Here are all the innocent-looking characters…don't fall for their innocent looks.
Just in time for hunting season to begin (today) Cyrus decided to take a wander. Earlier in the summer I was walking both dogs off-leash back by the creek until Cyrus found his way out front and killed some chickens. Then I tried with Cyrus on the leash and Woody off, but Woody took to wandering as well, and it was getting too cold to cross the creek.
Next tactic: I take them up to Don's on the Hill where I start with Cyrus on the leash, but then they both get to run free as we are heading back to Don's house. Usually the lure of cookies is enough to get them back there in a hurry. This method has been working well for a few months.
We had our usual run on Wednesday, even though it was cool and rainy. No cookies-and-beer party after because of the rain. Thursday was also cool and rainy and the boys were not cooperating while I was trying to work at home. Our 3 resident deer were hanging right outside the windows getting the boys all worked up.
So I took them back up to Don's only to find 2 deer crossing his driveway, and then 3 more a bit further up. Dogs in a frenzy!
We went in the house for a bit, and then tried our usual walk around the path. Other than falling twice in the mud going down the hill, things went well until the part where I usually let Cyrus off the leash. He wanted to run off and play with Woody, but I wanted to keep him on the leash because of the deer. He whacked my hand so hard while he was rough-housing with the WoodMan that I had to let him go. He stayed on the path for about 20 feet, and then took off into the weeds where the driveway deer had been.
Gone in a flash. I called them back, but only Woody returned. I guess I should be thankful that he didn't run off as well. Missing 1 dog is bad enough, 2 would have been so much worse.
Cyrus ran off in the direction away from our house, so I was pretty sure he wasn't raiding our chicken coop. When it became apparent that he wasn't coming back, I took Woody in the car to search. No sign of the disappearing black dog.
Black dog, 4 pm, now dark, still raining. About 8 pm I drove around again, searching, plenty of deer, no Cyrus.
He finally showed up on the front porch at 9 pm, soaking wet and exhausted. I only noticed he was there because MonkeyCat was sitting staring out the door. I have no idea where he went, or how he found his way back. He would have had to cross the creek in at least 1 or 2 spots, and the creek was running kind of high because of the rain. Maybe he came down the road and crossed the bridge...
I don't know where he went or what he was up to, but I thanked him profusely for coming back before the hunters start shooting—and they did—early this morning.