I know I’ve said this before, but I’m going to kill that boxer -- especially if she gets out again.

If you’ve forgotten, I’ve had to tie her on a lead every time I put her outside, because even though we a nice, large backyard with a tall fence, the ornery dog has figured out how to climb over the fence.

Since we can’t trust her alone, she’s had to spend more time in the kennel with Isaac spending the last weeks of summer at his grandparents and school starting this week. Literally, if we leave her alone for five minutes, she gets into something because she knows how to open cabinets, pull open kitchen drawers, unlatch doors and jump onto counters and table tops. Even Isaac’s room isn’t safe -- and he keeps his door shut all the time to keep the dogs out.

So, because she’s had a lot less time running free, she always bolts for the back door if she gets the chance. Usually it’s shut (and locked just to be extra careful), but sometimes, right after I bring her back in from the lead, she gets to the door before I get it closed and I’m in trouble.

That happened the morning after the election. Before I got out the door, she was already over the fence, and she wasn’t coming back. It didn’t matter how much I yelled at her, or how much I needed to be at work early to get the election results in.

I chased that damned dog down the alley, through several neighbors’ back yards, up Dexter Street, behind the Presbyterian Manor, through my own front yard and all around the block several times.

Sometimes when I yell at her angrily enough, she’ll go right back in.

But that didn’t work that day.

I tried luring her home by offering her a ride in the car, with food (even left-over bacon!) and by bringing the other dogs out -- because sometimes she’ll go back then. But she had wised up to those things -- the usual tricks weren’t going to work, because she wanted to run.

I don’t know if it was the heat of the moment, or an act of desperation, but after the second time around the block, I thought to myself, ‘Why am I running after her on foot? I’ve got a car.’ I don’t know if any of my neighbors saw me, but it must have been a strange sight to see my gray Fusion creep along through the alley and hear me yell at some dog that couldn’t be quickly identified. They must have thought I was crazy.

I chased her in the car to back entrance of my back yard, which was open on the one in a million change she decided to go back in on her own. I revved up the engine. stopped just short of her and yelled at her to go back inside. To my amazement, it worked -- probably because I’ve never done that before. Either she was tired or decided I really wasn’t playing. I parked the car and found her sitting in her kennel, which is what she does when she knows she’s in trouble.

It took me almost an hour to get Val to come back in. So if a mistake or two slipped in the paper, now you know why.

Val must know her days are numbered because since then, she got outside twice but when I yelled at her, she came right back.

If you think I’m too hard on her, know that I’ve already forgiven her.

All she had to do was lay her nose on my leg, look up at with those sad eyes and I forget why I was mad at her.

Damned dog.