The Great Dog Escape of 2022. I Still Can’t Believe How They Did It!

When my Lab mix, Hershey, was a puppy, he chewed up whatever he could get his paws on. His favorite chew toy was the bundle of wires leading to the TV dish. We tried everything to get him to stop, but we couldn’t keep him away! At one point a friend recommended dousing the wires with Tabasco or Texas Pete. Apparently, dogs hate hot sauce — at least, normal dogs do.

You can probably see where this is going. I covered the wires in Texas Pete and left the kitchen. When I walked back in, Hershey was gnawing the bundle to pieces and licking hot sauce off the floor! Turns out he doesn’t mind peppers one bit.

I should have known then it was only a matter of time before Hershey led our other dog, Rock, into mischief. They’ve had some minor scuffles in the past. (Last year, Hershey pried the grate off of our crawl space and led Rock under the house, getting both of them stuck there. We had to get a friend’s help to wedge the vent shut extra tight.) But nothing too crazy happened … until this summer.

On the morning of the Great Dog Escape, Marah, Bennett, and I were out walking around town. When we got a little bit closer to our house, a neighbor flagged us down.

“Hey!” they said, “Doesn’t that look like Rock?”

The neighbor pointed to a big black boxer-type dog running around in the yard of a school across the street from our house.

“There’s no way that’s Rock!” I said. “He’s fenced in.” But I had a funny feeling, so I ran over to the dog. Sure enough, it was Rock! He was on the loose — and he was all by himself.

We rushed back to the house and quickly realized two things.

  1. Hershey wasn’t in the fenced yard.
  2. Both vents to the crawl space were open!

Somehow, these two big dogs had wedged their paws in hard enough to pop off the reinforced backyard grate. Then, they’d squeezed their not-so-little selves down under there and crawled all the way to the other side of the house. Not only that, they’d popped off the second vent cover and managed to sneak out for a day of adventure!

I still can’t believe it. Fortunately, we eventually found Hershey in a neighbor’s yard after ages of riding around calling for him. I was not very pleased with the boys, let me tell you! I have no idea why escaping through the crawl space seemed like a good idea in their little dog minds.

Now that I have a few months of distance from the whole thing, though, it’s pretty funny how they pulled a Houdini on us. Marah and I have totally forgiven Hershey for the scare. He turned 9 years old last month, and we celebrated with a full birthday menu of meatballs, puppuccinos (Anna even found Ben & Jerry’s Doggie Desserts!). He sure is spoiled, and so is his brother. We didn’t want to play favorites, so Rock got to enjoy the feast too.

I hope we never get a repeat of the Great Dog Escape of 2022. I have a business to run and chiropractors to help — I can’t be on pup patrol all the time! To learn more about what I’ve been up to between running around after Rock and Hershey, Check out our other blog posts!

-Josh Walker