Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dogs are smarter than they look

You always hear that cats can find their way home but with dogs, well that proposition is kind of dubious. But one summer I found out that dogs are pretty smart about finding their way around.

One night I was out walking the two German Shepherds I had at the time, Sam and Brandy. I lived right at the entrance to the foothills of the Sandia mountains, so usually took them on mountain hikes, but since it was at night I was just walking them around the neighborhood.

When we just about got home I saw 3 dogs out running loose. Being a nut for animals, I always try and save dogs that have gotten out loose. There was a black lab, a small pit bull cross, and a boxer. I was able to get the pitbull and the boxer but the black lab got away.

Sam kind of had a reputation for being vicious because he was a big male German Shepherd who barked with vigor. But he was all bark and no bite, so I never hesitated bringing dogs home. I tied Sam's leash through the collars of the little dogs and we went home.

It was kind of funny but the instant we got in the house the two little dogs I had picked up seemed happy as could be. The little pit bull immediately got attached to me and followed me all over, and he ended up sleeping right next to my bed on the floor. The boxer kind of fell into the "pack" with my two shepherds and slept with them-they liked sleeping on the leather couch in the living room.

The next morning I put a lost pet ad in the news paper. For the next week the two little dogs became members of the household. They were having a great time, playing a lot with Sam and Brandy and each night the little pit bull would sleep next to me.

Sam on the leather couch

Finally someone called, and a man described the dogs perfectly so I knew they were his. It turned out that the pit bull's name was Max, which seemed to fit him perfectly because he looked like a little gangster. The man said his son (who was about 20) was devastated by losing the dogs.

That afternoon he comes to the house and picks up the dogs. To be honest, he seemed kind of harsh with them and it seemed like they didn't want to go with him. But he finally got them in the car and off they went.

My mother, who was following this little episode, said that the little dogs would be back. Sure enough her observation proved right.

About a week later, I was reading in my bedroom one afternoon. I heard this scratching sound by the window. I looked out and to my surprise there was Max the pitbull!

Brandy the Shepherd

Somehow max had found his way back. I let him in and he was full of cactus needles. If you aren't familiar with the area, the western face of the Sandia mountains is desert at lower elevations. Not only that but little max was dying of thirst. The poor little fellow had escaped from his home and crossed through the mountains and come back to my house!

I have to admit I was tempted to keep him, but I gave them another call and once again the man came to pick him up. This time the man was not happy at all and was even kind of stand-offish towards me.

This was back in the summer of 2006 and I often wonder what became of those little dogs. But it goes to show that dogs can find their way around.