Photo by Michelle Griffen
For the past few months, Bandit, the Corgi who belongs to my roommate, Michelle, has been disappearing from the backyard. We finally figured out that he was sneaking through a gap between the fence and the brick wall high up on a slope in the rear. The gap leads to my neighbor’s backyard, and a few times, we found Bandit hanging around there, looking at us from the driveway, behind the neighbor’s gate.
Michelle and I have been meaning to block Bandit’s escape route, but we kept forgetting. Then the other day, when Bandit disappeared again, Michelle went over to get him. She didn’t see him in the backyard, so she rang the bell. My neighbor, Carlo, answered the door with Bandit under his arm. And then he told Michelle what has been going on for the past month.
It seems that Bandit has been a regular visitor not just to Carlo’s backyard, but also inside his house. Carlo’s 3-year-old daughter, Brooke, had started letting Bandit in the house when she would see him roaming around the backyard. Just to make sure the resident big dogs didn’t give Bandit a problem, Brooke would put them away in another room before letting Bandit in. She would then escort Bandit to her room, where the two of them would watch TV, enjoy snacks and cuddle. When Bandit had enough, he’d ask to be let out in the yard. Brooke would open the door for him, and Bandit would come back into our yard. Meanwhile, Michelle never even knew he was missing.
This situation seemed to be working for everyone involved. Bandit, who loves children, had a young friend to share his afternoons. Carlo had someone to entertain Brooke, and Michelle didn’t have to worry about keeping Bandit occupied. The only problem was the Carlo’s gigantic black Russian Terrier, Mig, who would go berserk when Bandit was in the house, barking and trying to get out of the room to eat him.
For Bandit’s safety, we realized we had to plug up that gap, and do it now. Yesterday, we piled cinderblocks in the spot where Bandit was squeezing through. We then let him out in the backyard and waited to see what happened. He raced up the slope but soon came back, looking dejected. His escape route had been closed.
Despite the fact that Bandit couldn’t get out of the yard yesterday, neither Michelle nor I are convinced that he won’t find another way to slip through the fence. Surely spending time hanging out with Brooke is worth the effort of searching out an alternative way to get next door. Time will tell.