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I lost my dog today

And I learned a very valuable lesson

Let me start at the beginning or even a little before that.

I currently have four dogs. All were strays that I found.

Louis and Charlie are the biggest, laziest, non-dog-like dogs that I have every had. They hate going outside. I have to force them out and then they pee and ditch into the bushes to poop and race back to the porch.

(Charlie is the one with his eyes shut on the couch. Louis is standing.)

Tricks is a true Belgian Malnois. She’s loyal, smart and high strung. She’s also old. They guestimated her age when I found her in 2011 as about 7 which makes her about 16 and that’s old for a dog like her. She’s doing great except for arthritis.

And Sassy –She’s my hound. I found her when she was about 2 and she’s about 13 now. She’s hound to her core. She searches for scent and runs. Because of this, she can’t be loose or she’s gone.

I live on five acres in a very rural neighborhood. The smallest plot is five acres. My yard is completely fenced in – kind of – there are openings and holes in many places.

Now that I’ve given you the background here’s the story.

I took Tricks outside and Sassy. Sassy was on a leash. I walked around my yard a bit, letting Sassy sniff and do her business and letting Tricks run as much as she could. Then I put Sassy on the chain hooked to my porch and brought out Louis. I walked while he darted into the bushes to do his thing.

A lap or two around the yard and he was on the porch. Sassy was also up there. Both of them wanted in the house but I decided they could stay out while I walked. I took Sassy off the chain, let Charlie out. Made him go off the porch and then closed the porch gate/door.

Charlie, like his brother, took off into the bushes to do his business. I walked.

When I walk, I plot my stories so time kind of disappears. I’m not sure how long I walked but each time I passed the porch I glanced at the stairs to see if Charlie was on them waiting to get onto the porch. He wasn’t.

That was weird. The dogs never pushed the gate.

As a matter of fact, I often yell at them to push it open because I’m usually helping Tricks up the stairs and they’re all creating a dog-jam because they refuse to push that gate with their noses.

I do another lap. Still no Charlie. I call him. He never runs off. Never.

I hear dog feet on the porch and this time I look closer. The gate is pushed open just a bit.

Oh shit.

I hurry up the stairs. Louis and Charlie are there wagging their tails but Sassy is gone.

I put Louis and Charlie in the house and start calling Sassy.

I look to Tricks, hoping she’ll be like my little beagle mix, Reese, who used to tattle on the other dogs when they’d run off. She always did her best to take me right to them or at least she led me in the direction that they went.

(This is the little tattletale.)

Tricks just stared at me.

So, I have five acres to search and I’m praying Sassy didn’t get out of the fence.

These pictures will give you an idea of what I was going to have to search.

(I didn’t see any deer today but I like this picture.)

I start on the one side, yelling and looking for white (she’s speckled but that white stands out in the pine forest).


Tricks is following me and getting tired.

I need to search the part of my property that my father used to call “the back forty”. It’s nowhere near 40 acres; it’s about 2 or 3, but I do nothing with that part of my yard. I leave it for the wildlife.

I don’t want Tricks following me over there.

There could be wild boar, bear and I know a few months ago there was a gator in the pond that’s over there. It’s not a big pond and it often dries up, so I don’t think gators live there but I do think they visit while passing through.

Tricks has to go in the house or on the porch.

I call her.

She doesn’t want to do either. She wants to stay outside.

I call her again.

The stubborn ass runs (the best she can) in the other direction. I quickly catch her (she’s sixteen, remember?) and put her on the leash and take her to the house, but I know that every minute I waste doing this is yards that Sassy could be traveling.

After Tricks is secured on the porch, I head to the “back forty”. I tromp through the high grasses, hoping any snake will slither out of my way. I walk face first into spider webs but I don’t have time to worry about a spider on me. I have to find my dog.

The two main roads in my neighborhood are now paved, including the one in front of my house. People drive about seventy down this road. Sassy could get hit or if she decides to chase someone’s chickens she could get shot (it’s happened before out here). And let’s not forget about the gators.

I have to find her but there is no white on the “back forty”.

I trudge back toward my house.

Do I take the time to post her picture on the Nextdoor app in case someone sees her? That’ll take at least fifteen minutes. Do I drive my car around the neighborhood, calling for her? I’ve done this before to find her and other of my escape artist companions.

I decide to take one more look near the house. I go into the back part of my yard. There’s a section that’s fenced in just for my dogs. I don’t use it for them anymore because Sassy digs out and the other three don’t want to be out there. I now leave the gate open to make it easier on the deer – why make them jump if they don’t have to?

I go back there and I see it—White!!!!

It’s Sassy. She’s over in the area where I first looked (obviously not very well -lol).

I holler for her and hurry around the house.

Luckily, she doesn’t run from me. She just kind of slinks around, knowing she was bad.

I want to scream at her and hug her and shake her because she scared the bejesus out of me, but instead I put the leash on her.

Then, I bend and give her a great big hug. She’s safe. My heart can stop trying to escape from my chest by way of my throat. Life is once again good except…

Then I smell it.

