Sierra and Bodhi’s Great Adventure

A few days ago, I was walking Bodhi at the park. We’ve been working on his social skills when it comes to passing other dogs on leash, and he’s been doing well. On this particular day, we passed a woman with a cute cocker spaniel. Bodhi did his usual look at the dog and then look at me for a treat. Great! But once we’d passed the dog, possibly because the dog was on a flexi-leash and the woman had let the dog come up almost to us, it was too much for Bodhi. He lunged. Unfortunately, this meant that he lunged backward and at an angle, and my feet went out from under me. I landed hard on my lower back/hip and elbow. I managed to get to a sitting position and had gotten Bodhi to sit as well while I collected myself. I knew I was hurt but wasn’t sure how bad the damage was yet. The woman then tried to come over and help me, her dog pulling out way ahead of her, and I had to yell at her thanks but no thanks, and please take your dog away!

A visit to the chiropractor yielded a diagnosis of a whiplash-like injury to my lower back and shoulder/neck area. I already had lower back problems. Ice is my friend. I share all of this with you as a preface to telling you that my husband ended up taking both dogs out to the arroyo today. Normally we each take one dog to a separate place—I get to work on training and whichever dog is with my husband gets some real exercise. Both dogs together are a lot to handle, especially in areas where squirrels and rabbits abound. But he took pity on me and offered to take them both this morning so I could rest. I gratefully agreed.

A short time later, my husband returned home with both dogs. He was in a panic. He’d lost his wallet somewhere out in the arroyo. After a flurry of phone calls to various credit card companies and the DMV, we both headed out to search the area. Now, the arroyo is a vast wasteland of rocks and weeds that stretches for miles and is bounded on one side by the freeway. We retraced his steps, searching through the high weeds as best we could, him moving quickly and me picking my way carefully along the trails, trying to be careful of my back. Twenty minutes later, he yelled, “Got it!”

Relieved, we headed back to the Jeep. That’s when he told me. “You know, this has been a hell of a morning. I didn’t tell you before, but when I lost my wallet, I went and put the dogs back in the Jeep so I could go and look for it. I left the windows down just a little, and…” Can you guess what happened next? I had a very bad feeling. Sure enough, he continued, “…I came back and I didn’t see them. My heart was in my throat. They were gone!” He went on to explain that he’d searched frantically around the area and didn’t see anything. He then spotted a woman off in the distance. The weeds are so high he couldn’t see a dog, but he knew her by sight as someone who frequented the area in the early mornings with her dog. He ran out to her, and there in the clearing were Bodhi and Sierra, happily dragging their leashes as they splashed in a water-filled culvert, frolicking along with the woman’s small dog. Sierra and Bodhi came running to C.C., wagging their tails, happy as clams when he called them.

Okay, how many of you dog-moms or dog-dads are having your own personal heart attack listening to this story and thinking of it happening to your dogs? We are super careful about having our dogs on leashes or long lines at all times. We never let them run free unless it’s in an enclosed area, especially with Sierra’s over-the-top prey drive. It was lucky for us that a jackrabbit didn’t lead her toward the freeway, and that the dog they encountered was small and friendly. It’s good that they came back when called (they’ve certainly had enough practice with recalls), but that scenario is not going to happen again. All in all, it was a rough morning around the Wilde household, but thankfully, one that ended well.


13 Responses to Sierra and Bodhi’s Great Adventure

  1. Kimm says:

    I hope you are feeling better soon. Have you tried Arnica? I keep hearing it is the thing to take.
    I am so glad the dogs are ok….found, wallet found! I bet the hubby is ready for a good stiff drink and a nap. I am thankful that I have on the whole ‘easy’ dogs, but I love reading of your experiences and knowing that even the experts have to deal with less then always perfect dogs.

    • wildewmn says:

      Kimm, thank you for the reminder about Arnica. It’s not so much bruising as pain, but you reminded me about the BioFreeze gel that helps. Allow me to envy you as you enjoy your easy dogs!

  2. hornblower says:

    Wow, that’s a lot of adventures for 1 morning!!!

    So Sierra’s prey drive doesn’t kick in with small dogs? I always worry that in an adrenalin frenzy, Daisy won’t recognize small dogs as dogs (to snarl at, roll & PRETEND to want to eat) and will think they’re bunnies (to catch & actually EAT)

    • wildewmn says:

      Hornblower, the funny thing is that although Sierra has an incredibly high prey drive with lizards, mice, etc., she is very good with small dogs. She’ll normally end up play bowing to them. Guess those small dogs had better watch out for your Daisy, though!

  3. fearfuldogs says:

    Ugh. Another flexi-lead related injury.

  4. OMG I thought you were going to say they jumped out the car window as CC was driving. What a morning you guys had. Im sorry your hurt and hope you heal fast. I would have freaked out if I came back to my car and the dogs were gone. I had that happen with Nawnee “remember her” I went to the grocery store and left her in the camper part of the truck. I came out and the window on one side was pushed all the way open and she was gone. Someone spotted her running down Hwy 12. I drove to the far parking lot and just yelled and here she came running back to me. Talk about a heart attack. Busy road too. She stayed on sidewalk.

  5. All’s well that ends well!
    Gotta love em!

  6. Heather Trainor says:

    Oh Nichole, what a horrid day! Sorry you have hurt yourself. Poor hubby!!! Glad you are all safely home together. Heal! Hey, the dogs had a good day .

  7. Lola says:


  8. Hi Nicole, It must of been a manic morning for you, but all ended well. When you had your accident and Bodhi turned and lunged at the other dog, was the other lady walking past notice that you were training your dog?

    Kind Regards


  9. wildewmn says:

    Thank you all for the well wishes and sympathy!

    Jason, the lady walking past noticed Bodhi lunge at her dog and yet she still allowed her dog to keep coming toward us when I was on the ground. I doubt she noticed that I was training Bodhi to begin with. It was nice that she was concerned, but had her dog reached us, it most definitely could have made things a lot worse.

  10. Hope you are feeling better soon. I know how a hurt back feels and also that your dogs are ok and found. I read so many times where dogs have disappeared and worry about mine doing the same but so far it hasn’t happened. I’m counting my blessings. It would be devastating if it happened to me.

  11. Places and Pets says:

    Nicole – we (my fur family and me) truly wish you a speedy recovery to shoulder, back, etc. And I am just as thrilled as you, that both dogs were recovered. That did make for a stressful day. Bet the dog-Dad is also very relieved. So glad for a happy ending.

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