Apparently he has been going over to the neighbours patio and marking his territory at night-time while we're in bed. Then he shows up all innocent like at our back patio door in the morning and plays the innocent act very well! He's almost a bigger Drama Queen than Squirt! http://jan-whyilovemylife.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/squirt-our-true-drama-queen.html He has this 'Look at me and how innocent I am look on his face', as he lays by our back patio door, waiting to give us love and attention.
So at first we were alerted to this problem by our next door neighbour, with a knock on our front door! I invited her in, and although she was lovely, I could tell it had become a real issue. Apparently Strap was weeing on their patio furniture- now no properly raised member of this family has ever done that--but then there is Strap! So I took her out onto our patio, where she identified her culprit as he stood there ready for play.
Talk about an embarrassed parent! I never went through this with my daughters!
We discovered that we needed to try to affix the side fence to the stone retaining wall by some method, as this was how he was escaping. What didn't help the situation was the beginning of the rain!
As it was raining, it wasn't possible for Chris to get out to the fence and repair it, as he needed his power tools. so in the interim, we came up with the solution of locking Strap in the pool fenced area overnight (the sneaky time when he would make his Great Escape). For 2 nights, even though it was sprinkling rain, he still had dry areas of protection to sleep, so we didn't worry too much about him. Then the next night--the real rain appeared. At about midnight I checked on him, and he was whimpering, (couldn't blame him), but told him that it would only hopefully be for a short time, and then I went to bed--under a dry roof, in a soft bed--not very good Mother material!
When I got up early the next morning, Strap was contentedly sleeping at the patio doorway! To this day we can't figure out how he did this- we can only surmise that the pool gate didn't close completely when Chris put him to bed the night before! But as it was raining, we knew he wouldn't have gone to the neighbours and left any nasty surprises. He doesn't like getting his feet wet!
But by that night it was not raining as much, and we took the chance that with a temporary block to the fence way, that we could go to bed and trust that Strap couldn't escape. Wrong!
When Chris checked with our neighbour the next day, we learned that once again the King of Wee had appeared. So Chris invited our new neighbour over and together they inspected the problem area, and agreed it would be a tricky job. But Chris went to the local hardware store to get his supplies, and Strap kept looking at me, asking for his cuddles and love. But this time both Chris and I were in a discipline frame of mind, and I told Strap that he wouldn't get his cuddles because he was being too naughty. I know it sounds silly--but I think he understood.
Chris arrived home with his hardware of extra wire, wood and large bolts and began the arduous job in the humidity of the rain soaked air. I offered to help, but he told me that there was little I could do (translate: you are not too strong, and this would kill you to climb this wall and assist!) So I continued my stern looks at Strap, and as Chris worked on the escape fence, Strap watched and I must admit, did act somewhat sheepishly!
For the past two nights we have had to chain him up at night so that he can sleep under the patio roof, and yet have enough chain to do his own wees in his own yard. He has been very accepting of this. Maybe today the weather will ease enough to allow Chris to complete the Mighty Fence Block job, and then we can all breathe a sigh of relief, and take some of our sorry guilt away as we see Strap chained at night. It is breaking our hearts. But Strap takes it like a good prisoner, and is obliging to 'The Gov, Sir!"
I think he may have learned his lesson, but after watching Marley and Me last night for probably the third time, much to Chris' chagrin, I'm beginning to think twice about that!!