She rolled in something. I back away but the stench follows me because it’s on my shirt, in my hair and on my face.

So the lesson for the day is if you find your dog after he/she runs off, don’t hug them unless you like to have the smell of dead things mixed with poop all over you.


  1. MzAnn says:

    I hope you don’t mind my asking…But where do you live where there are deer, wild boar, bears, snakes and gators who chill in your pond as they are passing through? I just want to make sure I avoid that area. 🙂 Oh, yeah…I’m I glad you found Sassy, safe but stinky.

    1. Linda Odea says:

      LOL. No problem at all. I live in Central Florida in a very rural area. In general I love it but there are days…lol.

  2. Teressa M. says:

    Lol! Been there, done that!

    1. Linda Odea says:

      LOL. And hope to never do it again. 🙂

  3. Susan says:

    Thank you for my laugh of the day. This has happened to me before, but it was long enough ago that I’ve forgotten the “fine points” of chasing a dog that likes to explore. My lab used to end up in places no one on earth wanted to walk in, or roll in, or eat part of. She would do all three. I had a tub, and hot and cold spigots on my back patio just for that occasion.

    1. Linda Odea says:

      Glad I gave you a chuckle. I thought I was past these days too – at least until I find or adopt another doggie.

  4. Dawna Ambacher says:

    I so understand my Yorkie Rriss use to like rolling in squirrel 🐿 poop 💩 yuch green and goopy and STINKY

    1. Linda Odea says:

      I have to say that I have never even seen squirrel poop and I’m somewhat of a poop expert (lol). I recognize deer poop, tortoise poop, rabbit poop, and boar poop but not squirrel. I’m glad it doesn’t appeal to my dogs – or maybe that’s what Sassy rolled in. LOL.

  5. Donise Cinnamon says:

    Oh, my. You certainly had an adventure. We have three little dogs and one of them got out of a hole in our back fence that we did not know was there, but fortunately when we started to go out the front door to go searching we found him sitting on the front porch looking at us with that “What took you so long” look. Glad you had a happy ending.

    1. Linda Odea says:

      Oh, that’s wonderful. Glad he didn’t run away. What a good doggie.

  6. Mary says:

    i am so glad you found your dog. yep that is a lesson learned , sniff first before a hug.
    what a day you had. yep ive been there with dogs and one of mine finds it a game and keeps running and she waits for you to catch up and dips some more . take care of the pups .
    glad for a good ending

    1. Linda Odea says:

      Oh, I hate it when they do that. Sassy is good. Once she knows you see her, she waits, but I’ve had others who did what your dog does. They think it’s a fun game of chase not realizing that you aren’t having any fun at all. (or maybe they do realize that and that makes it even more fun). lol

  7. Judi says:

    Been there. Done that. God Bless Them. 🙄

    1. Linda Odea says:

      LOL. I think it’s a right of passage in dog guardianship.

  8. Tammy says:

    Aw, I’m so glad you found your dog 🤗. We used to let the dogs out to run all over the property, and they would always come back smelling awful. I don’t know what skunks smell like, but I always imagine it’s that god awful smell. 🥴

    1. Linda Odea says:

      I have no idea why dogs love that nasty smelling stuff but skunk is way worse than whatever Sassy had rolled in. It’s much harder to get out of their hair too. Take care.

  9. Julia Mason says:

    We have two miniature long hair dachshunds. Our male is a black ad tan . He was the result of a cross with a long hair and short hair parents. He has both long hair and short hair on him. His long hair shows up on his ears, his neck, (a lions ruff), in between his toes and a somewhat bushy tail. The short hair is on his body from neck to tail is short hair. He is the one who rolls in stinky stuff. . When we find him after he has done it, he gets a bath. So I know exactly what you had to do with Sassy.

    1. Linda Odea says:

      Fortunately for me, Sassy is short haired. Cleaning a long haired dog is so much harder – as you’re well aware. Your dog sounds like he is quite the looker. I’d love to see a photo.

  10. Donna Murnane says:

    I used to have dogs, but they didn’t have that much room to roam. Mostly my retriever mix, named Bourbon, would look for other animals to lick. I lived near the water, and we would get geese around all the time. So, I was walking them around near the water and Bourbon found a goose that had a fish hook stuck in its foot. Bourbon immediately went up to it and started licking it. The goose started quacking and it was obvious that it thought it was going to be eaten. Bourbon wouldn’t stop, so I called the animal shelter and they came and took the goose to get the hook out. A few days later, the goose was back and all healed. It was back with the rest of its flock and they decided to come to my house and hang out for a while in my backyard. For many years afterwards, the flock would come to my yard every spring and fall. They would stay for about a week or so every time, and weren’t afraid of my dogs. Bourbon got to lick them all because they knew that he would never hurt them. My neighbors thought that I was crazy and the animal shelter came to check up on the geese, because they thought I was planning on killing them and selling them to be eaten. When they learned that the geese were safe in my backyard, they would come just to see how much my dogs loved having them around.

