A Walk in the Woods

Grace got lost in the woods a couple of weekends ago. Ever since we got Belle, we have been making an extra effort to walk her at least twice a day. We walk her in the morning for 10 or 15 minutes before putting her into the outside kennel and going to work and school and then again as soon as we get home. She gets a few more walks usually on the weekends.

We’ve been sending Grace out to do some of those walks. When Bryon was off last year, he made some awesome trails through out woods. We especially like to take her there. Grace has been on those trails now many, many times but never alone. A couple of weekends ago on a Sunday afternoon we told her to take Belle out for a walk. Grace said she was going to go on the long trail. We said fine. She had just led her Nana on that same trail the day before. It’s not too complicated. The trail isn’t marked but it’s pretty obvious. So off they went.

The entire trail takes about 15 minutes to walk at a pokey pace. Twenty five minutes later Grace and Belle still weren’t back. I hollered and hollered and got no answer. Now, I wouldn’t have put it past Grace NOT to answer but I sent Bryon out on the four wheeler to track them down.

I heard the four wheeler racing through the woods and then doubling back. I knew he hadn’t found them. Then I saw her coming down the driveway with the dog in tow.

Me: “Grace, you were gone a long time!”
Grace: “I know! I was lost! I thought I was going to have to spend the night outside!”

She was getting teary as she started to tell me the story of her adventure. Bryon pulled up just a few minutes after she got back. Apparently Belle had gotten away from her and she had chased her and then supposedly got lost. She then proceeded to cross two fences and walk to our neighbors house (a little classmate) and knock on their door for help. They weren’t home. She said she turned around and saw our mailbox and walked down the ditch to it and then down the driveway back home.

She said she hollered and hollered for us. Well, we were in the house and she was a quarter mile away in the woods.  We didn’t hear her.

Now, there were a few holes in her story. First of all, if she could see the neighbor’s house to walk to it … then she could have seen our field and mailbox. Secondly, if she hadn’t crossed any fences she would never have left our property. Third, after Bryon reviewed the trail cams, he saw her heading RIGHT ON THE TRAIL to our field just like we always go.

The only ones that really know what happened during that twenty five minutes is Grace … and Belle but she was pretty undone about it all. I made her hot chocolate with marshmellows. I tried not to make too big a deal about it because she can be a real drama queen and would have really been upset if I had. She did learn some lessons that will hopefully stay with her.

1. Never cross fences.
2. Never walk by the road.
3 If you get lost, stay put. Someone will come and find you.
4. If the dog escapes, let her go. She’ll come back or we’ll find her later.
5. You are ALWAYS on camera, even in the woods.

That night when I said sweet dreams she said she’d probably have nightmares about being lost in the woods. I asked her why? She knew it had a happy ending, so she shouldn’t worry about it anymore.

What happens in the woods, stays in the woods.

Next time she’s just going to have to stay on the road more traveled.


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