Wednesday, September 15, 2010

When All Else Fails - Go to the Car!

Boy did this bit of advice ever come in handy today! I made plans to meet the BFF and Bart at the creek for a mid-morning hike. But the BFF had a little problem. Her neighbor has a dog, Johnny, that is an escape artist. Just like Bart before him, Johnny gets out and comes to hang out with her because he's so lonely while his people work.

Normally, this isn't too big of a deal when the BFF works at home but some days, she's out dealing with vendors and she struggles to get him out of her house and she has to drag the poor black lab back home, whining and crying!

But today, we were headed to the creek and labs love water so... all should be fine, right? Wrong!

Johnny brought an interesting dynamic to our pack, making both Bart and Mabel more playful. Since this hike was much later than normal, we headed straight for the big river. The dogs frolicked and played until we got into some thicker shrubbery way downstream.  We always allow Mabel and Bart a little "free time" to roam here. The closest road is well over a mile away or up a mountain.  Our fur-kids roam and then Mabel returns. We clap and call for Bart and head upstream.

Today was no different. Only we got upstream and realized Bart had caught up with us but Johnny was MIA! Great! We've lost the neighbor's dog! OMG!

So off we went back down the river. Barbie took the lower trail and I climbed a ridge, all the while making a loud ruckus and calling Johnny's name. We asked golfers and gardeners on the golf one had seen him. Hot, tired and soaking wet from crossing the river many times, Barbie thought it best to return home and phone reinforcements.

As we hiked back, I reminded her of my many hiking trips with Mabel as a pup. If she lost me, Mabel would always go to the car and track me by scent. A few months ago, I was shocked and amazed when Twinkie pulled a similar stunt. On her second hiking trip to our creek and in a NEW car, the tiny teacup chihuahua got lost about mile into her hike and went to the car. When the pack phoned me for assistance. I drove over, parked my car, got out and stumbled over her! (Boy, did I ever feel like Superwoman!)

As we approached the cars, we were crest fallen not to see Johnny. Bart took off to have his daily argument with the dogs that live on the edge of the trail. Mabel took off to chase him. For a second, it looked like she was coming back but... that dog had a white chest! JOHNNY!

We kissed and petted him, so glad that he too went to the car! Mabel, mother hound that she is, felt she had to put him in his place for messing up the hike! She gave chase and grabbed him by the scruff a few times, fussing at him the whole time!

It all worked out well but, I don't think we'll be adding any more dogs to the pack!


♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

Why Mom won't let us off leash anywhere but our yard:( She says she doesn't want to find out if we would go back to the car - that's a sibe for you.

Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

I'm not sure what that means..."sibe"

Nubbin' Tails said...

So glad he made it back to you.


Mr. Nubbin'

Sibe = Siberian Husky :-)

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...


Thanks for helping me out there! I feel like a dork!

Yes, Mabel was such a wild child but I was amazed that she was still a pup and learned to associate the car as a home base when hiking in the wilds!

rottrover said...

Sounds to me like Johnny has figured things out -- and it sounds like all the pack had a fun time!!

Mango said...

Yuh, we are never ever off leash because momma is just way too nervous that we will run off and get into trouble. Glad everything worked out OK.


Life with 5 dogs said...

What a Crazy Adventure! I would not trust Grover without his leash. He would get so lost, and I would panic.