'Dog rings doorbell' is not a headline you expect to see every day and yet Rajah, a Lab-Catahoula Leopard mix, has shot to stardom after doing just that in the early hours of Monday morning.
The much-loved pooch was in the backyard of her new family home in Simpsonville South Carolina with her owners, Mary Lynn Whitacre and Ryan Washick, and her sister Ollie, a two-month-old shepherd mix, when fireworks spooked her and she jumped the fence.
Whitacre quickly logged onto Facebook, posting about Rajah’s disappearance on every page she could think of while Washick drove around the area for hours trying to find her.
“I kept hoping I wouldn’t find her on the side of the road,” Washick said. After searching and finding nothing, Washick headed home sad and dismayed but stayed up in the hope the 18-month old pup might find her way back.
And find her way back she did. Just under eight hours after she disappeared, the couple’s Ring security camera captured the astonishing moment Rajah walked up the porch steps at 3am and rang the doorbell with her nose.
"I don’t even know how she knew how to do that, I’ve never shown her how,” Whitacre says. “She doesn’t go out in the front yard, except to the car, so she’s never seen us use the doorbell. Ryan was up waiting around to see if she’d pop up. He saw her on the porch, and he ran off and got her."
“She was just sitting there,” Washick said when he explained what happened when he opened the door. Thinking that perhaps someone had dropped her off and left, Washick checked the security camera only to find that the doorbell ring was all down to his clever canine.
Once inside, Rajah’s behavior suggested the young pup might have thought she was in trouble for running off, but Whitacre and Washick say they found the whole incident funny once they knew it had a happy ending.
"She thought she was in so much trouble and she was sad and sulking, but we were like ‘we’re just happy you’re back.’ It was hilarious, and we couldn’t stop laughing."
And as for Rajah, she arrived back home no worse for wear after her nighttime adventure. "She had thorns on her and seemed to have rolled in poop," Whitacre explained. "So, it seems like she had a great time."
Washick says he intends to build up the back fence with cattle fencing to make sure Rajah’s intrepid travels don’t repeat themselves any time soon.
Kathryn is a freelance writer with a passion for creating health and wellness, travel and wildlife content. Originally from New Zealand, her nomadic lifestyle has her currently fur baby-less. She scratches her pet parent itch by stealing frequent cuddles with any neighbourhood cat kind enough to indulge her.
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