A few days ago my friend’s dog took off after me when I left her home in the truck but I didn’t know. I only spotted the high energy herding dog as an oncoming car swerved to avoid her. She was running wild in my blind spot. I hit the brakes and opened the door and she jumped in my lap. Well, nice to see you, too. Olive pitched a huge snarling saliva filled fit but was roundly ignored by all. I returned her home. She was in big trouble. I was surprised this dog felt any attachment to me since when I frequent her home I am usually wielding a vacuum cleaner and she hates vacuum cleaners.
The next day Burt and I decided on an evening picnic on top of the mountains. We wanted to watch the evening clouds from Barfoot Lookout. Partway up the mountain road we found a dog staggering down the right of way. He was spent. It was immediately apparent that this dog was a cat or bear-chasing dog that had run to the point of exhaustion. He had a GPS and shock collar and a regular collar with his owner’s contact information. We watered him and asked him if he wanted a ride. He said yes but was too tired to get in the truck. Burt lifted him in. Olive snarled and spit some more but Elvis, in an uncharacteristically generous move, gave the giant hound all the room he needed to rest. Elvis looked just like Olive does when he hogs the back seat. Elvis sat all prim and erect, wedged in the corner. I guess Elvis could tell this was a tough dog.
Burt and I continued our drive but weren’t sure what to do about the dog. Perhaps his owners would find us with the GPS. We tried calling the number on the collar but we didn’t get through. The dog snoozed. Olive and Elvis stared at him. I think they tried to imagine where this enormous dog was going to spend the night. I was wondering the same thing. The trailer wasn’t ready for 100 pounds of bear dog. Up top we ate our sandwiches. I sat with the dog while Burt and the Olvis wandered around. I was feeling the heavy weight of responsibility for this worn out animal. What if we’d just carried it off from his owners? What if they had given up on him and had returned to Tucson? What would we do if he ran away while we picnicked? There was no reason to worry. He was too tired to move. I fed him the crusts of my tuna sandwich. I scratched his huge ears. He was gentler than my dogs.
On our way back down we ran into the owner looking for his lost dog. It turned out the owner had driven some people (stranded motorists) off the mountain and he was back looking for his dog. His GPS said we had him. Boo, his name is Boo, was not happy to see his owner. He wanted to stay with us. I felt ill. Boo was pulled out of our tuck and put in his kennel. What dog isn’t happy to see his owner? I know hunting dogs aren’t pets but this made me feel awful. Olive and Elvis were happy to see the owner. Boo was not. With no other choice we made a hasty departure. Now I’m sad all over again.