Remembering Pete ...

A decade or so back, I was having coffee and beignets at Coffee Call in Baton Rouge there at the intersection of College Drive and I-10 -- a VERY busy, high-traffic area.  I sat there on the patio watching 3 or 4 kids -- all preschool age -- playing with a huge blue-eyed hound.  I was thinking about how great he was with those kids who were climbing all over him and pulling his ears and tail with no reaction from him except a wagging tail and occasional face lick.  Then, after half an hour or so, the family finished up and headed for their car, followed by the dog.  Then they got in and drove off without him!  Amazingly, he wasn't their dog!  He wandered back to the patio and started going from one person to another.  I was horrified.  College Drive is 6 lanes wide right there and a block down is the interstate.  I couldn't believe he could survive for long around there.  So . . . I headed for my car to get a leash wondering if he would run away when he saw it.  Ha!  The boy took one look at that leash and RACED over to me and sat down and looked up like "Yes!  Get me OUT of HERE!"   And that was it.  I brought him home and there he stayed for the next decade or more. 

 But life with Pete was NEVER uneventful!  He loved everyone, but did NOT love being contained AT ALL.  If he was inside, he wanted out.  If he was outside, he wanted in.  And he was not one to give up.  The same was true for the yard itself.  He was completely unwilling to accept being fenced in.   Note that in the photo below he is OUTSIDE the fence.
It was ages before we figured out how to keep him in.  We tried taking him to "doggie day-care."  That lasted for about a week until he chewed his way through his chain link run and into the neighboring run, then let both himself and the neighbor dog out!  The owner was furious and told me she NEVER wanted to see him there again.  They couldn't believe he could chew his way out of a chain link run, but I could!  That's why he was there!  Here's a door knob he was trying to turn:

And once the door knob thing didn't work for him, he moved on to going directly through the wall:
(Did I mention that Mark is an incredibly patient man???  He DIDN'T kill him.)

One time back when that serial killer was loose here in Baton Rouge, Pete got out and ran away.  We lived right down the road from a boarding barn at the time and Pete loved going over there and hanging out with the horses, so Mark went back there to look for him and ran into a group of teen-aged girls taking riding lessons.  He said when he pulled up and asked if they'd seen his lost dog, the entire group got wide-eyed and began backing away from the car looking absolutely terrified!  He called me at work completely pissed off and told me Pete had gotten out again.  He said if I wanted to find him I better come home and look for him myself because HE QUIT!   ;-D

I don't know how to describe Pete, actually.  He was SO destructive when he didn't get his way, but when you were around there was no sweeter dog in the world.  And he got along with everyone - human or not.  We adopted a pit bull while we had him who harassed all our other dogs and could not be trusted alone with any of them except Pete.  She and Pete got along just fine, and not because he submitted to her either.  They just got along.  He simply ignored her when she tried to bait him.
I laughed at the picture below -- he looks like a guy whose wife just has told him she has a headache and he's rolling his eyes and sighing.    ;-D
Ultimately, Mark ended  up building a dog yard of 6-foot high heavy duty commercial chain link with those arms that lean in attached to the top with barbed wire up there to keep him from climbing over, and another strip of chain link about 2 feet wide attached to the bottom of the fence and draped into the yard with 18" concrete blocks holding it down until the grass could grow up through it so he couldn't dig under.  Whew!  The place looked like a prison, but at least it worked!  Once we got the yard fixed so he couldn't escape Mark used to say he thought he'd go get a job at the prison since he was such a pro at containing escapees now!

But we never did reach a point where we could handle his efforts to get in or out of the house, he just eventually got too old to do it any more. 

Pete had the MOST gorgeous blue eyes.

Aaaah.  Look at that face!

We didn't let the dogs on the furniture then but Pete always ignored those rules when no one was watching.  But sometimes he managed to compromise on the rules.  Here's he is enjoying a nap on a comforter he pulled down off the bed!  Come to think of it, this picture was taken the day he got thrown out of doggie day care -- that's when he hurt his nose chewing his way through that chain link.

Here he is reclining on a giant corner chair he was definitely not allowed on!

These last couple pictures were taken shortly before he died in 2004.

He got awfully thin toward the end and slept a lot.
We will never forget ol' Pete -- and every time one of our dogs does something destructive we both go "Uh-oh - Pete's been reincarnated!"