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#168953 - 09/03/12 04:47 PM A dog story
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
This summer on the second section of my 39-day trip, I had a most unusual dog experience second day out.

As I dropped to the East Fork crossing on the Fremont Trail a huge herd of domestic sheep were covering the trail. I was going up the river anyway so I left the trail early and crossed the creek away from the sheep. While putting shoes back on I noticed heavy breathing near my back. Startled I turned around and there he was; huge, pale blue eyes, silky white hair, a broad teddy-bear face, smiling. “DOG” was to become my number one problem for a few days. Dog’s paws were larger than my hand, firmly planted next to me- no attempt to jump up on me. Dog just sat there and smiled politely. I am not a dog person; more often dogs growl and bite me. Well, I had better pet this dog before he bites, I thought. Big Mistake!! From then on Dog stuck to me like glue. Up the drainage I walked, thinking Dog would eventually return to his owner. After a few hours I was getting concerned. I ignored Dog.

The East Fork was beautiful, lush, filled with flowers and below the hulking rock walls of Mt. Geikie to Raid Peak. I followed a distinct use-trail that became faint as I ascended. Small fish swam in the stream, as well as Dog who swam in the stream to cool off. At about 10,200 feet I had to wade across the creek. Momentarily I thought Dog went home. I was hiding behind a bush; Dog came up smiling. Always polite and well behaved Dog never barked or begged and stayed several paces behind me. I tried a stern “go home”. Dog evidently did not speak English. The trail stayed high above the string of lakes before slightly descending to Lake10566. I arrived at my destination by 1:00 in the afternoon – an early stop but I was thankful to get the heavy pack off my back.

I set up the tent. Some food did not fit inside the bear canister so I hung it from a rock. I knew Dog could get the food if he really wanted to but he never even tried. I again yelled, got angry, pointed down-valley, and poked him with my trekking poles. Dog hid in the bushes; I went inside the tent to rest. When I got out, there was Dog behind the tent. I now had a big problem. How in the world was I going to feed Dog? It was a moral dilemma. If I took Dog back to his owners, it would cost me two days and I was not even sure they would be there. My car was 80 miles away. The nearest trailhead was a two-day walk. I hardly had enough food for myself. I had spent more on the car shuttle than I had ever on any backpack trip after planning this trip for months. Should I abandon ship for a stray dog? The only answer I could come up with was that I would have to fish for the dog. One problem, the lake I was at had no fish. Dog was very sweet but obviously not fed. The poor thing was skin and bones. He cried softly when I cooked dinner. I did not give him a morsel hoping he would just go home. I felt like a jerk. At least Dog responds to “no” and is well behaved. I went to bed. It was a clear night and when I got up to pee I did not see Dog; what a relief.

Next day I was up at 5AM and happy to find the tent dry; I was less happy to find Dog right there next to the tent. The food I had hung was still there. Dog cried again when I ate breakfast. Dog barked for the first time and started to run off with my cord for hanging the food. I yelled “no” and he dropped it. At 6PM dew point hit and the tent was instantly wet. That is the problem with getting up too early! Things were not going right. I sponged off the tent and packed it up and at 7AM started up towards Pain-in-the-Ass Pass- a difficult pass with a mile of difficult talus hopping. Dog followed me and I did not look back for half an hour. I thought Dog would go back when we hit the rock. No way. Dog amazingly not only jumped boulders like a pro, he actually found a better route than I did! I reached the top by 8:45 discouraged to find the other side also had its share of boulders to hop. After a rest stop at the lake at 11,200 feet I descended steeply. Dog ran ahead and soon someone shouted to me, “Is this your dog”. “No,” I emphatically replied. When I caught up Dog was being petted and fed by a troupe of Boy Scouts. I told my sad story to the troupe and they agreed to take Dog, catch fish for him and take him out with them in a few days. They could drop him off at the Pinedale animal shelter. This would be their “good deed” for the day. The leader said he had seen this before. Sheep owners do not pay the shepherds enough so they do not feed their dogs. I was really hoping one of the boys would adopt him. As they held Dog, I profusely thanked them and left quickly, not stopping until I reached the inlet to Bonneville Lake 10521.

I never checked with the animal shelter to find out what happened to Dog. I think I really was afraid that they would tell me they had to euthenize Dog. I hope Dog is still alive and has a better home right now. When I told my husband this story, he said Dog was sent to me to make me love dogs! After 11 more days in the mountains, I called home, and my husband told me he bought a Border Collie puppy! I am not sure how much of his decision was due to Dog. I looked at pictures on the internet and I think Dog was a mix of collie, Australian shepherd and perhaps some golden retreiver.


