This is what Wendell looks like after spending a freezing cold night in the woods. We gave up searching for him last night, but at 7am this morning Ian found him in his dog house, shivering in his sleep, and carried him into our house. We wrapped him up in an electric blanket turned on high and rubbed him vigorously until he fell into an exhausted sleep, which we let him enjoy until we had to leave for school.
Yes, I feel like a terrible dog parent. But I’d like to see what anyone else could have done in our situation. Wendell’s anxiety has been prevalent ever since we adopted him this fall. Yet over the holidays we traveled to several different houses, and Wendell performed wonderfully at each one. We were even getting him to respond to our vocal commands and hand signals. So confident were we in his turn for the better that yesterday we decided to let him off leash on his afternoon walk. Before the holidays we did this a lot, allowing him to scamper through the woods until we got close to home, at which time we would reattach his leash. Usually this is a great system, but yesterday Wendell wised up to our shenanigans and gave us a wide birth on his walk. Every attempt to catch him was thwarted, though he’d nudge our ankles and and attack his loose leash in a manifestation of his inate herding nature.
Thus, from about 5 to10:30pm, we took turns wandering outside in the bitter cold and calling for him. We opened every door in the house, lined doorways with bits of hotdog, and tried to coax him into his dog house. Absolutely nothing worked, and we eventually retired to bed, fearing what state we would find him in in the morning.
Needless to say, Wendell’s severe anxiety towards our house is not doing us or him any favors. Perhaps his doggy nature is giving him a sixth sense and he is actually the sane one, sensing spirits or demons that haunt the premises, of which Ian and I are completely unaware of. Maybe. But either way, we can’t trust that he won’t allow his anxiety to cause him to freeze to death someday. I hope he enjoys spending the better part of the next few months securely on his leash.