    1. Linda Odea says:

      That is such a wonderful story and shows how smart animals are. That goose realized that your dog had helped. I would’ve loved to have seen your dog licking all the geese. LOL.

  11. Arleen Anderson says:

    Growing up we lived at one end of a small town with a field just up the street. Our dog loved to go into the field and find all the wonderful smelling cow patties and roll around in them then return home!
    I know what you are talking about!

    1. Linda Odea says:

      How lovely (NOT). That’s one of my fears about getting a pot bellied pig. I know I could train my dogs not to hurt it but I don’t think I could keep them from rolling in it’s poop and I don’t want to be washing my dogs numerous times a day. lol.

  12. Krystinna says:

    Christ, we have had that happen before. Now we have a little cujo, and a Dapple Datsun. The Datsun is 12 and is going to need a skateboard to wheel his fat ass. My husband says, He weighs 24 pounds. ” Anyway, he needs to go on a diet,but we’ll see. Now the bad one is a cross between a Chihuahua, Puggle, and Min Pin, he’s about 6. He is very aggressive and likes to run, and is very fast. So, in closing, I feel your pain friend!

    1. Linda Odea says:

      They are fast those buggers. LOL. And I have a cat who should go on a diet with your doggie. Her name is Catalina but I call her Fatalina. lol. Not very nice of me but she doesn’t understand. (I hope -lol).

  13. Gina says:

    Glad you found your baby, yea I’m reminded of dogs getting skunked. That’s a smell that takes a while to get rid of.
    On another note, your pics make me kinda homesick. I’m from central Florida and just looking at the pics I knew you were somewhere near home . I kinda miss tromping through the woods of playing in or around one of the rivers be it the Indian or the St Johns. I miss going fishing all the time . As a child my aunt had a house on a little island on lake Poinsett and oh the stories I could tell, between the exotics that she liked to keep out there to the native critters that were around, heck I remember going out there and Never seeing gators to now going out to lone cabbage and seeing at least 3. Never a dull moment on the snake side either. Life was great as a kid down there. Nowadays kids don’t get to enjoy those kinds of things. Oohhhppps . Sorry for the trip down memory lane lol . Thanks for the reminders of good times!

    1. Linda Odea says:

      Hi Gina,

      Yeah, we like to call this area a little piece of heaven. Kids can be kids out here – running around, playing in the dirt. It’s a wonderful place to call home. Your aunt’s house sounds like paradise.
      take care

  14. Jean says:

    😂 After all the blood (poop) sweat & tears and the HEA, what I’m wondering is : how did the little “queen bee” get loose since she was chained to the porch?
    Well mommy got quite a bit of exercise in the process. You must’ve been exhausted!
    Thanks for the lovely story.

    1. Linda Odea says:

      Hi Jean,

      LOL. Yes, my heart especially got some exercise. And Sassy got loose because I’d made the mistake of taking her off the chain and just closing the door on my porch instead of latching it. Charlie pushed it open when he went up the stairs. He was such a big help. lol

  15. Ramona says:

    I am so glad your story had a funny, if not stinky, ending. Yep, take a whiff before hugging them even if you are so relieved they are okay, especially if you live in a wooded area. My cousin’s Blue Heeler got sprayed by a skunk, believe it or not, tomatoe juice really works…LOL.

    1. Linda Odea says:

      Hi Ramona,

      Thanks and yeah, I’ve heard tomato juice works. Friends of mine had one of their shelties sprayed. They didn’t have tomato juice so they used spaghetti sauce instead. It work too but for weeks afterward, when their dog would shake little poofs of Italian spices would fill the air. lol

  16. Veneta says:

    I used to have a French poodle, between a miniature and toy in size and chocolate to boot. Back then chocolate color poodles were rare. She was forever running away when she came in heat; or, and I swear this happened more often than her running away, she would jump out the window while I was driving. She would go miles from our house and it would always take hours to fin her. The last time she jump out the window was on a major highway. I pulled to the side of the road, jumped out of my car leaving the door wide open, in the middle of the highway stopping traffic in both directions chasing my baby. Luckily, for some unexplainable reason, she stopped on the opposite side of the highway and waited for me to come get her. Everyone in their cars waited until I got her and got back to my car before they drove away. I couldn’t believe it. Guess where she went 2 days later? If you guessed VET you are indeed correct!! Never had another problem with her running away or jumping out the window again. Feisty little bitch she was! I am lucky in 2 aspects, 1) she never smelled when I finally found her and 2) she never had pups. Boy could I tell you more escapades with this dog. But she was my baby and I still love her even though she past many many years ago, Glad you found your dog but sorry for the smell.

    1. Linda Odea says:

      Hi Veneta,

      LOL. She sounds like a character. I don’t know why but I seem to miss the ones who are nothing but trouble the most. Jumping out of the car is horrible. I can’t even imagine the scare she gave your poor heart. Thank goodness it ended okay – mine too although with a stink and a bath. lol

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