There was a brief time when i fed the cats next door via meat scraps I left on my compost heap.
Then one day an albino, swayback pit bull with bare ribs and infested with ticks found her way to the treats and she has been back most days ever since. I made her a dog house and gave her a name: Switi Pie.
Once after an absence she showed up one morning with a puppy looking very much her own. They fight and tumble like only blood relatives would put up with.
Rocky was maybe 6 months old at first, has doubled his size in six months. He has mom's ears, colors and short hair, but his body shape and temperament are more BELGIAN MALINOIS. Mom is a classic Americcan Staffordshire terrier.
He, svelte, can run like a deer; she runs like a sausage, short legs, round body, but they both run for two miles without complaint and a nice long walk on the beach besides. Despite those efforts there are days when rocky still needs to dig another tunnel. Like a normal dog might chew a bone, rocky escapes.
Over several months the struggle between the desire to escape the yard and my obstinacy to plug the latest hole has been going on for just too long. The dog needs a bigger yard--and new owner!
That same day I lost it; Rocky had three tunnels dug under the front gate--which I had redesigned more times than I can remember to keep dogs on a particular side of my fence.
I wouldn't so much mind them escaping if they wouldn't come back. But they always do--especially at meal time or when it's time for a drive to the beach.
They once escaped into the field in front, which is two acres at least. But, I asked them to return and they gradually dragged themselves through four feet of tumbleweeds and a hole in the chain link fence--which they themselves had made.
I had NO WAY of getting to them but their listening to me.
But I have seen them consistently in their own time and effect respond to my wishes better than I could have hoped--at the end of the day, how could I fault them.
Platitudes aside: One day I had had enough. and I drive rocky only out to a lonely cul-de-sac behind the golf course. After 10 minutes of rocky sniffing about and me finishing a coffee, I drive away without him, and spend the next 24 hours thinking through what I had done, namely abandon a young dog to his luck in the real world.
... and how would it affect my karma if rocky became what the locals call: "what's for dinner." Thoughts like that.
Having suffered long enough, the next morning bright and early, Switi Pie and I are driving to where I last saw rocky in the rear-view mirror.
And there he was at the edge of the road; he had moved only about 500 yards from where I had dropped him. When we stopped, he stood at a distance till I called his name. And in a micro-second...