Dramatic title? Maybe, but not really. So, last week, I encountered just how much Bear really does hate cats (His original home gave him up because Bear 'didn't get along with their cat'. That was an understatement.) If dogs were called to the same standards as humans - to love others, including their enemies - Bear would fail impressively.
Bear was in the backyard while Connor and I were inside having a snack. I heard him start barking quite ferociously (which was the first time I've heard him bark really; he's super mellow), so I went to check out the situation.
Our neighbor's cat was perched on our shared fence line - paws tauntingly hanging over our end of the fence. And bear was obliged to lose his mind; he began jumping up wildly on the fence. At this point his back legs were on the ground, so I was merely trying to coerce Bear to calm down - "Don't mind the cat, Bear. Come here" yada yada. Well, before I could say it again, Bear's hind legs were off the ground, and with super-human strength (well, super-dog strength, I should say), he must have dug his nails into the wood of our privacy fence, and he jumped over the top of the fence! (see illustration, "jump #1 :)
This agile cat quickly headed to one side, and Bear landed in the other yard. This was when the "Oh, shit!" yelling began. I couldn't help it...Even though my heart started racing, I realized all I needed to do was go find my keys, get in the car, drive to the street behind ours, and go in their fence to get our dog (hopefully it would be unlocked, fingers crossed!) So, I took a deep breath, and headed inside. Well, just as I was searching the kitchen counters for my keys, I noticed a black head start bobbing up over the fence line again. Bear was at it again, this time trying to jump into the other neighbor's yard. I run back outside, this time screaming at Bear to stop jumping (total waste of breath; dog was possessed with getting that cat - who I kid you not, had jumped back up on the fenceline, in Bear's line of sight!)
And then his next jump was enough. He starts scaling the neighbor's fence, but gets himself stuck halfway over - on top of a fence spire. (See jump #2). My. Heart. Stopped (has a habit of doing that lately, though, LOL :) At this point, Bear's eyes are wide with horror, he's desperately scraping his back legs along the wall, but nothing sticking, and his front paws are hanging over the other side, dangling. And I fear that what' keeping him from being able to move forward or backwards is a giant wooden spire impaled in his underbelly. The "Oh, Shits" start coming forth loudly and regularly (and at one point I even stopped, realizing that one of the kids I tutor lives behind us, and his parents very well may be home, hearing this rant of mine, oh great). What do I do?
Fortunately, very fortunately, there's a fence door that goes to the sewer drain behind the house, and after battling with the not-often-used door to actually open, I was able to get inside, and reach the point where Bear - all 106 pounds of him - was stuck. Terrified to push him up and find out if he was in fact impaled, I prayed really fast, and then pushed him up and back. He slid back down, and thank God, there wasn't any blood on my hand, fence, or gushing from his belly.
At this point, I'm literally shaking, and Connor - who had been plopped on the ground somewhere in the backyard - was asking, "Mom, what's wrong? What's wrong, Mom?" Bear seemed stunned for a few moments, but then went back to jumping. I had no other choice but to haul ass to my neighbor's street, and just hope that I got there before further incident.
So, I scooped up Connor, grabbed the spare keys, and raced to the garage. We peeled of the driveway and headed over. Like the Apollo astronauts who had lost communication with Houston for a period of time when passing behind the moon, for about half a minute I couldn't see our backyard and whether or not Bear was popping up and down or stuck again. On two wheels, I pulled into the neighbor's driveway, and thankfully they are trusting people who left their gate unlocked (Which in retrospect, is interesting considering that there was a homicide a few doors down just a few months ago). Anyhow, thankfully for me, Bear was still trying to jump over, and when he saw me, he trotted over, and got into the car.
Ordeal over. Shaking lessening. It's going to be fine. Oh. my. soul. Was it seriously not even noon yet?!?
And with impeccable timing, our underground fence system arrived that afternoon. So, instead of installing in only in the front yard, as originally planned, Jason also ran the wire along our back fence. Bear is in the process of being trained to learn where the boundaries are, and so far, he's doing excellent. The real test will be when that damn cat decides to come back around.
The rescue agency had told us that Bear's "negatives" were that he could jump a four-foot fence and didn't like cats. We had responded by saying, "No problem! We're not "cat people," and our fence is a six-feet tall...Ha freakin' ha.
I'll end with a super sweet pic I snapped the other day: Connor and bear spooning in the backyard. (See his paw draped over Connor's tummy? :)