The BDD’s Not Excellent Adventure

If you follow me on Twitter or happen to be a Facebook friend, you know what I’m talking about.  And thank you for all your concerns and kind words.  But here’s the whole story:

We are assholes of the dog owner world.  Anybody could have made the mistake we made but I still feel like an asshole.  A big one.

We had plans of visiting friends in Indianapolis on Saturday.  So like any other time we go out of town, we were making our way to my in-laws with the doggins [because they like the doggins as much as we do].  We usually drive the dogs in my Honda but that day we were going to take the hubs’ car, a 4-door sedan, that the dogs have never been in.  So we’re heading down Shelbyville Road, a road that has four lanes and a turning lane, going about 35mph.  The BDD is doing her usual Tarzan calls from the back seat – we’re trying our best to ignore her.  The back window starts rolling down.  At first I’m all, “WTF?”  And then I look at Mike, “What are you doing?!?”  He yells back he wasn’t doing anything and pulls over.

Two words flash in my mind: oh shit.

The child-lock on the windows wasn’t on.  I’ll be damned if we didn’t think about that BEFORE the window started rolling down.  That damn BDD had her foot on it and that window just zoopt on down.  And out she went.  The hubs had the car over in an instant, jumped out after her – she had gone to the right where the grass was.  But in a nanosecond (I seriously didn’t see any of this because I was going ape shit), she dashes across all five lanes, so does Mike and they’re gone.  I get in the car, pull the car over and search for them – I didn’t see them anywhere.

I finally caught up with the hubs; he was at the very back of the car dealership on the other side of the street.  The BDD bolted on him.  Poof! Poor Chase is just sitting in the backseat, not knowing what in the world is going on.  Mike continued on foot, I took the car and we both search for our big deaf dog for 40 minutes.  No dice.  We go home to let Chase out of the car and Mike takes it right back out.  I make “Lost Dog” signs which I have to say is one of the most pathetic-feeling things I’ve ever done.  At least when I’m looking for her, my mind is somewhere else.  Making a flier is horrible – I sat there and cried while staring at that big smiling mug of the BDD’s.  “Why BDD?  Why did you run away?  I thought we had a good thing going?  Dammit dog.”

Wiping my tears, my nose, and my guilt on my sleeve, I get the fliers done; I drove off myself to tape them up on stop signs in the area she escaped to.

the flier 8-21-10

Twelve signs.  That’s how many I put up.  Driving past them sent me into tears.  But 30 seconds after I passed the hubs and hung up sign #12, my phone rang.  Unknown caller.  “Yeah, I saw your sign…”  He had her.  Well, would you look at that… more tears.  Shocker.

Apparently my BDD waltzed up to the back door of an apartment dweller.  The  apartments butt right up next to the Toyota dealership Chevy ran through.  These kind people let her in.  Checked her out.  Read her tag and see that she’s deaf.  (Her tags say “I’m deaf & can’t hear”.)  And they call the number on the tag.  Yeah… about that number… we decided to cancel our home phone last week… we can say “disconnected”.  (Like I said, we’re assholes.)  They call the vet’s number on the other tag; the vet won’t release our information.  This nice man decides to take the BDD in the car with him, see if he can find anyone looking for a dog.  (Which by the way, if he was aware of the sounds that dog makes in the car, he wouldn’t have done that.)  But I’m glad he did; he stopped at the main office and saw the sign I posted in the mail area.  And called me.

She jumped out of the window of a moving car.  She darted across five lanes of traffic.  She can’t hear her name being called.  She was gone for 2½ hours.  I was certain she’d be struck by a car since we have that whole “deaf” thing going on.  I was wrong.  And I’m so effing happy that I was wrong.

I pulled in the culdesac of the apartment and some fella I didn’t know was walking my dog.  I told him the story, he wowed and was so so kind and then I broke down again (it pretty much became the theme of my day) and I gave him a huge hug.  Chevy jumped in the car.  We drove away.  And her clanging cries of joy took over our car ride.  But she was safe.  And I kept crying.  No surprise there.

Chevy 8-21-10

The BDD is fine.  It doesn’t appear that she broke anything but toenails.  She has a few scrapes of road rash and I’m sure she has some bruises.  But she’s fine.  Better than fine since some days have passed.

How does this happen?  How does a deaf dog defy the odds of being hurt when she did what she did?  I can’t get over that.  All I do know is that someone was kind enough to take my dog in for an hour, do everything in their power to reach out to us and then we got lucky.  Lucky indeed.  Maybe we should change her nickname to BLDD.

(Yes, new dog tags were made that day for both doggins; the new phone number is stamped on them.  And yes, we do plan on changing how we transport the dogs.  We clearly haven’t learned everything yet when it comes to owning a big dog.  A dog with enough weight to open electronic windows and lock doors accidentally.  All I ask is you not judge us.  It was scary – I am mad enough at myself; I don’t need someone to give me an ear full – and I’m fixing it.  I just hope others can learn from our 2½ hour panic session.  Because it completely sucked.  And we got really, really lucky.)

To learn more about Brooke and see her recent work, visit her new site at brookemurphyphoto.com. Follow Brooke on Facebook or Twitter.

August 24, 2010 - 8:44 am

Wendi @ Bon Appetit Hon - Boo, glad that BDD is home safely. Don’t beat yourself up…it’s clear that you feel horrible about what happened.

PS – That dog has a guardian angel.

August 24, 2010 - 9:00 am

Victoria - I am so relieved to hear that she is okay. How terrifying. And sista, don’t worry, this don’t make you bad dog owners. It makes you more prepared for the next BLDD adventure.

