Leah and I have lost count of the number of dogs that have been abandoned on the mountain since we moved here. We have managed to get almost all of them adopted, but we still worry about the next time. Wednesday morning we thought it was the next time. At about 5 AM we heard some strange noises outside, right about the time Zeke jumped up and started barking. I went to the kitchen window and heard what I thought was some kind of hound baying not too far behind our neighbors’ house. Then I heard what sounded like a clumsy deer crashing through the yard. I caught a glimpse of a black and white dog running across the driveway, but he disappeared into the night. We went back to bed, hoping he or they would have found their way home by the time we got up. No such luck. When I took the dogs out for their walk a few hours later, this is what we saw.
There are actually three basset hounds, two females and a male, although it’s hard to see all of them here. The younger female looked like she had given birth recently. I figured the male, who was unfixed, was the father. The other female had gray hair on her muzzle, so maybe she is grandma. They were friendly, the younger female especially. Zeke is typically frantic to get to any person or dog who comes to the gate, but he was not too bad this time.
I opened the gate to check the dogs out. The female jumped up on my legs, but by the time I was able to get a photo, she was already on her way back to Earth, ears flying.
None of them was wearing a collar, of course. Leah and I were dreading the process of finding the owner, if he was not responsible for dumping them, or a new owner if he was.
We thought we should check with our neighbors down on Fouche Gap Road, since that seemed to be the direction they had come from. I wanted to walk our dogs down there anyway, but I didn’t want three hounds running along with us and possibly getting hit. I was relieved when they didn’t seem interested in following us, but before we had gone far, the younger female appeared behind us. She was apparently the pack leader, because the other two soon followed.
It turned out to be a good thing in the end. Our neighbor said they were, indeed, missing three dogs, and I turned around to point them out just as they were coming down the driveway to their house.
Our neighbors had found the three wandering a few miles away near some commercial buildings. There was an ad about the dogs in the local newspaper’s lost-and-found section. According to our neighbor, the owner said that the dog I thought had given birth was actually still pregnant.
In any event, the three bassets should soon be heading home, and I hope the owner takes better care of them in the future.