Today was Haruki's first day ever being off-leash (since we've had her).
Given her propensity to hyperventilate when she sees deer, small rodents, birds, etc., this is a big deal, as it meant that I had to loosen the f$%& up and just trust her a little. Yah--that's right. I had to trust a two-year old dog that she'd listen when we called her, even if a deer might be taunting her to chase. (More on this scenario soon, unfortunately.)
This was Haruki after David and I put on her new off-leash collar.
It's a Garmin Astro, which is specifically designed to track dogs when they're wearing this funky collar. (It cost a lot. Don't ask. David has been very intent on letting Haruki off-leash so who am I to complain if that Astro bizness means that we literally can't afford to get blinds in our house?)
This is right before she realized that I was holding her leash and that is was, in fact, not attached to her.
2.5 seconds later...
It turns out that our dog is a lot faster than we thought, and is also able to spring in the air in the same way that deer do. I mean it--she doesn't even need a running start to jump five feet in the air, she just hops like a cricket.
Despite being stressed that she'd run away forever, it made me so (embarrassingly) happy to see how happy she was running alongside us, playing in the grass, and just generally being a very doggy dog.
Unfortunately, as often happens in our little mountain neighborhood, we--and Haruki--spotted a group of four deer on a ridge above us. Though she did come to us after seeing the deer, after seeing them jump off Haruki bolted after them. According to our Garmin tracker, she ran and chased those poor deer for about three hundred yards down the canyon. In other words, I screamed her name like an idiot for about five minutes before she came running back, completely exhausted but so happy to see us. (It's lucky she recognizes my voice, even when I'm screeching full-stop and my voice is cracking like an egg.) (Sorry for the simile.)
Lucky for me and David, Haruki was--and still is--completely wiped out from this adventure. She collapsed on our floor very quickly and I was able to snap a picture of her battle wounds:
She did not have those little gouges on her right arm before we left. So, either she nicked herself on a sharp rock while running, or ... she caught one of those deer and they gave her what for! Sigh. I can't believe that people with kids ever let them leave the house. I'm going to need a lot of Xanax if we have kids...
*Do you ever let your dog off-leash? We aren't comfortable doing it often or in many locations, but because the area around our house is secluded forest it's a much safer option than in most places.