|We lost Millie somewhere in these
hundreds of acres.... She ran after
something, a rabbit perhaps, and lost her way back
|For the first time ever I came home
from a dawn, off leash dog adventure without one of the pack.
|Millie had gone missing somewhere in a square
mile of orchards--that's 640 acres.
The mobility scooter batteries went almost
completely dead from a prolonged search for lost
Millie... we limped home
after sunrise creeping at 2 MPH. I was scared
inside - where was Millie?
People start to go to work in those
orchards after sunrise pruning, mowing, irrigating...and maybe one
of them would grab her. Oh no!
mobility scooter is kept in my car -with fully
charged batteries. I took out the 260 lb machine and
put it together. The dogs were tired from 10 miles
of looking for Millie... so I put them in the house.
Then I went to the sheep pasture and asked
the Livestock Guardian, Angel, if she'd help me find
Millie. Angel is not obedience trained because
livestock dogs are an ancient breed born with sheep
and live their lives with them. To teach them "dog
training" would only interfere with their instincts.
So Angel is not leash trained.
Shepherd took months to train with classes,
exercises, and finally a prong collar to stop him
from pulling. But a German Shepherd is only a 100
year old breed. Angel, the Great Pyrenees, is a
breed thousands of years old. Livestock Guardians
are even mentioned in the Bible.
Angel is so
smart it took her 10 seconds to figure out a leash.
She looked at me and said "OK! Move when you do.
Don't pull. Right?" I'm serious -- it took her 10
The second scooter batteries would
carry me 10 miles if we had to search that far for
Millie. Angel had never gone for a walk with me
before, never been in the vast orchards yet she
heeled next to me like a pro. We had to find Millie!
Angel and I were on a mission to get back our lost
family member. Failure was unthinkable.
We had to find
|Angel trotted along with me at a pace of about 6 mph while I blew the
ultrasonic whistle in the "Toot-toot" call that is
for Millie. Sometimes I shouted "Millie! Millie
come!" My mind was terrified to consider
someone had grabbed her and would keep Millie
because she is such a fine dog. She might have
fallen into an irrigation well...I was sick with
Then, several miles out from the house
I spotted something flash by when I looked straight
down a row as we rode by. Was it Millie? Suddenly
she was running to us down the access road. Millie
was hysterical with joy after being lost from her
pack for 2 hours.
How did she find us? Angel
did it. Angel lives with sheep -- sleeps with them
and has sheep poop in her fur. Millie got a whiff of
sheep scent and knew it was her rescue party!
"Millie lost! Millie found us!" I cheered. And
Millie said "Angel find me! Smell Angel! Millie
smell Angel find you!"
Angel looked at me
with a hurt expression. "Angel smell like sheep?"
she asked. I kissed her big white head saying "Angel
good girl! Angel sheep dog! Millie smell Angel find
us! You good girl Angel!"
That's the story of
how it took two scooters and a spare dog to find one
that was lost. But we
had an Angel
story from The Furry Angels, July 2015