From Mathew Harkins. Email him at mharkins[AT]borderstan.com.
We’ve all heard the stories of dogs that find their way home after being separated from their owners. Now Borderstan has it’s own variation on the theme, but with a twist.
On April 30, Joey, a resident Chihuahua, went out for an afternoon walk with his dog walker. According to the MPD, the dog walker was then the victim of a robbery near the intersection of 11th and V Streets NW — she was not assaulted though she did fall and hit her head.
During the course of this robbery, Joey managed to slip out of his collar and run away from the scene. This was at 4:12 pm.
At 4:27 pm, just 15 minutes later, Rachel Jones, the owner and head trainer at K-9 Divine (and also a Borderstan contributor), happened to look out her window to see Joey at her doorstep. Joey and his owner are clients of K-9 Divine. Moreover, K-9 Divine is not conveniently located just a block or two away from the scene of the crime. It’s all the way over at 11th Street NW and several blocks south — a full nine blocks away from where the robbery happened.
For Joey to have run that distance in such a short period of time, he must have known where he was going and wasn’t confused or lost. Amazingly, Joey has barely ever been walked from his home to K-9 Divine; he usually travels stylishly by car. He has seen the route from a passing window but nobody would have imagined he knew how to get there on his own. And yet, his survival instinct kicked in during the robbery and led him to what he knew would be a safe place, even at such a distance.
This isn’t a skill you’re necessarily going to want to test out with your dog, but it is an interesting look at the intelligence of dogs. At the same time, let’s all be sure to keep the collars securely fastened on our canine companions.