Houdini Hide and Seek

4 Aug

One of my favourite games is playing Houdini Hide and Seek with Mr. human. To play the game, besides having a willing human, you need a good size doggy blanket and something a bit smaller like a old hound-scented bath towel … um, that would be an old towel, not an old hound. So, here’s how we play Houdini Hide and Seek. Mr. human holds up the doggy blanket, and then I run and jump up as high as I can into the blanket

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Then, Mr. human throws it over my head, wraps me up and rolls me around on the deck. I flop and roll all over the place while getting myself out of the blanket. He has the hound towel ready for me just as I am about out of the blanket. He wraps me up in the towel and I flop and roll around some more. Every single time I can hear him say, “Where’s Pepper!? Where’s Pepper?” You think it would be rather obvious where I was. Duh. See what I have to work with here? Anyway, eventually I pop out. And he has the doggy blanket ready to get me again. His job is to keep me covered … preferably without the dumb questions. And my job is to make like Houdini and escape before he can cover me again. I always win. But given the competition, what else would we expect? It’s great fun, though. I could flop and roll around all day long playing Houdini Hide and Seek. Mr. human usually poops out after 15 or 20 minutes. Geezer.

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One day while nosing around the perimeter of my country house with the grass in the front yard, I happened to notice a spot where the fence was a bit loose. Aha! LIke any curious puppy, I pushed on it with my nose. It gave way. I had found a gap in the fence! For joy, for joy! I almost managed to hop around on my two back legs without falling over. Does the movie The Great Escape come to mind? I could roam wherever I wanted to go without the humans knowing about it just like cats. Way cool. And I would always be back in time for roll call like any good POW, that’s Puppy of Wanderlust. The great thing about the gap in the fence was that it was right next to a big tree that blocked the commandant humans view. “There will be no escapes from this yard!”  Steve McQueen eat your heart out. Off I went.

I headed uphill away from the lap of luxury. Grass is always greener, eh? I wandered through all sorts of shrubbery, made it to the crest of the hill and came upon a large concrete overhang. There was a perfect size area just a couple feet high, almost like an open-ended cavern, that I could walk along. So off I went. This exploring stuff is really a lot of fun. And totally unsupervised. How cool is that. Well, I walked along smelling everything in sight  although it was mostly barren dirt. Seems like some rodents had been there before me. Oh, and a feline or two as well. The more I explored I discovered the neighbourhood cats had been all over this place. What in the world were they doing up here anyway? And the place was a bit musty smelly too. Phew.

Off to my right, there was a drop off. Okay, a bit of a cliff. Nothing too serious. Or so I thought. If cats can manage it, well, what’s to stop a puppy? So I kept on going following my nose. I hopped across a few little ditches, and came to what seemed like a bit of a dead-end. I didn’t realize how right I was. I turned to go back, but what was easy going one way, seemed puppy-proof looking back the other way. I was stuck. Oops. And hidden under the overhang, no one could know where I was. Double oops. I had no food or water. I was definitely in the Land of Oops suddenly missing the lap of luxury and my green grass. What to do now? From the end of the overhang, I looked down and saw what looked like some leaves and branches. I thought I could just jump down on them, scoot over the the little trail and go back to home sweet home. But something told me to stay put.

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About that time I heard Mr. human shouting, “Pepper … Pepper … where’s Pepper?” Okay, okay, it’s not always a dumb question. I had mixed emotions. Was that the sound of the calvary coming to my rescue or Colonel Clink wanting to capture me and put me in the sweatbox out in the noonday Sun? Next thing I  heard was Mrs. human calling for me too. Not sure what to do, I did nothing except stay where I was. Even gardner John was on the hunt for me. He spotted me first, although I could see Mr. human at the other end of the long overhang. John managed to carefully walk along that little trail on the edge of the cliff to just below where I was. When he got to me, I wagged my tail to say hi to John. Maybe he came over to play. So when he tried to grab me, I playfully jumped back. I came closer, he tried to grab me, and I jumped back again. Maybe John was a fellow escapee? But Mr. human was too crafty. He gave John some dog treats. Traitor. John held them out. I couldn’t hold out, so I went for the treats. John grabbed me. Betrayed by my belly again. My short-lived adventure as an escapee was over.

After carefully walking back along the little trail on the edge of the cliff, holding on to some roots and branches with me in tow, John handed me up to Mr. human. I was right. He had a doggy lead in his hand to clip on to my collar. I was sure I was headed for the sweatbox. Mr. human commandant had to climb over neighbour Alan’s railing, walk across the patio, through the kitchen, living room, hallway and out the front door. Secretly backtracking down the hill with me in shackles through the low lying shrubbery wasn’t going to happen. Instead this sinner puppy was displayed for all to see. I half expected the villagers to throw rotten vegetables at me while my forehead was emblazoned with a big scarlet E. On the interminable march back to the gulag, I could sense that Colonel Clink human was not exactly pleased with Sgt. Pepper’s new version of Houdini Hide and Seek. To tell the truth, neither was I. The ounce of prevention fence was secured immediately with nails and rocks by Mr. human and gardner John. I managed to avoid doing time in the sweatbox. But, even Mrs. human didn’t call me adorable this time. I was in the dog house.

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Turns out it’s a good thing I didn’t try to jump down on those leaves and branches by the trail. They were the tops of trees. I heard Mrs. human telling someone it’s a straight drop 100 feet to rocks below at that end of the overhang. Nearly made my spots fall off when I heard that, which is to say I about turned white as a ghost. Every now and then I see cats nonchalantly climbing all over the place unfazed at the cliff’s edge. I don’t know how cats do it. From now on I’m sticking with the original version of Houdini Hide and Seek, maybe with a little tug of war thrown in to spice it up.

3 Responses to “Houdini Hide and Seek”

  1. Eileen Schiller August 4, 2013 at 11:26 PM #

    Pepper, you are currently living in the lap of luxury!!! Stay there silly girl!!!

  2. Susie August 5, 2013 at 12:00 AM #

    What a fun game and a scary story! No more wandering off it really scares your humans too:)

  3. Dave and Janet La Plante August 5, 2013 at 7:16 PM #

    What were you thinking Pepper. Stay put even though humans can be annoying at times they really do care about you!! You made my heart leap when I read this.

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