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Stories

Pup – Rescue

In the late 1990’s, I spent a great deal of time exploring parks around where I lived. On weekends, I would get out a map of the area and look for green spots on that map, indicating a park. Sometimes, they ended up being little backyard parks that took all of 5 minutes to see. Other times, I would drive to the middle of no where and find a true treasure. One such park was 5 miles down a rutted, stone road that had more in common with the moon than a road.

The park had several well maintained trials around a stream and a small waterfall. There were the usually picnic benches and fire pits. There was even a small nature center staffed by a couple of park rangers. The longest trail was about 3 mile and traveled along the outer perimeter of the park. After walking the shorter trails, I took off along the 3 mile trail.

About half way around the trail, I started to feel anxious, scarred, and panicked. It was very subtle at first, but the farther along the trail I went, the stronger it got. I’ll admit it freaked me out just a little bit. After about 5 minutes, I stopped, ostensibly to calm down. But as I thought/ felt the panic, it seemed to have a direction towards the center of ring made by the trail . It seemed totally bizarre to me, but I turned in towards that feeling of desperation and “followed” it. As I crested a hill, it was definitely growing stronger.

The area beyond the hill was quite a large depression, even lower than the level of the trail. I finally got in amongst the taller trees and could see better. The area had a very odd “feel” to it. Nothing bad or anything. It is hard to explain. Anyway, I went on a little further and coming around a large oak, I was able to see a little ways in the distance, what looked like a mound of fur.

As I got closer, the fur didn’t move, there was no sound. I thought for sure that whatever it was must be dead, but I still felt that panicky feeling. About 50 yards away, the fur moved. It quickly saw me, stood up and hesitantly waged it’s tail. Her ears moved forward and back as she was totally unsure as to what was going on.

I said “ Hello there pup “ and she immediately went into a full body tail wag. She couldn’t have been more than 6 months old, hadn’t even grown into her paws yet. She was a Siberian husky with spectacular blue eyes. She whined a bit and stood on her hind legs as I got closer. And that was when I saw she was tied to a tree.

Some S.O.B. <scowl> had used plastic coated steel cable and tied it around her neck really tight. The other end was tied to a tree with such a mass of knots it took me 15 minutes to get it undone. I got really angry at that point and pup started to whine. I patted her head and made sure she knew she was a good dog and that my anger was towards something else. Oddly, when I said that to her, she looked around for that “bad thing” I was mad at.

Once she was sure I was OK, I worked the cable off her neck and made sure her neck wasn’t cut. It was tight enough that she could have hurt herself. Then I got her to eat some beef jerky and drink some water, well, she drank ALL my water <smile>. A good sign to be sure. Then I retied the cable in a more humane way and started working on the end around the tree. She watched very attentively, especially for a puppy. Once she was free, I just petted her for a while. During that time, I looked all around me and came to realize that the whole area was in a depression surrounded by hills. It was sort of a large, shallow crater. I couldn’t hear anything but the winds and the birds.

Given that, and the way that she was tied up with a metal cable, whoever left her their expected her to die there <scowl>. I really wanted to find the person that would treat a poor puppy that way. I had no idea what I would do. Or rather, I had IDEAS <dark look>, but wasn’t sure what I would really do. I scouted the area in a circle and found my tracks, and one other set.

Following the second set of tracks, with pup in tow, led up another, steeper, hill and eventually, back down to the parks trail. At that point, I couldn’t follow the creeps’ tracks. But we did go by a stream.

<smile> When we got to the stream, pup looked at it, then looked at me as if to ask if it was OK to drink. I just nodded and she started to drink. We then headed back to the parking lot and I tried to figure out what I could do with pup. I lived in a no pets apartment at the time <I did think about breaking the lease and finding another place just to keep pup, but I just couldn’t afford it>. I called all the people I thought might take her, but found no takers.

We then went over to the nature center. While I talked to the rangers, pup lay down at my feet. The ranger on duty told me that she had not heard of anyone losing a dog. She then told me that it wasn’t all that uncommon for people to dump their pets there. When I demonstrated how she was tied to the tree, she got even more angry than I had. She agreed with me that whoever had tied her with a cable she couldn’t chew through, in an area where no one could here her if she barked, that she had been left to die <still makes me angry to think people like that exist out there>.

At that point, I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned to find a woman looking at me a little embarrassedly. At the same time, I also noted that we had become surrounded by every child in the park <grin>. The lady wanted to know if my dog was friendly. Apparently the kids all wanted to play with the puppy <grin>. We kind of turned pup loose with the kids as long as they kept her inside, while the ranger and I kept talking. It did my heart good too see them all playing around <smile>.

The ranger called a few people to see if she could find pup a home, but quickly struck out. She then told me that she had a small farm with a couple dogs so she would take pup and see if she would fit in. I gave her my number and told her that if it didn’t work out, to call me and I would keep trying to find her a home. I stayed and watched the kids and pup play for another half hour or so, then called her over to say good bye. I could see she was a little confused, but when I explained she was staying with the ranger, she waged her tail, licked my face, then went back to playing. I really wish I could have kept her, but she had a different path to follow. I’ll never forget that lost pup.

 

 

 

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