Missing pet dog rings family’s doorbell in the middle of the night to tell them she’s home

A dog who ran away from home after getting spooked by fireworks announced her return in the cutest way—by ringing her family’s doorbell.

A couple in South Carolina were worried sick after their pet Rajah, a lab-Catahoula Leopard Dog mix, escaped from their backyard in Simpsonville on Sunday night after a neighbor set off some early July 4 fireworks.

Her fur sibling, 2-month-old shepherd mix Ollie, just sat and watched as she ran off.

Rajah on her dog bed

Mary Lynn Whitacre, one of Rajah’s owners, said that she was a very fast runner, so she and her husband, Ryan Washick, weren’t able to chase after her. They didn’t know how far away she could have gotten.
Mary opened Facebook and posted on every page she could think of. She also posted on her own account, asking friends and neighbors to be on the lookout for the 18-month-old puppy, who is microchipped and wears a tag with their phone numbers on it.

She also emailed Animal Services in case Rajah was picked up.

“Ryan and I were freaking out and we felt really helpless,” Mary said.

Rajah sitting on the grass

The couple drove around Greenville County for four hours in hopes of finding the dog. When they didn’t, Ryan walked for miles.

“I kept hoping I wouldn’t find her on the side of the road,” he said.

Sad and disappointed, they headed back home, but Ryan sat up to wait for Rajah.

Then, at 3 a.m. Monday, he heard scratching, and their doorbell rang. He thought someone had brought Rajah home, but when he went outside, the dog was unaccompanied.

Rajah, covered in thorns and poop, had rung the doorbell with her nose so she could be let in.

“She was just sitting there,” Ryan recalled.


Judging by her messy appearance, Mary said it “seems like she had a great time.”

But when the door was opened for her, the dog didn’t look thrilled at all.

“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,” Mary said.

Rajah then slept instantly, clearly tired from whatever adventure she got into.

The couple plans to build up their back fence with cattle fencing to prevent her from escaping again.

Their Ring camera caught the moment Rajah leaped up to hit the doorbell, and Ryan posted the video on Reddit, where it has garnered over 1,900 comments.

A screenshot of Rajah’s face through the Ring camera

The couple got married in May and moved into their new home only about a month ago, so Mary has no idea where Rajah learned how to ring the doorbell.

Mary said that they hardly ever have to use their own doorbell, so she’s unsure when Rajah would have seen somebody press it.

She also works from home, and the puppy spends the day with her, so she probably hasn’t watched anyone use the doorbell through the window.

Rajah lying on a carpeted floor

Here are some steps you can take to help your dog keep calm during fireworks:

Before the fireworks start, take your dog to a quiet area in your home away from windows—like the basement or a big closet—so they can’t hear and see the fireworks. While in there, give them familiar toys and treats.
Leave the fan, TV, or radio on to help mask the sounds of the fireworks. White noise has been shown to have a calming effect on dogs.
If you can, stay with your dog in the closet or basement so you can comfort them. Remain calm, use a soothing tone, and pet them in long, slow, firm strokes along the length of their body.
If your dog’s anxiety is severe, talk to your vet and discuss a medication that can help soothe your pet’s anxiety.
Click on the video below to learn more about Rajah’s story.

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