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Monday, February 18, 2013

A close call...

Every morning, I try to be out for sunrise with Shyla. My attitude is that, if we can have fun at the dawn of the new day, then it's already a good day, right from the start.

It's getting a little more challenging, as sunrise is zooming earlier and earlier. We're both a little sleepy some mornings.
But, it doesn't take long to wake up and dream of the day ahead.
It's clear that the sun is very low in the sky when a shrub that is less than a few inches tall makes a shadow on your dog's face.
After we watch sunrise, we usually play some training games. You might remember that, just a little while ago, Shyla didn't know how to do a proper retrieve. I had to break it down into tiny steps, teaching her each one individually. Then, we put it together into real retrieve inside the house. Now, finally, we've taken the show on the road (or on the trails, you might say).

Shyla now adores retrieving. She needs no encouragement because she loves it so much. Her rope toy is her favorite retrieving toy.
Shyla will hold it for as long as I ask before releasing it into my hand.
Funny, I've bought Shyla all sorts of toys but not this one. I found this one in the woods, frozen to the ground under a thin layer of snow. It's her favorite toy.
She adores this toy so much that I've started using it as her reward for a great recall. If she comes when called really fast and enthusiastically, I whip out her rope toy, and we play with it. To keep her very excited about it, I don't let her play with the rope toy except when we're training.

Last week, after my morning snowbike ride and training with Shyla, I had doctor appointments almost every day, to pinpoint what's wrong with my neck, arms, and hands. Believe me, those appointments are nowhere near as much fun as playing with Shyla in the morning. But, Shyla did go with me each day so that we could do some socialization while I was in town.

One day, on my way home from an appointment, it was snowing hard as I drove up our mountain road. When it's snowing hard, the plows often can't keep up with the accumulation, and driving on our incredibly steep road becomes treacherous. On that day, I came around a curve, and I saw a Honda Element crashed into the side of the road with all the doors standing open. A guy was outside the vehicle and his Golden Retriever was prancing around in the middle of the slippery road. I immediately visualized what would happen to his dog another car came down the road right at that moment.

I pulled over, and fortunately, the dog (Barkley) was very friendly and came to me enthusiastically. I hung onto his collar and walked him over toward his human, who appeared to be fine. Apparently, the crash had just occurred and all the vehicle doors had flung open on impact. Because Barkley wasn't restrained by a seatbelt or a crate, he hopped out of the open car after the crash. Fortunately, our road isn't busy. It would have been a disaster if the crash had been on a highway.

Although the human seemed basically okay, he was emotionally stunned by the crash and not thinking clearly. As we talked, green liquid was pouring out of his engine and making a stream down the road. I asked him for a leash, and he clipped it to Barkley and hung onto it. Then, there was a very close call. Barkley pulled hard toward the green liquid, which was antifreeze. He lunged with his pink tongue reaching toward it, hoping to lick the sweet smelling liquid. Time slowed as I screamed "NO", thinking that Barkley was about to be seriously poisoned. My scream caused the guy to pull Barkley back. I quickly explained that antifreeze is very poisonous (which the young driver didn't know). Whew, a very very close call for Barkley.

Everything, except for the badly damaged vehicle, turned out fine. After almost an hour of baby-sitting Barkley while the human worked out the logistics of getting his car towed, I headed home. Barkley and his human were alive and well. I'd call that a victory.

Shyla and I arrived home barely in time for an afternoon walk with R, feeling lucky that we were all safe and sound.


  1. Wow!

    Talk about the right place at the right time and just in the nick of time...

  2. Shyla really loves that rope. Makes me smile.
    So glad everyone and every dog is OK. Glad you came along when you did.

  3. Wow! Scary. Right place at the right time, for sure!

  4. Wow! So fortunate for that young man And Barkley that you were there . It could have really been tragic.. You were their angel.
    Ernie and the rest of the furkids

  5. The world is full of angels helping people cope with difficulties and you were one on duty in CO that day! Nice work! Even R is looking at you with his noblest look!

    Cheers and hugs,


  6. I'm glad everyone was safe! It sounds like you were meant to come across that young man and his dog. Lucky for them!

    That picture of R is a total stunner! Not that Shyla's aren't gorgeous, too, but wow!

  7. I think you were meant to be there for Barkley. I am glad everyone is ok.

    Anne and Sasha

  8. How wonderful that you helped out...lifesaving even. I so hope that you get some help with your pain.

  9. Thank you for saving Barkley, twice over! I had some very good furiends die of antifreeze poisoning. It's a very skeery thing.

  10. You title had me a bit scared that the close call was with one of your pack. Glad to see that you were in the right place at the right time to help Barkley and his human.


