A couple of months ago, I was in the house, gathering stuff to take with me and the dogs on a hike: Bait bag for training treats, the treats themselves, collars and leashes, and poop bags. Oh, and sunglasses for me. One of my friends was on her way to my house; we were going to meet and put all our dogs in one of our cars and drive to one of our favorite trails. I was still looking for my sunglasses when I heard barking outside and thought to myself, “Shoot! Is she here already?”
I looked out the window and saw my dogs – senior Otto, middle-aged Woody, and my young foster dog du jour – running along the fence, barking at a man who was walking with two dogs on leashes. The dogs were pulling and jumping and giving the man a bit of a hard time. I opened a window and yelled at my dogs, “Hey! What are you guys doing?” All three dogs looked over their shoulders at me, but instead of running back to me as they usually would, they returned to their own yelling. Their eyes were not fixed on the man with the dogs, but on something else. Something unusual was going on out there.
I went outside to see what was up. There was a loose dog on the other side of the fence, standing in the middle of the country road. It looked like maybe he had been following the dog-walking guy when he got distracted by my dogs, but was too intimidated by all the barking to approach the fence. When he saw me, he took off running in the direction of the dog-walking guy, who had turned onto the busier of the two roads my house is situated on. Well, I had leashes in my hand and was wearing a treat pouch full of treats. Let’s go catch that dog, I thought!
All three of my dogs were leaping about in excitement. That wasn’t going to help me catch the dog, so I opened my car door and told them all to load up, and they all leaped in, clearly convinced we were going to have a car chase. And so we were; by this time, the dog-walker and the loose dog were well out of sight. So I opened the gate and drove out of my driveway and down the busy road, passing the dog-walker and the loose dog, and parking in a driveway ahead of them.
Long story short: Thanks to the treats I had loaded in my bait bag, I caught the dog, asked the dog-walker if he knew where the dog belonged (he didn’t), called the shelter to see if anyone had reported losing a dog of this description (no one had), and called my friend to ask her to come to this address instead of mine, since I couldn’t convince this dog to get into my already dog-infested car. By the time I got all of my dogs put away (our hike was now canceled) and my friend and I were just leaving to take the stray to the shelter, some people drove by looking for their escaped dog. The moral of my story? Always have leashes and dog treats on hand! Check out our article fordog treat suggestions.
By Nancy Kerns