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Everyone Loves An Adventure!

, , , | Related | May 23, 2022

Some years back, my dogs went on an “adventure” hike, which wouldn’t have been bad, except they did it all on their own.

I was working in my home office when I heard frantic barking from our three dogs who were out in our large, fenced-in backyard. Then silence. I ran down to check on them and they were all gone. I quickly checked the gates (closed) and along the fence and found a spot in a wooded area where they had dug under the fence and, despite the small space, had squirmed out. I could tell from the fur caught on the bottom of the fence.

We live in a wooded area above a wetland area where a spring-fed stream flows through that feeds into a nearby large river. There were houses up behind the tops of the bluffs, but otherwise, it was just woods and the grassy wetland area for miles around. The woods in most areas were thick with a brushy, thorny, invasive plant (buckthorn), which made it hard to move around or even see very far. I started looking for them in the woods as best I could, and my nearest neighbor came out and said he’d seen them run past his house possibly chasing after a deer.

I spent the next four hours walking through the woods calling out for the dogs, putting up posters along the roads, and stopping and asking people who were out and about if they’d seen them, but there was no sign of them. My wife got home from work and joined in the search, as did some of the neighbors. It was starting to get late, and I was really getting worried that we’d not find them before dark, if ever.

As my wife made her way along one of the bluffs above the wetland area, she saw some motion way across the stream and in the grassy area. It was our bigger dog who was looking her way and running back and forth at the edge of the stream. She kept calling to him, and he finally crossed the stream and clambered up the bluff to her.

Our dogs generally stick together, so we figured the other two must be over in that same area. I drove around to the other side of the stream and began making my way down it toward where the first one had been, calling out the dogs’ names. I was just to the edge of the wetland when I heard a bark from one of the two still missing. I called again and got another bark.

I made my way toward where I heard him and found him and his always quiet sister stuck behind an area of heavy brush and fallen trees, frantically trying to figure out how to get to me. I pushed my way through and was reunited with the two completely filthy, totally worn out, but deliriously happy pups.

If the one hadn’t barked or I hadn’t heard them, I am not sure we would ever have found them. I could have walked ten yards away and I would not have seen them. And that’s how the one who barked earned his new Hero Dog tag.

We now have a GPS dog tracking collar on the other, quiet dog in case they ever get out again.

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