we’re away.
To our delight, every time our escape artist has fled the premises, some caring person has found her. Some call and keep her at their place until we’re able to come by, like the person who stopped her car to catch Opie and fed her doggie biscuits while waiting for us to pick her up. Often they lead her back home, put her in the yard, and leave a message on our answering machine.
Until now, we haven’t been able thank all those anonymous helpers. So to all of you who have found our bush-sniffing, joy-ride-taking German-shepherd border-collie mix, brought her home and took good care of her along the way – thank you. And for those of you who haven’t chanced across Opie yet, thank you in advance!Annoying as Opie’s escapades are, they offer a gratifying revelation. We live in a community where it’s taken for granted that people will help a dog find its way back home. And most do it so matter-of-factly that they don’t leave their phone number so you can thank them properly later.