Sunday 12 February 2017

We're *definitely* not in the city any more

It was a beautiful day yesterday: The snow was melting, the sun was shining, and I was antsy.
Winter is all fun and games, but I'm itching to see green again! I want to start fixing our fence, build an adorable goat house for our goats (this one would do nicely), and start living outside 90% of the time, which is why we moved to the semi-desert in the first place. Come on, spring!

Since the snow isn't moving any faster just because I want it to, I decided to take the corgi for a walk. All of us have put on some weight (damn you, carbs and wine and sweets - and that's just what the corgi has been doing, I can't even tell you my bad eating habits), so a walk was just the thing to do.

We live on a hill, which means that if I choose to walk from home, I have to go uphill the entire time until I turn back. I didn't feel like doing that, so I threw the corgi into the car, and drove down to walk along the river. It has the dual benefit of being a quiet road (which means I can let Lily off leash), and being flat. I only feel like a mountain goat on special occasions, and yesterday wasn't one of them.

Off we went, two girls on a leisurely Saturday-afternoon walk. Here is Lily, in case you haven't met:

Just to clarify, I love this little turkey with all my heart. She's exasperating at times, but she's my best buddy, and we do basically everything together.

She was running happily around, darting in and out of the woods that were flanking one side of the road. I was listening to an audiobook, soaking in the beautiful afternoon sunshine, and keeping an eye on Miss Lily. She is known for not always being a great listener, and I'm used to having to call her several times before she comes.

On the way back, I saw her standing at attention, looking at something in the woods. Then, she shot off like an arrow, scrambling across the snowy ditch, which was breaking in under her weight due to the warm temperatures (and her not being exactly a featherweight).
I didn't think much of it - a squirrel on the tree could inspire such a reaction. I was still several hundred feet away, and figured she would come out of the woods by the time I reached the spot where she had disappeared.

She didn't.

When I reached that spot, I looked at her across the ditch, partly hidden behind overhanging branches from the tree she was sitting under.

"Come on, Lily, come here!" I called, but she was just looking at me. 'What a brat,' I thought to myself, annoyed. I called a few more times, and then I decided to walk away, sure she would follow me.

She didn't.

I examined my options.
Should I just walk to the car, still another 20 minutes away, counting on her to follow me eventually? I did start to walk, but she didn't come, and I had an uneasy feeling in my stomach.
I turned back, and returned to the spot across from her on the other side of the ditch. She was still looking at me, and she hadn't moved an inch. This was weird.

I started to get a bad feeling about this.
"Lily, come here! Come to mama!" I cajoled, pulling out some treats from my pocket. Lily loves food, and she always comes when I pull out the big guns.
When she didn't, I knew that something was wrong.

"Lily, I'm coming!" I called out, starting to run towards her.


I sank into the mushy snow thigh-deep, falling forward in my attempt to get to my dog as quickly as possible. For the first time in two months, I had put on leggings and runners for my walk, because it was pretty warm, and I could feel them getting soaked right away.

It didn't matter.

I waded through the deep snow, using my arms and legs to propel myself forward.
As I was getting closer, I could see something dangling next to Lily's head.
What the hell was it ...?

And then the realization came to me, in one horrible, big swoop.

It was bait.
O.M.G. What had happened to my dog??

When I finally reached her, she was still just looking at me, motionless. I stared at the piece of meat in front of her (the foot of a deer? or a rabbit? I was too freaked out to look any closer), and then I immediately surveyed her body.
I saw a thin piece of wire trailing away from her, and I carefully turned her over: It was wrapped around her left foot. A little sling had caught her hind leg, tying her securely to the tree she was sitting next to. She wasn't hurt, thankfully. 

I pulled off the sling, causing her to leap up with joy and then running away as fast as her short legs would allow her to. I took a quick picture of the set-up, not taking the time to check if it had turned out, and then I followed her as quickly as I could.
I was freaked out. 

We were on public land, not private property. I'm fairly sure that this trap was illegal.

I have no idea if it was supposed to catch the unsuspecting animal around the neck, killing it, or if it was meant to be a live trap, catching them on the foot like it happened to Lily.

All I know is this: Holy hell, we are not in the city any more.

This is wild country. 

One thing is for sure: Lily will stay on her leash from now on.

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  1. Poor Lily! I would have been so freaked out. Not okay.

    1. She's totally fine, it didn't hurt her at all. But it was so scary, I won't walk her off leash there again.

  2. Oh my goodness, my heart was in my throat reading this. Poor Lily. I am so glad that she is okay. Is there an authority of some kind that you could report that trap to so it can be removed safely? So creepy.

    1. I'm in the process of researching it, I need to find out what the laws are like around here.

  3. Poor Lily! I'm so glad that she was ok. How lucky that it only caught her foot and didn't seriously hurt her!

    1. It's a totally different reality from what I'm used to. I don't know if thats's normal for around here, and I just have to keep my dogs on a leash? Or if it's illegal? I'm in the process of finding out.

  4. Holy hell! That is so scary! Did you report it just in case it is an illegal trap? That could have been someone's curious child! I am so glad Lily was not hurt.

    1. I'm finding out about it. The problem is it's probably almost impossible to find out who set the trap. But maybe someone knows who is into trapping, and has an idea who could have done it. Crazy, isn't it?


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