I want to tell you something about Monroe and my intent here is to do so with a spirit of kindness. So far, I have typed and erased at least a dozen starting sentences, so it shows that this is a good and necessary exercise. Monroe is dear and wonderful and she loves her tribe. Monroe is also a wanderer. Oh, seriously though “wanderer” doesn’t come close to capturing it. Monroe has a wanderlust that borders on addiction. We live on a sizeable farm with pastures and trees and water and smells — everything a dog loves, but it is not enough for Monroe. At least weekly, she digs a hole and goes on a walk about. Today was one of those days.
Monroe wears a GPS tracking collar so we are alerted about her escape and shifting location. When that alert pings, it means dropping everything you are doing, running (which I hate), climbing fences (which I hate even more), screaming her name and generally making a display of yourself as you skulk around the neighboring farms tracking her down. As soon as Monroe is able to hear your voice (hence, the screaming), she turns around to head your way. So the dot that is you on the tracker and the dot that is her take incremental steps to close the space between you until, ta da! You are reunited. Monroe is unrepentant about her behavior. In fact, she is thrilled that you have joined in her adventure, jumping in joy about what we should do next! I am never that happy.
This does not make Monroe a bad dog. This makes Monroe the free-spirited terrier she is and was bred to be. It makes me exhausted and terrified, but I am coming to terms with that, through kindness of thought. If I label her bad, I have failed her. If I live in terror about what may happen to her, I have failed myself. We do our very best to prevent her escapes but she is clever and shit happens. My kindness promise to her is that I will always run and climb and scream for her and I hope she promises to always be happy to see me.