By BitchMittens Ruth…
I wouldn’t ever have called myself an emotional person. That was until the last few days where I turned into an absolute emotional wreck. Some of you will relate to this blog, whereas others might think we are a bit bonkers but that’s ok too!
Basically, we decided to go hiking last Sunday in the Galtee mountains thinking we would have a lovely day out, get some fresh air and some well needed exercise. And we did. Until we reached the very top of Galtymore…
It was a wet, blustery, miserable day. We had been planning to go all week so we decided we weren’t going to let the weather get in our way.
So off three of us went with two very excited dogs. I was never a massive fan of hiking because I don’t really rate walking as a great form of exercise. Wow was I wrong. Three hours later and I was breathing harder than I had ever envisaged. And we still weren’t even at the top. What I had thought would be a nice leisurely stroll turned into the hike from hell!!
We finally got to the top, exhausted and drenched but chuffed with ourselves. That mint tea and sausage roll never tasted so good! We were engulfed by a cloud of fog so the only view was about ten metres in front of us but it didn’t matter, we were happy out.
But that was all soon to change. A few minutes later we met a group of fellow hikers so Cathal and I stopped for a chat. Next thing we know Sean is sprinting away from us like a mad man. He had fallen over, but in the process had dropped Allie’s lead. (Ed. Allie is Sean’s dog – she’s part Husky, part Malamute, 100% best friend and family member) Before he knew it she had bolted off as if she had spotted a rabbit or something. It wasn’t a sheep because she had been surrounded by sheep the whole way up and wasn’t in the slightest way phased by them.
So there we were on the top of the mountain, the three of us stumbling around, calling and whistling at her to come back but not a sign of her anywhere. Normally she would come back within a few minutes with her tail between her legs but this time was different. She had literally disappeared. We eventually made the decision to start walking down the mountain as we were starting to get very cold and my boots which were supposedly waterproof were now two basins of puddles encasing my feet. We were convinced Allie would catch up with us or if not that she would meet us back at the jeep. The further down the mountain we went, the more the realisation started to set in. What if she didn’t return? The one comforting thing was that Sean’s number was on her collar and she was chipped so if someone did find her they could just give us a call.
A few hours later we arrived back at the jeep. No sign of Allie. I don’t know why but I really thought she would be sitting there with a smug look on her face. But it wasn’t to be. We hung around for a while, drove around looking for her, and asked the neighbours to keep an eye out. Eventually we decided we had to head home.
It felt so odd when we got home. Eerie almost. I was convinced we would get a phone call, that one of the other hikers would stumble upon her or that she would make her way to one of the houses. But nothing.
That night I couldn’t help but let my mind wander. I was trying to stay positive but my brain just kept thinking of worst case scenarios. I got very upset but Sean remained hopeful. His plan was to head back up in the morning. I couldn’t as I was starting teaching practice, which is stressful enough as it is!
All day I was expecting a phone call to say he found her. At lunch time he said there was no sign. He was searching one side of the mountain while his dad was searching the other. For those of you who haven’t been it is a massive area of ground to cover. They met farmers along the way, some helpful some not so helpful. The signs up stating that dogs off their lead will be shot really wasn’t helping the matter. Eventually they had to retreat home as it was getting dark.
That night was possibly one of the worst of my life.
This may seem bizarre to those of you who aren’t dog lovers but it was almost like a child had gone missing. In fairness to Sean, she was his baby! It was the not knowing that was torturous. Needless to say we cried ourselves to sleep that night.
Sean got up at 5.30 the next morning to set off again which for him is major in itself as he is not a morning person at all! At this stage he was pretty exhausted, having climbed a huge mountain two days in a row. But it is amazing what the body can do in times of crisis. He said he honestly thought he was going to collapse on more than one occasion. His whole body was about to cave in but stopping just wasn’t an option. Mind over matter and all that!
Hours later he reached the top. For the third day in a row. Again he continued calling out her name, his throat almost hoarse at this point. Then, from the depths of the fog, to his absolute and utter delight, there she was limping slowly towards him! He was convinced he was hallucinating, he just couldn’t believe his eyes. I can imagine it was like something from a movie. He burst into tears once more, but this time tears of joy. Allie looked just like she had when she left him, no trace of mud or more importantly blood – thankfully. But she had hurt her leg badly. I’d say she was never so happy to see him in all her life.
So now came the next expedition, how to get her down the mountain! Allie is a mix of a Husky and a Malamute, in other words, she is massive. She refused to walk and so he called on all his scouting prowess to muster up a sled for her from God only knows what. You would think she would be impressed but no, she was having none of it and got off straight away when he started pulling it. There was only one other option… on his back. She seemed happy out with this decision as you can see! That is true love if ever I have seen it.
Hours later they eventually made it down to the bottom. Allie was fine, Sean not so much! He brought her straight to the vet who decked her out with a new cast for her fractured leg. Apart from that she was all good. As they say all is well that ends well. We won’t be letting her out of our sight any time soon which is just fine with her, she is absolutely loving all the attention.
All I know is I have never been so proud of Sean as I was that day he brought her home. Without a doubt, I am a very lucky woman to have him in my corner.
Ok soppiness over ; )
Notes from the Ed.
If you haven’t had your pet chipped, here’s a great article from Dog’s Trust with everything you need to know, including where to get it done and how much you might expect to pay. https://www.dogstrust.ie/help-advice/microchipping/microchipping-faq-page
And here’s a pretty sweet picture of Ruth and Sean the happiest dog owners in the world, enjoying a well deserved cuppa and a lie down 🙂