Draw a diagram of Eli’s walking pattern.
First Eli walked
feet forward to get out the door. Line Diagram: From the starting point there is 12 feet to the door.
Then Eli walked
feet forward to get to the mailbox. Line Diagram: From the door and continuing in the same direction, there is 32 feet from the Door to the Mailbox.
Then he turned around and walked
feet back to his dog. Line Diagram: From the Mailbox and now going in the opposite direction, there is 14 feet from the mailbox to a dog.
How far has he walked?
This is asking about how many feet he has walked in total. You do not need to think about direction.
How far from the house is he now?
First, Eli walked
feet away from the house. Then he walked feet back toward his house.