We took Koa, husky/lab, into our family when he was 7 years old because his owners had to move somewhere that didn't allow dogs. He had been kept tied in a small yard in a city, and sometimes even leashed to furniture in the house. When he came to our oasis in the mountains, the husky in him made it almost impossible to keep him from escaping and doing what he loved most - running. We eventually learned that he was not a chicken killer (we have 11), was not a deer chaser (in fact I found him protecting a new fawn in the woods one day), and helped us make new friends in the neighborhood. "Hi (phone) - I have your dog over here (5 miles away). He's having a great time with our dogs and I'm happy to have him here, but just thought you'd want to know."
So - we broke a lot of doggie rules, and let him run. He always came back, he loved bedtime, and his couch, and his bed alongside me in our bedroom. While talking to a neighbor after Koa died, I mentioned the "breaking doggie rules", and the neighbor said "Ah, but he was worthy of it." People around the valley would comment if they hadn't seen him making his daily rounds - he would stop briefly to say hello to everyone.
I know we were always risking that he would get shot, or hit by a car, or caught in a trap, or....but I couldn't make him suffer by keeping him fenced, knowing how happy he was to run like a husky. We/he were very fortunate that he was able to have the amazing life up here with us, and he was our once in a lifetime dog.
He died in my arms at the emergency vets. He apparently bled out suddenly from an unknown slow growing tumor in his chest. His eyes still looked so trusting and lovingly at me right up until he left. I miss him so much - can't think about him without crying.