Photo found hereIntending to hurry my dogs home where I'd fetch reading glasses and run back to check the Basset's tag and leash him up, I got them turned around and started hauling them back up the street. Like little kids, they dragged their feet and kept turning their heads. "But, Maaaa, we want to go see."
Without a pause, the Basset ambled across the street toward our side. Fortunately the oncoming car paused. When I saw what street the dog was headed toward, I realized who he was. He lived at the House of the Screaming Child. For the last three years I've been expecting the little girl one street down to grow out of her screaming phase, but she has not. There's no odd note in her voice, nothing to indicate that she screams because she has a problem, though her parents might have a problem. (A couple of summers ago, I went to their house after hearing her outdoors at 7 AM screaming to be let inside. Who locks a toddler outside alone at any time of day?) Anyway, I didn't have a high opinion of these people.
Although he wouldn't let me near, the dog sat in his front yard while I found a rickety fence to which I attached my dogs' leash. He then trotted after me when I went to the front door, got no answer, and then opened a side gate for him to enter his back yard. I found another side gate that had been left open--not a surprising event in a household with children--and made sure it was latched.
When I returned later to leave a note on the door about finding the dog, I heard him barking from indoors. So you have a family where everyone is probably gone all day and a doggie door so that the dog won't be confined for nine or ten hours. You have a fence with rickety gates and two children. Wouldn't checking those gates be part of your daily ritual when leaving for work?