"DOG"

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#168959 - 09/03/12 08:30 PM Re: A dog story [Re: wandering_daisy]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2838
Loc: Portland, OR
After 11 more days in the mountains, I called home, and my husband told me he bought a Border Collie puppy!

Tell him that if he promises to take good care of him, walks him every day, feeds and waters him and trains him to not bark and always obey commands, then you will let him keep the dog. But ONLY if he keeps his promises!

I am not a dog person; more often dogs growl and bite me.

Good luck with the new puppy, wd. I like other people's dogs, but I know my limitations as a prospective dog owner and have never seriously considered it.

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#169355 - 09/13/12 12:37 AM Re: A dog story [Re: wandering_daisy]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
I'd say you left behind a fantastic dog. For me the dilema would be - is it stealing to take a starving dog home feeding him and letting him love you for it? Since I have rescued 3 dogs and taken another from my buddy and drove hime to the pound, I sort of feel that whats good for the dog is the moral high ground.

Your dog will find you. It sounds like it found you. Well I hope this new puppy fills a void for you. Its amazing how much fun and love a dog is and how it will make your life more livable. I mean I can sit on the couch and drink my coffee in the morning and be bored, OR I can sit on the couch and drink my coffee with my dog pressed against me thumping her tail - its a lot more fun.

Remeber its a dogs job to get you away from your computer and out in the sunlight. I built my dog a pond and everyday she makes me play stick in it. Keeps her clean...
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#169363 - 09/13/12 08:44 AM Re: A dog story [Re: wandering_daisy]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Great story. It sounds like the dog left of it's own accord, which probably means it was NOT getting what it needed to exist. Hopefully it got to a good home. I still think rescues are some of the most loyal of dogs if the fit is right. Tica is a great dog, but my favorite was a rescue black lab who some how always knew what I was thinking with very little training.


BTW, sounds like you are a "dog" person now grin

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#169372 - 09/13/12 10:48 AM Re: A dog story [Re: wandering_daisy]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
That's a great story, and I'm glad you took the time to relay it since it's missing in your TR.

I think you did the right thing by letting the scouts take charge. He certainly got lot's of attention staying with the scouts, and I'm sure he got all the food he needed too.

I have no doubt the dog will find a good home. I'd be pretty surprised if he didn't find a home with one of the scouts.

--

Speaking of dogs, our Annie is a proud mom of four pups. They're about a month old and just now up on their legs and starting to run around.

I might keep one of them. I had wanted to take Annie backpacking with me but my wife really loves having her around and feels safer with her here when I'm gone, so I really can't take her. The guilt is far to heavy for me to carry.

The hard part is going through another round of puppyhood, although, with Annie here to watch over the pup it might be easier this time. I have a few more weeks to think about it....
_________________________
--

"You want to go where?"



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#169378 - 09/13/12 04:57 PM Re: A dog story [Re: billstephenson]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
I met this dog on the second section of my trip. I am starting to post that section today. Here is a photo of "Dog". I accidently moved the photo in Photobucket. Sorry.


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#169379 - 09/13/12 05:11 PM Re: A dog story [Re: wandering_daisy]
squark Offline
member

Registered: 03/14/11
Posts: 66
Loc: SF bay area, CA
could be a livestock guardian dog? If so, not a very good one for leaving the sheep, but sounds like an excellent companion. Hope he gets a good home.

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#170282 - 10/09/12 06:06 PM Re: A dog story [Re: wandering_daisy]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Looks like a Great Pyrenees. They are great sheep dogs.

[img]http://assets1.webkite.com/datas/378242.best/original/great-pyrenees.jpg?1296514862[/img]
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#170288 - 10/09/12 07:03 PM Re: A dog story [Re: finallyME]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 749
Loc: Eastern Sierras
Yep a great pyrenees. Sad story, I hate seeing starving animals, obviously desperate need of help, how could you not feed it ? My heart would not allow the animal to whine while I ate. At least share a bite or two. I guess it was all in hopes it would leave.
_________________________
The wind wont howl if the wind don't break.

