The boxer Val has become known as the stupid dog in our house because of all the compromising situations she’s gotten herself into.

But in reality, it’s because she’s too smart for her own good. We had to lock her in a kennel while we’re away because she figured out how to open doors. We had to put her on a lead when we put her outside even though we have a large fenced-in backyard because she figured out how to climb the six-foot-tall fence. She’s nearly locked me out of the car twice. We’ve had to tie her up at the farm because she chases cars on the highway. She’s has even been known to chase skunks, but thankfully they’ve all gotten away without having to spray her.

Well, except for one -- though the mutt Arbuckle was responsible for that one, and Val got hit with a little bit of the skunk because she was in on it too.

The latest stupid thing she did is get trapped under the deck. We had blocked off the deck so she couldn’t get under -- because if she gets under there, we have a whole ’nother problem on our hands. Before we put her on the lead and before she learned to climb the fence, we had trouble catching her when we needed to bring her in. Sometimes she would hide from us under the deck, so we used some fencing and a few boards to keep her out of there.

But without us noticing, she had dug out a spot by the steps little by little until one morning, she was able to wiggle her way underneath and wrap her lead around one the posts. She had trapped herself underneath and we couldn’t get to her.

So before I left for work, I got my son Isaac up and told him, “the stupid dog trapped herself under the deck. Could you get her out?”

My son told me the stupid dog could wait a little bit because he wanted to sleep in. But he did eventually feel sorry for her and got up because he kept hearing her whine. She had wrapped the lead so tight around the pole she couldn’t even move.

To get to her, he had to remove a couple of boards we had nailed up to keep her out from under the deck, crawl to her on his belly and unlatch the lead from her collar as she licked his face in appreciation. Then he had to untangle and pull the lead out as he held her collar, to keep her from running off. She was really happy to see him, Isaac said.

The next day, I noticed when I was leaving for work that she was under the deck again. When I came home for lunch, I asked Isaac if he had to rescue Val again. He was surprised to learn that she was under there again, because when he got up, she was waiting for him by the door. So apparently, she’s learning.

My son and I are betting on what stupid thing she’ll do next. Isaac is betting that she’ll get stuck somewhere. I’m betting she’ll either lock me out of the car again, get sprayed by a skunk or get out again and we’ll have to pick her up from the animal shelter.

But she hasn’t gotten out in a long time and she’s really hard to catch, especially when strangers are chasing her. I’m pretty good about always remembering to take the keys with me, so that’s not very likely.

But I really hope it isn’t a skunk. Even with the windows down, that was one long stinky car ride home.