A couple of weeks ago, my cousin and I got a late start for a black powder hunt because he stopped to dispatch and retrieve a deer he witnessed being hit by a car. By the time he got a permit from the sheriff’s office to keep the deer, then got it field dressed and hung, it was too late for us to go over to the farm we planned to hunt. Instead, we decided we would walk out to the back of the farm we were on and make the best of what would only be an hour before dark. As we got to the end of the lane and started into the back field, we were shocked to see two puppies out on the snow. And by “pups,” I don’t mean young lost dogs. These tykes just waddled along, bellies dragging through the snow, way out in the middle of nowhere, unsheltered in some serious negative wind chills.
At first I wondered if they might be feral, but they weren’t afraid of us. Even if they were feral, where was the mother and how had they not already been eaten by the hawks patrolling the fields, or coyotes, or a bobcat? We wondered if there might be others, so after scooping these two up, we tried to back track along their meandering prints looking for more puppies they may have separated from. But within a hundred yards or so, the blowing snow had covered their tracks. It was bizarre – and we darn sure couldn’t figure out how they got there, where they could have come from, and how they ever made it through the snow drifts. But we knew they hadn’t just fallen out of the sky!
They were shivering, so we tucked them in our coats and packed them back to the house. As luck would have it, my aunt had just learned that a neighbor’s dog had pups, so we took them over to their house and sure enough they had been looking for them. They were very happy and hugely relieved. These 7 week old puppies had somehow traveled almost a half mile as the crow flies. Perhaps they had tried to follow their mother, but got separated because of the snow drifts and then began to wander?
These are two very luck puppies! If the deer hadn’t been hit… if my cousin hadn’t stopped… hadn’t learned he needed to go to the sheriff’s office and so forth, we would have never been there. And there’s no way two 7 week old puppies would have survived the night. If the predators didn’t get them, the cold would have finished them for sure.