December 15, 2015

My dog, Socrates, escaped from our backyard yesterday. Although the area is fenced in, a workman left one of the gates ajar and that was all he needed to bolt for freedom.

I was at School when my daughter called, quite apologetic and even upset. With the call, I headed home for his leash and a few dog treats. No sooner had I stepped in the house when one of our students called – my phone number is on a tag on Socrates collar – to tell me he had been found at the athletic center. I was then off to retrieve him.
What happened thereafter became one of the stories of the day. Like any young Labrador, Socrates proved to be too hard to hold, and when chased, he only runs faster. By the time I got to the Athletic Center, he was gone. Walking around the building I encountered a number of students and colleagues; some who had seen him. None knew where he was, but a couple of them pointed in the direction of Hockenbury. On the path, two students even shared that “Jack Herrlin had him.” Alas, when I got to Hockenbury, no Jack, no Socrates. Yet another kind colleague pointed towards the stable. “Last I saw, he was headed towards the garden.” Yikes.
Now on a quest, I encountered additional students, parents and colleagues, most who had heard about the situation and offered to call me if they saw him. Several did with updates.
I got to the garden, but there was no Socrates and no Jack. At that point, I do admit to saying his name quite loudly, although to little avail. Then I saw someone at the fence along Mendham Road and a car. The person turned and jogged my way; it was Jack. I noticed the car turning around and moving back to St. Bernard’s Road. Dog found, crisis averted. It was a community effort with a happy result. Thank you, Jack, and my thanks to all who helped. Until next time…
Gill St. Bernard’s is a private, coeducational day school for students age three through grade 12, located in suburban New Jersey. Each of the three school divisions provides a vigorous, meaningful and age-appropriate curriculum, and all students benefit from the environmental learning opportunities that exist on our 208-acre campus.