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#170327 - 10/10/12 01:20 PM Re: A dog story [Re: rockchucker22]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
I feared that feeding a "bite" to the dog would encourage him to stay, and I hoped he would go home! Even if I fed the dog half my food, all that would do is starve me and not give the dog enough food either. Obviously had I not found others to take him, I would have had to feed him somehow - fish for him and share a little of my food. But my first goal was to get him to go back where he came from. It would have made ME feel a little better if I gave him a tiny treat, but it certainly would not have done him any good. Yes, sad story. He obviously was a hard working dog and how a sheepherder could not feed him is beyond me too. But the, I really do not know what the circumstances were.

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#170434 - 10/11/12 08:49 PM Re: A dog story [Re: finallyME]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
Yes! I looked at photos of Great Pyrenees and I would bet on it. My, they weigh 100-110 pounds- that is as big as me! The temperment also matches "Dog's". Thanks for identifying the breed.

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#170443 - 10/12/12 09:45 AM Re: A dog story [Re: wandering_daisy]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 749
Loc: Eastern Sierras
Originally Posted By wandering_daisy
I feared that feeding a "bite" to the dog would encourage him to stay, and I hoped he would go home! Even if I fed the dog half my food, all that would do is starve me and not give the dog enough food either. Obviously had I not found others to take him, I would have had to feed him somehow - fish for him and share a little of my food. But my first goal was to get him to go back where he came from. It would have made ME feel a little better if I gave him a tiny treat, but it certainly would not have done him any good. Yes, sad story. He obviously was a hard working dog and how a sheepherder could not feed him is beyond me too. But the, I really do not know what the circumstances were.
boy that's a tough one, really no much you could have done. Still pulls on my heart strings!
_________________________
The wind wont howl if the wind don't break.

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#170454 - 10/12/12 03:19 PM Re: A dog story [Re: wandering_daisy]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Originally Posted By wandering_daisy
Yes! I looked at photos of Great Pyrenees and I would bet on it. My, they weigh 100-110 pounds- that is as big as me! The temperment also matches "Dog's". Thanks for identifying the breed.


The only reason I recognized the bread is because that is what I have been thinking about with a replacement for mine.....in 4 years or so...I think the GP shed more than mine does though. Anyways, I have a few years to think about it.
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#170473 - 10/12/12 08:25 PM Re: A dog story [Re: finallyME]
squark Offline
member

Registered: 03/14/11
Posts: 66
Loc: SF bay area, CA
A similar breed is the Maremma I think they may be very slightly less fluffy than Pyrs.

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#170882 - 10/24/12 12:07 AM Re: A dog story [Re: wandering_daisy]
ndsol Offline
member

Registered: 04/16/02
Posts: 673
Loc: Houston, Texas
We ran into Oscar at Temple Lake in the Winds in 2011:



He is a big dog as can be seen in this picture with his master and other dog that were out backpacking for almost two months.


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#171022 - 10/28/12 02:34 PM Re: A dog story [Re: ndsol]
rionada Offline
member

Registered: 04/19/02
Posts: 493
Loc: Hervey Bay, QLD Australia
Difficult situation. But, since I usually hike with my (now 12 year old) boys and Dog was so sweet and well behaved - I just know that we'd have taken Dog home.
_________________________
i really don't think that applies to me.

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#171263 - 11/01/12 05:12 PM Re: A dog story [Re: rionada]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
I've ended with 3 or 4 of em that way - be careful of those things grin
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#172309 - 11/24/12 04:55 PM Re: A dog story [Re: Jimshaw]
LookinUp Offline
member

Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 24
Loc: NE TX
I had a similar situation last weekend while three of us were hiking a section of the Ouachita Trail in AR. The evening of our first day we were visited by a deer hound that was on the brink of starvation. She had a tracking collar (likely dead, or she was out of range), a collar with the owner's name and number, which we called the next morning and left a message, and did not hear back from, she was also dye branded on back flank. We fed her tiny bits of food and water and when it came time to leave she wouldn't budge, not even when tempted with food. My heart was breaking, and one of the guys suggested her vital organs might have started shutting down. There was a FS road close by and we vowed to take turns carrying her til we got to the road, (healthy she would have weighed about 50 lbs but was half of that) then one would stay with her while the other two hiked to the car and returned later. One of us that lived in the area even knew someone with animal rescue that would likely hold on to her until the owners came or keep her outright. Well we had heard hunters a few minutes before and when we reached the crest of the hill above the road, we were changing guard and she scented the hunter's and or their dog/s and off she went down the mountain baying for all she was worth. She was soon far out of sight and we could hear her getting farther away. There was nothing we could do, and I just prayed she found salvation in those hunters, but I will never know. We tried to do what was right by her, and it still amazes me that no one called me back. My mistake, in hindsight was that I mentioned she was in bad shape. I think they decided she wasn't worth coming after. I'd like to think the reason they weren't answering their phone was because they were the hunters she ran to...but I'm too much of a realist to believe that fairy tale. I still see her, covered in ticks, limping on a bad leg, which made it impossible for her to hunt, with raw pads and chaffed skin....Maybe there was another side to the story...The saddest part was finding out another hiker on our local forum ran into a similar situation with the same outcome on the same trail. It's apparently not that uncommon.

