There are few things more rewarding than rescuing an abandoned dog from the shelter. The months of work to regain that animals trust in the people around her – taking her from an almost feral state to a beloved family member. Maybe I put too much into the process, which is probably why we keep failing foster care.
So Hedi, our new short hair German hunting dog – travels with us now. She is Pagosa’s best friend – and the only thing saving us from a giant puppy with limitless energy. But she is also a good companion. In a few short months, we went from a dog that was always antsy, darting out of the door anytime is was remotely close to being open – to a pet that will not cross the threshold without permission. Not to mention the off-leash walks we’ve been able to take. She has just learned so fast her limits of exploring – always looking back to make sure she hasn’t don’t too far, and bounding back if we call her.
This is why our full family ski trip was so surprising.
We rented a fantastic Air BnB not too far from the slopes – the place was amazing – 3 bedrooms, allowed pets, heated floors, close parking. I couldn’t hope for anything more. Well, a fenced backyard would have been nice. But it didn’t matter, the snow was new to the dogs, and they were more than willing to do their business and run back to the safety of the heated floor.
Several days of this, a few trips where we let Heidi drag her leash behind her – and we got brave. She showed no signs of wanting to leave us, and there was nothing around for miles, so we tried going without the leash. We are not to the point of trusting Pagosa this much – he’s young and crazy. Constantly pulling and yanking every time he sees his own shadow. Heidi was the opposite, until we took off the leash.
For a dog with little to no hair – suddenly the spirit of the wild took over her. She dove head first into the snow – burrowed like a cartoon rabbit – and was off. Our dog was lost.
Fortunately – as I said, there was nothing for miles. Unfortunately, there was nothing for miles – and we walked for literally ever before Heidi was willing to come back to us. She was half frozen – but a huge stupid grin on her face. Lesson learned.