18 years walking this neighborhood daily, and this was a new experience today:

Walking S on Four Oaks, a bit of a main-street through our little suburb, only one lane in each direction but a big grassy median in-between... out ahead of me I saw loose dogs, and a little car pull over to see what was up. I stopped, far back, to avoid impacting the situation. The driver opened his door, I thought maybe the dogs would pile in as if he'd found his escapees. They didn't. They got defensive and backed away. I was too far away but I got the sense that he reluctantly gave up. Closed his door and inched away.

Which was when I started up, crossed the street and approached them. The bigger dog was a yellow dog. Classic yellow no-breed street dog. Her belly was distended and the two little black curs were clearly her new pups, but big enough that they were quick and mobile and ready to fight. The three of them were a tough little pack. The mom half-heartedly charged me while the two pups separated and tried to challenge Puppy Rey. We weren't afraid, though, and they backed off and hauled across the road towards the golf course.

The golf course is hosting a big junior golf tournament. Tons of teens and parents and other passers-by, along with the usual staff and grounds crew. I hoped that they'd figure it out.

Ninety minutes later, PR and I were 1 minute from home and a Suburu sidled up next to us and rolled the window down. A woman asked "Have you seen some dogs?" Me (resisting the this-is-a-suburb-with-one-million-dogs-lady urge): "Yeah, a yellow dog and her two black pups?" Her: "I'm on the board of the county Humane Society; your neighborhood website is blowing up about them." Me: "I saw them [explanation above, and how long ago.] My dog is exhausted but I'm putting her in the house and going back out. Tell me who to call if I can find them again..." (She does.)

I went out for another 90 minutes, digging into some woods I wouldn't normally dive into (especially in Spring, what with the junior gators on the move; also lots of cottonmouths lately, apparently). If they were hauling straight-line away from where I saw them, they were in the next county 2 hours later, when I got back to that place. If they were "nesting" in the woods there near our encounter, they were quiet enough to evade me the second time.

They were surviving impressively -- the pups were at least 6 weeks old and little tough-guys - but you can't survive loose in this landscape for long. They were definitely redeemable. The woman from the H.S. kept mentioning our neighborhood website; the time wasn't right for me to go on a diatribe about the FB/Nextdoor-style racism/gross-ism that keeps me away from that site. I hope they get caught by dog lovers, or escape and beat the odds in the state parks or the National Forest around us.

  • dogs