My husband lassos up the runaway troops from the top of the hot springs

My husband lassos up the runaway troops from the top of the hot springs

Let me start by saying my dogs don’t have the best reputation around town.  Adopted “unknown mixes” from a shelter grew up to be “all Husky” runaways.

They have more than a few flaws—they hate water, their fur is a magnet for dirt, I have to force them to eat, and they don’t particularly like people, either.

But by far, their worst trait is that they are excellent escape artists. They have the tendency to run away and never return until I get the call from some vet or humane society asking me to come and pick them up (even though they are micro-chipped, they sure are a pain to find all time).

We named them Jack and Sawyer after two characters of our favorite show, Lost, and ironically that’s what they always are—LOST!  We frequent the local dog parks and it’s not uncommon for us to turn red with embarrassment as someone says, “I know those dogs! They came to my house the other day!” Or “Do you live in Foxborough?  I saw you chasing them down the street last week.”  So, they are officially the “Lost Dogs.”

With such a failing report card, it’s a wonder my husband and I would ever consider taking them anywhere, but a camping trip in Central Oregon was just too tempting to turn down, so we packed the boys in the car and headed up the Santiam Pass for a weekend of fun.

I’ve got to give them some credit.  They require being tied up at all times on a rope no longer than 6 feet (any longer and Sawyer finds himself wrapped up like a mummy), 24-hours a day while camping in the hot sun.  Since they don’t like water, there are few opportunities to cool down, but they sit quietly, never bark, and sleep in the shade tied to their rope.

On the last day of our camping trip, we decided to take them on a hike up to the hot springs.  Partially up the hike, we see a sign “No dogs allowed beyond this point.”  Hmmm…what to do? We had a good half-mile to go before reaching the hot springs so we wouldn’t be able to see them from the tie-up point.  Convincing ourselves that they have been “so good this trip,” we tie them up, along with our friend’s Lab, to the tie-up point and head to the hot springs.

About five minutes after reaching the hot springs, we were relaxed and enjoying the warm water, when we look up and see Jack and Sawyer—still coupled together, leash in tow—staring down at us from the top pool of the hot springs.  The look on their face was that of pure accomplishment.  And our reaction: “Yes, we only enjoyed five minutes of the hot springs, BUT at least they ran towards us and not away from us.”  Had they ran the other direction they probably would have made it to California by the time they were found.

I think we’ve made a huge breakthrough: they’ve never ran toward us before. We appreciated avoiding a road trip, and couldn’t help but laugh at the scenario.  Chasing runaway dogs is just part of the deal when you own Huskies!