Last week, we tried letting Chewy run free. She’s old enough, we thought, and never strays far from home. Besides, she has a tag and other dogs roam free in the neighborhood without problems.

Freedom lasted only a few days, though, after I walked out in the front yard one morning and saw her playing in the middle of Sandy Flats Road – a good target for cars that come over the hill.

So she went back on the front-yard tether, a 100-foot stretch of cord that allows her a wide circular, but limited, territory. She hates the tether and yelps her displeasure constantly.

On to Plan B. I tried fencing in the back yard with a two-wire, low-voltage electric fence. She hit the fence at a full gallop and went through it like it wasn’t there.

At seven months and 30 pounds, this part-Chow, part something-else bundle of uncontrolled energy can leave more damage than Hurricane Katrina in her wake. The back porch often looks like a battlefield before the smoke clears. A wicker chair is history; Remnants of various doggie toils litter the floor. The screen door is bowed out from continual assault.

A kennel is definitely in this dog’s future, along with a fenced-in back yard that allows her room to roam, We can probably fence off part of the woods behind the house with a wire fence and then put an old-fashioned wood picket fence in the more visible parts of the back yard.

But it will have to wait until after next week because an electrician is coming to run wire to our utility shed and the front-yard gazebo. But a new doggie-gulag is coming. Freedom for this mutt was fleeting.

Reminds me of an old saying:

If you love something, set it free. It will come back.

If it doesn’t come back, hunt it down and kill it.