May 7, 2012

What Connor Did

What I forgot to mention in the recitation of my fun weekend was what Connor did.

When I came back from Ladew on Saturday afternoon, I saw that there was debris from the roof on my small front lawn.  My heart just stopped because I knew that there hadn’t been any storms, and the weather hadn’t been bad.

But Connor had been bad. He’d lunged through the screen in my bedroom and gotten onto the roof. The neighbour tells me that he watched Connor chew off the gutter guards and then get bored with that and lie in the sun for a while. dog was here

At some point, he hopped back into the house through the torn screen. And when I came home, he came trotting down the stairs, sweet as pie, acting like nothing at all had happened. Meanwhile, I was and am just sick thinking about what could have happened.

Bottom line: no windows open at all. This kills me because I love having the windows open, especially this time of year when the breezes are cool and fresh. And any new screens I get will have heavy duty screening.

66 comments:

  1. They do make super-strong screens for windows, which sounds like a great idea, but... at the risk of sounding like Delbert Grady from "The Shining"... it sounds like a bit of correction is necessary in the old dog-training department. Most dogs are not bad by nature, they're either bored or untrained. Perhaps a bit of work with Connor is in order?

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    1. Marcheline... it's so random that it happens. I had only been gone for about 40 minutes when it happened.

      I am trying to get the dog-walker to come in everyday. I would rather that he do smaller walks each day than long walks every other day. we're trying to work something out. Connor adores him, and the walker lives at the end of our lane, so it works well.

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  2. I assume the top sash won't pull down. Mine do and I only open the top part down because I am deathly afraid of my climber child falling out one. If the windows are newer they might do that. Just a thought.

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    1. kerry... they do come down from the top, but the window that connor blew through is right by my bed and i do love the breeze at night. I will have to do the top down thing now.

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  3. My heart stopped when I read the blog title then sank when I read the post itself.

    If it wasn't so horrifying it would be funny. But it is horrifying.

    And I'm sorry to say Bad Dog Connor.

    I had my windows replaced and I can now open then at the top. safety all around.

    xo Jane

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    1. Jane... I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. In fact, until i got inside and found Connor, I could barely breathe.

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  4. I think it's a riot that your neighbor just sat there watching your dog chew up your gutter guards -- why didn't they CALL YOU?!!

    I have another idea -- go to a store like Babies "R" Us, or One Step Ahead online and get a child safety window guard like these: http://www.onestepahead.com/catalog/search.jsp?N=0&Nty=1&Ntk=Def&Ntx=mode matchpartialmax&Ntt=window%20guard&D=window%20guard&Dk=1.

    That way you can have the window open, and know that Connor -- and your gutter guards! -- are safe. My dogs are crated when I'm not home, but that's because two bored Rottweilers would cause so much more damage than your dog. They could probably eat an entire sofa in 30 minutes. ;-)

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    1. We tried the crating and it just made connor nuts. I was worried that he'd gnaw his way through the metal bars. The window guards look like a good idea. Thanks!

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  5. Very scary, but glad that is the worse that happened... are you sure Connor is not part cat with nine lives? Very sadly we had a friend's 7 year old son die that way (screens are not intended to hold you in), so I do know that now they make window guards for child safety. This will allow you to keep your windows open, to have at least some fresh air. It may be that some are better than others, so you will probably want to do a little research before you buy...

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    1. I am looking at animal-proof screening.

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  6. What a little monkey! I'm sure you have a different name for him. John saw your house and said it reminds him a lot of his neighbourhood in Greenfield, Mass, from his childhood - he loved it!
    Di
    x

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    1. Di... when Andy saw the house when I first bought it, he said that it was what he thought that American houses looked like. Send my xoxo to John!

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  7. Hmm is it random. Does he "punish" you after you have returned from a trip (high point) then a festive Garden Party he no doubt senses your giddiness about your extra ciricular activiites. Perhaps he is jealous he is unable to join you on the exciting jaunts . Or even worse he knows when he has not been featured on a blog entry for being adorable and good so he makes headlines bad news sells Don't be a dog shouter LOL

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    1. I am not sure of a dog's sense of timing... i've been back from HP for two weeks. Connor does actually go places with me, when it's appropriate and the weather's right. I even told him Halas was coming over on Saturday, so he should have been excited about that (ha!).

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  8. Our friend’s dog did the same thing and their neighbors called the fire department. I am glad Conner is safe! xx

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    1. My {hillbilly} neighbour did nothing! He didn't even tell me until I asked him if he'd seen anything.

