Petunia’s adventure

Petunia’s adventure

Laura, Petunia’s foster mom, gave us this account of the wild adventure that played out one recent evening in early April.  it is a cautionary tale to remind all those with a new dog how wiley they can be!






The escape:  It’s about 5:15 p.m., Petunia was spayed earlier in the day and is laying lethargically in her kennel in a temperature controlled garage away from the hubbub of the house.  Did she have to potty?  I thought we’d better check so I hit the button to close the garage door and when it was about 2 inches from being completely shut, opened the kennel door to bring her out and be leashed up.  Little did we know that such a groggy looking dog would jump up, sprint out of her kennel and make a beeline for the garage door.  A paw under the closing door triggered the safety mechanism and it reversed and opened right up for her…  And that’s how the adventure began . . .


The Adventure:  “Petunia!  Petunia!”  Surely she just wanted to sniff and explore a little, because my sweet little bulldog wouldn’t run away from me.  She LOVES me!!  But, after about 5 minutes of her just running further and further away from me, I realized, “oh, wait – of course she would run away from me, she’s only been with us a week.  Does she even know her name?  She’s been a stray her entire life and has lived by her wits.”  I got into my car to follow her and a neighbor is also in his car, helping follow her.  But as much as we call, she still won’t stop.


I call the police department to let them know my foster dog is on the loose.  She had her Pet Haven tag on but nothing that would tie her back to me if someone found her.  I immediately got a call back from an  officers saying he was going to head over and help me look for her.  How nice of him!


By this time, I had also notified other Pet Haven volunteers and coordinators.  E mails were sent to our dog division, posts went on the Pet Haven Facebook page,  she was put on the Lost Dogs MN Facebook page and  Everyone had sprung into action.  We were going to get this girl back!


About 10 minutes later, I go a call saying, “I have some not so good news . . .“.  Fearing the worst, I listened as the police department reported that a caller said a medium sized white dog was stranded on an iceberg in a pond in their backyard.  Wait, WHAT??  Did I hear that right?  I rushed over to the pond, 2 police officers were waiting for me and sure enough, there was Petunia, out on a piece of ice in this pond.  I started calling her name and she found her her way almost to shore.  She slips into the icy water and has to pull herself with all her might to get back on land.  She has quite an audience at this point; local home owners, officers and the three of trying to catch her.


Once on solid ground, she took off again!  She crossed a very busy road with a police escort and ended up on train tracks.  Luckily no trains were coming at the time.  Located right next to the tracks was a small gravel pit.  She climbed to the top of a large mound of gravel as I called after her, ,stood there looking at me – “She must be tired by now!  She’s been running for over 90 minutes!”  On the other side of the pit is a cornfield and off she goes!  Now we’re in an industrial part of town.


The two officers, who remained faithful to the chase, and I make a triangle with our vehicles and she is running between us all.  Again, we are unable to actually catch her.  After another 30 minutes of this, the officers believe we are just exercising her and we are not going to catch her.  They will contact me if someone gets her overnight.  I thank them for all of their help!  By this time, reinforcements from Pet Haven volunteers and their friends have come to the area to help.  They know exactly where to find us and fresh energy to attempt to get her.  It was starting to get dark and we didn’t have much time. 


The capture:  Many phone calls later, Petunia is seen in a muddy area and is slowing down, the volunteers are also slowing down due to the mud!  Finally, Petunia is stuck!  She can’t move anymore.  Yes!!  She’s been captured!


Post adventure:  This formerly white dog needs a bath!  She is then taken to the ER clinic to have a look at her spay incision and everything looks good after an ultrasound check and she is  put on an antibiotic to ward off infection. She has a few scratches that will heal quickly.  She didn’t over-heat which can happen with a short nosed dog that is running.  At 1:15 a.m. Petunia is back in her kennel –  snoring as only a bulldog can!




Click here to read about another recent intake and the rough road that lead ‘Nilla to Pet Haven.