This morning our dog got loose from her harness during our morning walk. After several attempts to grab her before she got to busier streets, I reversed my strategy and started walking back toward our house. Katie, a Beagle-Jack Russell, is often craftier than I, so I wondered if this time I could trick her into coming home. She absolutely avoids any attempt to get hold of her -- it's a game she loves to play.
Her smile of joy and discovery at her freedom from leash and harness was obvious. But as I headed home, she bounded back too, keeping just enough distance from me as to escape any grabs I made for her collar. When we reached our house, I headed for the back yard, leaving the wooden gate open. She stopped in the neighbor's yard, watching me. And here's when I began the real deceptions: I went through a litany of names of her favorite people and dog friends among our family, as if I saw them in the back yard, greeting them in a very loud voice. Finally curiosity and excitement got the upper hand and she ran into the yard while I tried to shut the gate before she realized the underhanded ploy. Close, but successful.
I tried to make the best of it for her as she kept looking for all those wonderful people and dog friends. Explaining that they must not be here after all, I praised her extensively for coming home, and we went in where I fixed her breakfast. That was tricky, because the back door was still locked and I had to go out the gate again to the front door, but I was successful. The last time I looked at her, she still seemed a bit miffed at my trick . . .
So was the act of deception immoral, or was I enacting the deceit in order to bring about a greater good? The jury of one, Katie, has not let me know at this point, but because our four-legged companions are more forgiving than we two-leggeds can be, I'm betting on her letting me off the hook this time.