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  9. Scary, funny, not funny, odd and sweet all in one past!

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    1. You're right... i didn't know whether to laugh or cry. So I drank.

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  10. I'm glad he was ok! We open only the tops of our windows and that has worked well.

    Kat

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  11. What about taking Connor to doggie day care? I realize this happened when you had only been gone a short while...but in the long run, do you think he would "take" to a day care? Might help to relieve you of anxiety... Poor you, and poor Connor.

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    1. We did doggie day care when we lived downtown, but haven't been to one where we are now. I have a great dog walker who lives at the end of our lane, and Connor loves him. So that's the solution for the time being.

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  12. I think he was on the lookout for Halas and wanted to see him as soon as dogly possible. Ahoy, matey! Seriously, so sorry Meg. Like the day care idea, is there a weekend facility open in Balto? So wish I still lived in Balto, I could come over and Baby and I could sing duets or take walks or play Parcheesi together.

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    1. I am sure he'd love Parcheesi! We played it as kids. The thing is that I don't want him in day care all of the time. I work pretty regular hours, 4 days a week, and if I had to, I could come home at lunch...

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  13. Connor is a genius. Maybe if he had a friend?

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    1. BSF... he's probably 11-ish, so i am not sure about getting him a friend!

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  14. Don't see why you can't have the window by the bed open when you're home at night. I don't give my dog full run of the house. He gets a dog proofed half, not including the refrigerator. Dog proofing is different for each dog. In my case, all garbage baskets are on top of high cupboards. In your case it looks like window guards, as other people suggest. I think, in Connor's case, even with the windows closed, you should get guards. He seems to escalate his escape tactics, and might even break glass some day. However, since he's OK, I think the image of him hanging out on the roof all day, then sneaking in to say hello is very funny. Sorry about your neighbor though. There's always one like that.

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  15. What worries me is whether or not he knows/understands that not all windows have roofs below them.

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  16. Oh isn't he a bad boy....thank goodness he is safe...ya gotta smile after the shock!

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  17. Wow - it's good news and bad news - good that you have a dog that clever and bad that you have a dog so brazen!! I think Kerry's idea is a good one - obviously requires one more thing to do before you leave the house but a relatively simple solution!! Thank goodness he's ok!!

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    1. Quint... he's a very willful dog. But I am being vigilant about shutting the windows or opening them from the top!

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  18. So glad he is ok. What a stupid neighbor. I can't believe he is 11. If he needs a friend I volunteer with Lab Rescue of DC, MD and VA I am sure we have a friend for Conner.

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    1. Lablove... when Connor was at BARCS, the Lab Rescue said he wasn't "lab enough" to take him! But if we get another dog, it's gotta be another middle-aged one. No puppies for us!

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  19. Wow and I thought my dog was bad! He sits patiently at screen doors waiting to go out and chase birds and foxes that are staring right at him. I can't walk him off lease because I am just not sure if he would come back. He also jumps up a little when people come to visit and that really bothers me but I think he is just so happy to see someone new.
    Wish you lived closer they could play all day together in my yard and maybe then he would be too tired for his mini escapes.

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    1. I could actually walk Connor off-leash for a little bit when we lived downtown, but would never attempt it at the "new" house. we live close to a major intersection.

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  20. Dear Auntie Meg: Chewing off the gutter guards and then lying in the sun???? Wow! He really enjoyed his few moments of freedom!!

    And the neighbor never did anything about it....It just boggles my mind.

    You did the right thing: wine helps if one doesn't know whether to laugh or cry.

    Glad Connor's OK.

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    1. Miss M.A.... Wine? Hah! We went right for the bourbon! It was derby day, after all.

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  21. Oh, boy! He is definitely telling you that he doesn't like being left at home. I guess that I'm lucky: Jones is only naughty when I'm home and he hasn't been to the dog park. But he did go through the screen at my daughter's house when I went on vacation--thank God her neighbors caught him. Be well. Mary

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    1. Mary... luckily, connor's good when I am there!

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  22. OMG...laughing + crying. The visual of Connor on the roof chewing on the drains is making me laugh! The thought of Connor being hurt is making me cry. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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    1. Peggy... i can't for the life of me imagine why he went after the gutters.

