After checking out the trailhead, I turned around and retraced my route toward home. In the area where I'd seen all the dog tracks, a large tripawd husky mix ran across the road in front of me. I screeched to a halt and tried to make friends with the dog, hoping to get her home. She had a beautiful black and white mask on her face, and she negotiated the deep snow with grace despite having only one hind leg. Unfortunately, she was skittish and wouldn't come near me to let me help her.
So I pedaled home, and I sent out an email to our local network asking if anyone knew about the dog. I quickly received a reply, and someone the dog trusts went to find her. I later learned that she's being fostered while some individuals try to find a home for her. She lost a hind leg to a coyote snare as a very young dog, had a bad early life, and is just learning to trust a few humans. She's only two years old and has lots of potential. The final question was: Did I want to adopt her or know anyone who would like to? That was a surprise.
Sadly, the answer has to be "no" to us adopting her. We can't handle another dog who has socialization and fear issues. Shyla needs as much attention as we can possibly give her. Even if we were looking for another dog, we don't have the energy and time to work with another fearful dog who needs socialization. But, the whole scenario tugged at my heartstrings.