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#172325 - 11/25/12 12:58 AM Re: A dog story [Re: LookinUp]
kevonionia Offline
member

Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 1322
Loc: Dallas, TX
These two stories are both great and very poignant stories, and why I love this forum. WD, what a situaion to be in.

Post a pic of the border collie. Will it end up going hiking with you? Have you or will you ever hike(d) with a dog?
_________________________
- kevon

(avatar: raptor, Lake Dillon)


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#172382 - 11/26/12 09:22 PM Re: A dog story [Re: kevonionia]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California


This is a photo from about a month ago. She is 5 mo old today! And much bigger. I take her for 2-4 mile walks on a leash. She also goes off-leash to the archary range with my husband every day. She "graduated" from puppy class and now is with a different trainer with the goal to have her herd sheep. She seems to have the desire to do this, but is far from obeying commands. She mostly comes when called, but only if she wants to. This trainer specifically trains border collies. She has gone car camping but not backpacking yet. 4 miles is her longest single walk so far.

My husband pointed out that "Dog" who I met on my backpack may NOT have been the sheep herders dog. Because he so eagerly followed me, it is possible that he had just hooked up with the sheep herders and really was some backpacker's lost dog. Plus, if he were the sheep hederder's dog, why did they not call him back? When he started following me, we were within sight of the sheep herders, who were on horses. Interesting thought.

I just finished reading "A Dog Year" by John Katz. Good book!

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#172383 - 11/26/12 09:37 PM Re: A dog story [Re: wandering_daisy]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 749
Loc: Eastern Sierras
Beautiful dog WD! Wait wait wait, are you not the non dog person? Good job!!!
_________________________
The wind wont howl if the wind don't break.

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#172384 - 11/26/12 10:09 PM Re: A dog story [Re: wandering_daisy]
kevonionia Offline
member

Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 1322
Loc: Dallas, TX
I showed the pic of your husband's new dog and now we are both in trouble. My wife wants one bad, or should I say my wife wants a bad one?

Concerning this quote:

"Plus, if he were the sheep hederder's dog, why did they not call him back? When he started following me, we were within sight of the sheep herders, who were on horses."

There might be a political answer to all this. Assuming the sheepherders were Basque, and presuming the dog might have been a Catalonian Pyrenees, perhaps the dog was trying to separate from the Basques (still Spaniards), another facet in what has been big news in the EU since Spain's fiscal collapse.

]

The dog wasn't flying the Catalonian Separatists flag?



That's a beautiful border collie, btw.
_________________________
- kevon

(avatar: raptor, Lake Dillon)


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#172394 - 11/27/12 09:18 AM Re: A dog story [Re: wandering_daisy]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
She is a cutie! And it sounds like the sort of hiking schedule I had for Tica at that age. Although they tend to be better behaved than GSP's when young (or maybe just period :D) , like my GSP your husband did pick up a dog that NEEDS a job; Good call with the herding training. What a great addition to your family.

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#172405 - 11/27/12 08:11 PM Re: A dog story [Re: wandering_daisy]
LookinUp Offline
member

Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 24
Loc: NE TX
WD, she is adorable! And I second "good on you" for recognizing BC's need a job; sounds like she's getting some great training and a great home!

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#175205 - 02/20/13 10:10 AM Re: A dog story [Re: wandering_daisy]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 629
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
My family had a Great Pyrenees when I was younger living with my parents, and I knew from your description that's what you encountered, even before seeing the picture. They are fantastic dogs, laid back, but will defend their "herd" fiercely. I haven't lived with a dog since I graduated from high school, but you've almost made me want to. Almost.

EDIT: By the way, I'm 34, so I've been out of high school for a while now.


Edited by 4evrplan (02/20/13 10:12 AM)

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