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  23. What a dog! You have to love his sense of adventure. But then, maybe he was trying to escape. You can get child guards for the windows you want to open. In New York City they are required on any rental buildings. Your Home Depot, or Lowes must have them. they are like little fences about a foot high that you screw onto your window frames. Ask around. Ann

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  24. I don't know whether to say "Bad Connor!" or "Poor Connor"! Some dogs just can't handle alone time without gettin into mischief and my Sophie is one! I cannot tell you how many times my neighbor has called me five minutes after I've left the house to tell me my dogs are out in the front yard! Sophie manages to find every tiny opening to get out, and my yard is actually very secure! She has been known to jump the fence! So now I block the dog door when I leave.
    It sounds like Connor needs a window guard for sure! Here is the link to one that might work. www.angelguards.com
    I hope you find a solution. And I thought raising children was tough! Fur babies are often so much more difficult!

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    1. Cyndia... he nickname has always been Houdini! Ever since the first day I got him and realized that he could bolt out of anywhere.

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  25. Meg, Lab Rescue of the LRCP always takes lab mixes we have purebreds but most of the labs that we take in have a little mix which I think is always good. Check out the website Lab Rescue of LRCP. We have several middle age labbies looking for great homes like yours. Several are fostered in the Baltimore area. Love the posts about Connor and his choc buddy. I have a yellow and choc. Love the blog.

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  26. Love this post...makes me miss my dog! Btw - you can pull the top sash down, and then lift the bottom sash just an inch or two and you will still get the lower level breeze. We have to do this to keep the neighbors cats from coming in!

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    1. That clever-clogs connor can open a window if it's open an inch or so. He's done it before!

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  27. More ideas:

    You said that Conner can open a window if it's cracked a bit. You could drill a hole through the window frame into the sash and insert a pin on the inside to keep the window from being opened. Any hardware store could help you with this, or they may sell a window lock to do the same thing.

    Consider getting a toy you can hide a treat inside. The Kong toy is popular, but there are others. They distract dogs and keep them busy.

    Also, could you ever take Connor to work?

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    1. Anon... I wish i could take connor to work! but my boss nixed that idea. and a couple of other people have suggested the kong, but to tell you the truth, connor's not very food-motivated. i do like the idea of the pin in the window.

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  28. WHEW!!! Just NOW seeing this! Your neighbor is a JERK!!! Even if he didn't give a damn about your gutters he SHOULD have had grave concerns over the dog! What goes around, comes around, buddy!!! I am so glad Connor is OK....some really GOOD suggestions for you in all the comments!!!

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    1. vickie... i don't really think that there was anything he could do. he doesn't have my phone number and i was about 35 miles north of the city.

      so glad connor's okay, too!

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  29. Meg,

    How did I miss this!!! Oh Connor, he makes me nervous! I cannot beleive the adventures that he has. How does he do this stuff?

    I am so glad that he is ok! Thank God for miracles!

    Take care, Elizabeth

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  30. Erm, when I asked for more Conmor pics, I certainly didn't expect the little hooligan to go out on a (limb) porch roof to show off!l terrifying for you, unnerving for us, and just what was that stinker thinking?? I read recently about Dog TV. Short of doggy babysitters or another animal adoption, I wonder what you could do to keep him entertained IN the house. Not ON the house. So strange. I wish you every bit of luck-for both of you!

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    1. We do have a walker who comes in several times a week, but not on the weekends, because i am usually in and out.... which i was on saturday. also, i leave npr on the radio all day. i am sure that keeps him company!

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  31. It can be so frustrating when animals, or kids for that matter do things that are risky, but don't even realize it! I'm glad your dog's okay though.

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    1. thanks, eddie. my heart was stopped until i got inside and found that connor was fine.

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  32. i was laughing so hard! and this is NOT funny. clearly Connor was seeking a bit of an adventure -- you know we all need some of that around middle age.

    some peanut butter in a Kong would bore him.

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    1. funnily, soodie, connor turns up his little pink nose at peanut butter. i don't like it either and when i moved last year, i found a jar of pb that had gone rancid.

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  33. Although I would be scared to test this with Lucy, my experience with dogs is that they respect the distance between the roof and the ground. When I was a kid my dad was working on the roof of our porch and our dog sat out on the roof with him the whole time. She loved soaking up the sun up there.

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    1. thomas... i sure hope he knows about edges!

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  34. Something tells me that no one could ever be angry with Connor. He shows such a delightfully innocence :))). he must be some pretender .

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    1. HA! I was furious with Connor! And to make it even more irritating, i was trying to get ready for a party, and he just trailed me around and i kept tripping over him.

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