Memories and Photos by Greg
Round about a year ago...
It's been just over a year since we had our little buddy Sprocket the Assyrian Moth Hound join the family. And almost one year since we set out on our first vacation with him. Where we could have lost him, but didn't, and where he burrowed his way deeply into our hearts.
He'd been found running loose by a local veterinarian. She'd tried to find his owner, and then tried to find a new owner, but he'd ended up spending most of the summer in a kennel in her clinic. Trina thought we should take him home. Just until we could find a good home for him. Ha!
We'd taken pictures and put up posters around town announcing his availability to a good home. Then after about three days with us, we were out hastily taking the posters back down. He'd wormed his snuggly and affectionate way into our hearts.
But we were all still somewhat tentative about each other when we set off on a trip to southwest Colorado and New Mexico. The main focus of the trip was to see wildlife along the Rio Grande. Which we did. But we also had our bikes along, and hit the trails.
In Gallup, NM we spent most of one day enjoying the sunshine and trails with Zeek and Sprocket. Zeek, our stolid trail running JRT was a known quantity, but Sprocket hadn't been on this long a ride with us. And he did great. Actually impressed us with his speed and his enthusiasm. And with his tenacity and ferociousness in facing a hungry and dangerous-looking mountain lion sculpture.
The next day we set out on another multi-hour bike ride. We were worried about the dogs' feet and stamina and thought it would be best not to torture them with another long day of running. So we left them at the truck near the highway. Zeek was tied up at the side of the truck, as we'd done with him on many occasions. But we'd already learned that Sprocket wouldn't stand for that. He'd chewed through a leash once already. And he did NOT like being left behind. So we secured him inside the back of the truck in the kennel we'd fashioned on a platform. Then we shut the topper door and took off up the trail on our bikes as he whimpered and cried at being left.
We were two or three miles into the wilds, stopped to enjoy the scenery, when we heard the clink of dog tags. We looked back and there was Sprocket, nose to the ground, tracking us down. Oh crap. Then we laughed. We later discovered that he'd squirmed between the kennel bars, scratched open the topper window and jumped all the way to the ground. Then had found his way to us. Despite this dangerous escape he was fine, and actually very happy to see us.
He got to come on the rest of the ride and wasn't the least bit bothered by the extra miles we'd been trying to save him from. And more importantly, he'd managed to prove that he really wanted to be with us. He'd escaped the confines of the truck (a problem we've since remedied) and had avoided the temptation of a nearby farm with animals to chase, the dangers of a highway, and had pointed himself after us. We couldn't help but love him.
After a year, we're still being constantly reminded of how lucky we are to have had him join us. Even Zeek thinks so, sometimes.