We don't lock our doors in Moab, but we've never worried about the consequences of that decision. So I was a little surprised when I arrived home from work yesterday about 5:30 pm to see the front French door wide open, the house dark inside, and the furnace trying to keep up with heating the outdoors. The truck was gone and there were lights on in the guest rental, which wasn't booked. Fergus had been left outside and now didn't respond to my calls. It's hard to work up too much suspicion in Moab, but it didn't take long before the mystery was solved. Fergus appeared in the doorway, stretching his lanky frame, apparently awakened from a deep slumber. His body was cozy warm---he'd been in the house for awhile. We've been trying to break his habit of jumping against the French door windows to tell us he wants inside. At some time during his persistent endeavor, he learned that he can now reach the door lever and push it down and Voila!---magically, Open Sez-A-Me! The big decision now is whether to teach him to close the door behind him, lock the doors in our absence, replace the levers with door knobs, or start using O'Malley's old doggie door.
Fergus is missing his cousins, Small and Large, the other components of "Le Trois Noir", as well as his southern belle cousin Hula. He's back to being a single child. Other than six (yes, that's 6) episodes of car sickness enroute to/from Denver, dehydration, and some weight loss from over-playing, he survived the first family encounter.
Thus far, Fergus promises to be a more 'normal' dog than O'Malley. Anyone who had the privilege of knowing the old lad knows what I mean. His list of adventures is stellar: drug by a pickup truck; shot by a 44 Magnum; bit by a black bear after chasing her 3 cubs; two encounters with mountain lions; and stomped by a cow elk with new calf. I swear these incidents are true, only because I was there.
If Fergus does no more than dig up a few plants, learn how to pick locks, and hang out with all his 'babies', that will be enough for me.