Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My Dog Got Stuck In A Tree...

My dog Mason weasels his way into many of my posts.  He's trouble, pure and simple. And although he’s come a long way since we first brought him home, yesterday proved that he still has a lot of growing up to do.

I was rushing out of the house after work to get him down on the trails so that he could burn off some energy.  I have to run this dog. If he doesn’t run we all pay dearly. His boundless energy needs to be exorcised, or rather he needs exercise.  You get the point.

The woods behind our house border a public natural area consisting of wooded acres of doggy paradise.  There's trails and large rocks, and a winding creek with ducks, deer and various other critters. I usually try to let him run off leash on our side of the woods, but at dusk that can be hit or miss.  More hit for him and  more miss for me.

Anyway. Mason bolted out of the gate, his blue eyes scanning the woods for movement. Hopping along, he stopped, froze, and then cocked his head--all troublesome signs. But I didn’t know how much trouble until I blinked and my forty pound husky/terrier/demon mutt vanished.

I gave chase, following his white-tipped tail in the midst of naked trees and graying dusk. He galloped along, twigs snapping and leaves crunching as he howled and whined in hot pursuit. Bruce, my older and much better behaved dog, jogged in the general direction of the fuss but didn’t put much effort into the endeavor. I cursed under my breath and got in my workout. *Chasing this dog is far more beneficial and cheaper than any gym membership, I highly recommend a neurotic, hyper, idiot dog to anyone looking to get in shape.

At the bottom of the hill, I was surprised to find him still hanging around. Usually, when he chases a deer he disappears for an hour at a time five or ten minutes.  But there he was, barking at something in the wreckage of trees near the creek. A few summers ago, we got hit by a pretty severe storm that left a pile of massive Oaks--their roots still holding mounds of dirt--scattered about on the hillside, tangled and stacked and providing excellent hiding places for small animals.

Mason hopped up on a fallen tree. That’s odd I thought, as though this dog ever does anything that could be considered normal. But then he crossed to another tree and began climbing like a Billy Goat towards what I then saw was a black cat at the top of the tree.

My first thought was Does this stuff happen to anyone else?

At around twenty or thirty feet up in the entanglement of trees, he looked up towards the black cat and then down at me.  His little way of saying, Ruh-Roh!

On the right we have a rudimentary scale, showing how he measures on the 1 to Crazytrain chart. As you can see he's at the top of his class... 

I didn’t bring my phone so there are no pictures of my afflicted dog actually in the tree.  You’ll just have to take my word for it. 

I stood with my hand on my hip, looking at my idiot dog stuck in a tree. I think Bruce even rolled his eyes.

There were no options here. I was going up. I balanced myself, walking along the beam of a tree trunk leading to the nest of dead trees while shaking my head and wondering if I could actually explain breaking a leg getting my dog out of a tree. I began my ascent, having to swing like Tarzan to the next tree. I swung around and hoisted myself upright, straddling the trunk and shimmying towards my dog. Who was stuck. In a tree.

He looked happy to see me but I think his main concern was still that pesky cat. As I neared him, I held out my hand, still unsure how we were going to do this. Mason was a little spooked at this point, panting wildly and circling his perch. Come on boy. Come on Mason. Come down from the tree...

At last he took a cautious step towards me.  He stuck out a paw, tapping and testing before strenuously gripping the bark of the tree.  Baby steps down the tree with the dog.  I held his neck as we began our descent, me testing limbs for support and Mason inching towards me. Finally, as we neared a height that might only sprain instead of break or maim, I scooped him up and set him down on the first tree laying on the ground. He hopped away, shook off the fear and then without thanks to the guy who just went up there and got him down, commenced to bark at the cat.

Click! I clasped the leash around his scrawny little neck and then looked up and wished the cat good luck. (He was gone when we returned so I think he made it.  Besides, he was laughing at us anyway).

I tugged on Mason's leash, looking around to see if anyone had witnessed the daring display of idiocracy that had just taken place, and then pulled my dog along the trail and I walked him in the dark, like a normal dog.

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