It all started with the urge to catch this year's super-early autumn foliage on camera because it only takes one wet windy storm to strip the leaves off the trees and there you go, you missed it. I thought to take the doggies along for the ride and then walk them around the woods a bit for a treat, they go crazy happy along the trails and it makes me smile.
The skies were ominous but holding dry,
rains were only predicted for today:
rains were only predicted for today:
Almost there, winding along up the mountain
(it's a good 20-25 minute drive):
Made it to the trails, here's where we park the car!
We had been here with Vegas twice before so it wasn't too new, nor old:
How can you say no to such a face?
They love to gorge on crystal-clear fresh water, splish splash!
The rushing creek was very loud from all the rains though..
We got back to the car and I let the doggies wander a bit for one last pee.
I called them over after I snapped this pic, they were on their way back.
I turned around for one minute
while I loaded up the car and prepared stuff for the ride home.
They were GONE, vanished.
They've never once done that after a nice long trail walk - ever.
I waited two minutes, thinking they would come back as they always do.
I started to frantically call them, running and walking down the road.
I drove with the windows down, calling and calling every 10 to 15 seconds.
I got out and walked for an hour on every available path,
I tried to track their prints in the muddy road.
Just the trees, the wind, the loud creek and heavy skies.
I got Vegas on the phone, I didn't know what to do.
Adrenaline had me shaking and I was in the middle of a massive hypoglycemic attack.
My throat was raw from calling out to them,
I couldn't walk anymore as I was not equipped for hiking -
This was supposed to be a short drive to take photos!
He said to drive home and he'd come back to look for them.
I somehow made the drive home, half-blind with tears
and gulping in breaths to not faint.
I was leaving my babies behind, I'd never done that in my life.
I'd failed them.
Vegas was waiting for me on the doorstep
all packed up and ready to go.
Equipped and determined.
"Don't worry hunny, I'm bringing them home".
I found out later that these pretty mountains
Harbour many dark corners
Filled with aggressive and dangerous wildlife
and even more dangerous redneck hunters.
If I had known that then
I would have had serious problems with high blood pressure.
Vegas kept quiet about that part until he got home.
Did I mention he was my hero?
He first found Maika, our girl,
wet, limping and so exhausted she barely made it to the car.
The dogs got seperated somehow,
which is frightening.
A while later he found Dakotah, our boy
in the same condition, lost and confused.
Very sore paws and very, very tired.
He figured they had gone much farther than where I had searched,
and since the creek was so loud he instead
whistled and jangled his car keys, sounds they both know well.
They heard him.
Here they are, safe and home at last.
What an ordeal... The doggies are so stiff they have trouble walking and are taking baby steps ow ow ow - they've been sleeping since they came home! They're finally dry today but will be taking it easy for the next few days. I got them a special treat for dinner tonight (yes for Vegas too, LOL!).
I don't know what prompted them to wander off like that. Just when you think you know your pets after having them for so many years, they go and do something unexpected. I let my guard down for a moment and bam!
Well, never again.
Trust = lost, gone with the wind, vamoosed.
I keep thinking of them lost up there in the wilderness, cold and wet and hungry, in the dark - they had their tags on but humans are few and far between up there this time of year.
May this be a warning to all you dog owners... it can happen to you, too.
Hug your babies well tonight.
/end of What A Close Call post/