  11. I guess that qualifies as a "random act of kindness." You saved a life today :-)

  12. Oh that was a close call. THank goodness you were there. We had that happen to one of our dogs during a rural search. Thank goodness the handler put two and two together and out came the peroxide.

    I hope you are getting some results from all your docotr appointments.


  13. Barkley and that fellow were lucky you happened along at that moment.

    We love the early part of the day in our opinion.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  14. I don't think "Wow!" quite covers it! Thank goodness Barkley and his owner had someone great watching over them today :)

  15. Barkley owes you his life! It always amazes me when an everyday hero appears out of no where to change the course of disaster...chance or more?

  16. Wow! You really have a great day together, I'm sure you enjoy your training today! keep safe Guys!
    Dog Supplies

  17. Two very lucky people, one man and his dog forever grateful. Did you have Shyla with you, this would have been a very new experience for her? Maybe now he will get one of those marvellous dog harness safety belts. Hope the trip to town, and the snowy road back, was less eventful for you. Fond greetings, Jean

  18. You saved a life that day. Barkley was so lucky to have met you on that road.

    We're not exactly early risers here but we admire those who are!

  19. That young man and Barkley were both very lucky you came along. As I was reading, I thought "if that dog had been crated or harnessed"... Luckily the outcome wasn't tragic with him in the road, also with the antifreeze.

    Once again, beautiful pictures! We're seeing the sunshine earlier too and know that spring on it's way - yippee!

  20. Wow! A close call for sure! Thank goodness you came along when you did, KB!

    Love ya lots,
    Mitch and Molly

  21. you saved that dogs life a couple times......hard to believe that there are still people that don't know about antifreeze....(would see a few cases a year of antifreeze poisoning. rarely a good outcome.)

  22. That rope toy probably has another dog's scent on it making it especially appealing to Shyla. Love the closeup shots.

    Barkley was very lucky that you came along when you did. Thank goodness for him.

  23. That young driver was very lucky on two scores! Good thing you came along when you did!

  24. Love the photos! The joy on Shyla's face when she has that rope toy is wonderful to see. So glad you helped Barkley and his person! I've been in one accident, and you do feel kind a dazed and confused--even when it's a minor wreck. This was also a timely reminder for me to order Wrigs a new seat belt harness. Thanks!

    Susan and Wrigs

  25. Wow, Barkley sure had a Guardian Angel on his shoulder. Thank goodness you were there!

    We love the rope toy that Shyla found. It must have had a good scent on it. We always love to see how happy she is.

    Lily Belle & Muffin

  26. Lucky Barkley that you were there! Love Shyla's toy!

    Nadine & goldens Neeli & Elle

  27. Wow thank goodness you came along, scary
    Benny & Lily

  28. Oh my thank goodness it all ended ok. What a day for you.
    I love the close up photo of Shylas nose with her bottom lip.
    We are also so pleased to read that R's tests have come back clean, it's great news. Keeping everything crossed that they get it sorted soon.

  29. Thank goodness you were there to help save Barkely!!!!

  30. Talk about a "meant to be" moment in time, KB.... a twist of fate that was all in "the plan". I'm so glad you were there... but I think it was orchestrated for you to be there all along.

    Hope you get some answers about your health problems. :-( With your active lives there on your homestead, there is NO time for such maladies, is there.


  31. I was afraid that you were going to say that you and Shyla had the accident....I really shouldn't read into things. The anti-freeze story could have been so horrible.
    Just 2 weeks ago Sophie and I did a 360 on slippery roads. SHe had to stay in the car for 3 long...and it took 2 tow trucks to get us out of the ditch. Please winter you may leave us now.


  32. You performed a mitzvah :) Here in my home city, a family driving through recently were in an accident and their three dogs ran off during the resulting chaos. After days of searching for them, tragically one was found dead, hit by a car. The brokenhearted family finally had to return to their home state. Fortunately, weeks later the other two were found, and many generous locals donated funds so they could finally be sent home to be reunited with their owners...

  33. I am so happy that you were there to help the man and his dog during that crisis. And you thought fast when you screamed NO!!
    Thank goodness you were there!
    I see joy in Shylas face as she holds that special toy! We all have our favorite things- don't we?

  34. I think lucky for Barkley and his human you were in the right place at the right time. I do hope, though, that your doctors are able to get to the bottom of what's going on with your nerves so you can get back to life in the normal lane.

  35. Hi Y'all,

    I love riding in my crate in the SUV...but I'm not as fond of the seatbelt that my Human insists I wear in the regular car. Now I know why she insists.

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

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