August 24, 2010 - 9:05 am

Shanna - my dog too has opened the electric windows, so definitely don’t beat yourself up. honestly, who would even think that would happen? i surely didn’t until i heard that window going down while driving down the road. i was lucky that indy isn’t brave enough to even think about jumping. what a scary situation for you. i am soooo glad to hear that you found her and that she’s ok!

August 24, 2010 - 9:06 am

Becki D - I am so glad you found the BDD, and so quickly! Never underestimate the Power of the Sign! My Mom got her dog back once that way, too.

And you really, really shouldn’t beat yourself up about it. You’re pretty amazing, but you’re not Superwoman – you can’t think of EVERY possible situation AND head them all off before they happen.

I heart yall and your love for your dogginses. :-)

August 24, 2010 - 9:32 am

katie o. - I can’t believe you just made me cry before I’ve even had my coffee. No judging here. Dogs aren’t people and sometimes they get wild hairs. And sometimes they cause us insane amounts of grief. And no matter, we love them more than life itself. So glad the sweet girl is back home where she belongs.

August 24, 2010 - 9:59 am

Debbie - Thanks for sharing your story with us — perhaps it will help others over-prepare when transporting doggins! They’re so like children — they just can’t help being curious and dumb sometimes. That’s why God gives them a guardian angel, too — and many times, that “angel” comes in the form of a kind-hearted stranger, as y’all found out! Quit kicking yourself over this — you couldn’t have known she’d do something this out-of-character. Just be oh-so-thankful she’s back home, safe, and none the worse for the “adventure”!!

August 24, 2010 - 10:00 am

Winnie - That made me cry! I’m so glad you got her back.

August 24, 2010 - 10:16 am

Amy - I never would have thought about child-locks on the windows! That so could have happened to anyone and is not a reflection on your puppy parenting abilities.
We used to have a Siberian Husky and she could NOT be trusted off a leash. A couple of times she got away from us and was gone, running down the road and a mile away before we could blink. When she was “free” she would forget her name and ignore any of our calls. It was terrifying. And, because she looked like a wolf (seriously, some people asked if she was a wolf) people were scared to go near her and help us corral her. Luckily, we always managed to get her home safely. God, I miss that dog.

August 24, 2010 - 10:38 am

denise:) - There is nothing worse than making up those signs and feeling like you failed your baby. I’m so glad she’s ok and home safe. The kindness of strangers surprises the crap out of me.

Soo glad this was a happy ending!! Give that girl a hug from me!!

August 24, 2010 - 12:56 pm

Denise - Oh my!!! I would have lost my mind if my dogs did that!!! I’m so happy she’s okay and back home. It could have happened to the best dog owners in the world. Don’t stress yourself out too much. She’s home and safe.

August 24, 2010 - 5:28 pm

Anamaris - oooh B! I hope you can feel that big hug I’m sending you. Just reading your account has made tear up (and I’m AT WORK, woman!). I can only imagine how you felt, it had to be so scary.

I never worried about that window business when I had Cinnamon, it was never an issue. But when Mocha was with us for a few weeks, she used to stand on the armrest, I guess because she is smaller than Cinn was. One time i looked back to see the window rolled down. She had moved over to the other window to enjoy the views from that side. I was trying to figure out which window she was at so I could close the other and keep some of the much needed cool air in the truck. At first I thought I had just lowered the window too much, it wasnt until she stepped on the other button that I realized what was happenning.

Seriously, I dont think it’s something one naturally thinks about. Especially for the kid-less types. Big hugs to you and that BLDD!! I bet you wish you could hear her tell Chase all about her adventure.

August 26, 2010 - 4:55 pm

boogie - awww… glad u got BDD back. I know how stressful it is to lose a dog. knowing that they’re near, but are lost & anything terrible might happen. I once lost my childhood dog once. she had gone missing for 2 days & I had just taken off her collar for a bath, so no one could contact us if the found her. so on the third day, I rang every doorbell imaginable. and I finally found her at a house of really nice people a block away.

August 27, 2010 - 10:47 am

Ms. Pearl - Been there and it is gut-wrenching! Glad you had a good outcome too.

August 28, 2010 - 2:33 am

Rebecca - I’m so happy it worked out okay!

September 1, 2010 - 11:01 am

Melissa - When I saw your tweet my heart sank into my stomach for you. I laughed out loud with joy when you tweeted you had found her. Reading this has made me cry sitting at my desk at work! Thank God for sweet sweet people who go above and beyond to rescue and help lost animals. You are a fantastic doggie owner, don’t beat your self up too bad. Things like this happen. Thankfully the story ended well. bug hugs and much love boo.

September 8, 2010 - 5:59 pm

amy - hey brooke. crazy story. so glad you bdd is safe and sound and i agree iwth other posters don’t beat yourself up. something similar happened to me with my parent’s lab. he just jumped out the open window, i had no idea he would do that…

he was fine too.

thank goodness.

thanks for the nice comment on my blog-http;//thedigitalarthouse.wordpress.com

love your stuff.

September 17, 2010 - 9:54 am

shutterboo » Blog Archive » Back to Normal - […] 21st.  The day I felt like an asshole.  This would be the day that the BDD decided to jump of the window of a moving car.  We never claimed she was the brightest crayon in the […]

September 20, 2010 - 8:59 am

shutterboo » Blog Archive » The One That Can Hear - […] the whole “dog jumping out of the window” debacle, Chase couldn’t have been better.  First off, she didn’t jump out the […]

December 7, 2010 - 8:48 am

shutterboo » Blog Archive » I Don’t Exist - […] of people just make it harder.  But when the crowd’s small, there’s no reason to risk a dog jumping out of a window.  So on Saturday when we hosted Thanksgivmas with mi tres amigas and their significant others, the […]

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