Panic ensued earlier today as Poppy did a disappearing act. We have had real issues with our garden fence. It is currently kept together with a combination of string, old pallets, odd plastic chairs, table tops and a range of timber oddments. Our beloved landlord seems absolutely unlikely to replace the fence, so it would seem we have no choice but to attempt to repair it as best we can. Over the past couple of days it has been quite windy, with the result that one fence panel has come adrift from it's concrete post and we had to tie it up with a piece of washing line to try and prevent any sort of escape from the dogs. It is usually Alfie who is in the habit of finding himself on the wrong side of the fence and then panicking when he can't get back in, but Poppy doesn't in general make escaping a habit. If Alfie wanders off he usually decides he prefers the comforts and warmth of his home and comes back if you call, but Poppy makes no sort of sound. We have the problem of the new neighbour's cats to contend with, as well as the occasional squirrel which runs along the top of the fence, and so causing no end of turmoil when either dogs sees them. I think the cats have a habit of sitting on the roof of the rapidly-deteriating shed and making out as if they rule the roost as it were, knowing full well that neither dog can catch them, both dogs setting up an awful noise of howling, barking and Poppy in particular starting a strange sound that sounds as if it would wake the dead! The other day Alfie got inside the shed, and I managed to coax him out, and I discovered a cat sitting on an ancient mattress at the back of the shed. The door of this shed is completely off it's hinges and it is quite an effort of lean the door up to prevent Alfie getting inside. Also there seems to be a hole at the back of the shed which goes out into the wooded area behind the house and running along the Redway, so we assume that is one route for him getting out. The shed is in such poor condition that there really is no more we can do to salvage it and prevent the dogs getting inside, particularly when the cat is in residence.
Any, Poppy generally sticks by Carol when she is in the house and wasn't to be found when Carol had her early-morning bath this morning. I went downstairs to find the dog, and called for her. She did not respond in any way shape or form, which was unlike her. Rattle the box we have which contains their favourite treats and both dogs will rush in from the garden. I looked in all her favourite places in the house but could not find her anywhere and it was at this point that we both panicked somewhat. Carol got dressed quickly and we both went out of the house with Carol going towards the canal along the Redway and myself going towards the footbridge on the way to the Academy. Calling all the while but absolutely no response from Poppy.
I went back into the house and was about to call the Academy to let them know that Carol would arrive late this morning, when suddenly Poppy reappeared through the patio doors, almost as if nothing had happened and there had been no panic when she had suddenly disappeared. I waited for Carol to come back in, which she did after a few minutes. We still don't know how Poppy got out or even how she managed to get back in. No end of calling had not got her to bark or make a noise to alert us to her whereabouts. But the panic was over and we had her back, safe and sounds, but it seems we will now have to make some real effort to mend the fence as best we can to prevent a further incident.