Posted by: blinklove | June 12, 2010

Little Dog in the Desert

Hello everyone!

The hiking has been beautiful! We had the wonderful spoil of visiting two hostiles- the Sauphley’s and the Anderson’s.  Piano, horses, healthy and happy dogs, good people…They made the last 60 + miles fly by. We are at 518 now, crossing the 500 mile line was awesome!

We have a lot of news for you…Lately Stephen and I have been discussing the idea of flip flopping.  Flip flopping is skipping a section of trail, and hiking in the opposite direction to return to the place where one left the trail. Where and why would we do this?  We would do it before reaching the Sierras, catching a plane up to Manning Park, Canada.  We would then hike southbound until we reached the point of the trail we left. We want to do this because this has been a HUGE snow year for California and the Sierras are loaded.  As a result of the abundant snow, snowmelt will cause the river crossings to be more difficult than ever (you can find some videos hikers made during previous years on youtube).  A little reasearch showed us that river crossings are always dangerous in the Sierras and have caused most hikers to lose their balance and even get swept away and pulled under.   Hiker “NO Pain” who attempted the area last  year told us, ” These rivers aren’t even on the map, as they are entirely made of snow melt. You can not go around them, the only way to keep going is through them.  You have to keep a good pace or else the water will pull you under. It pulled me under anyway.”

So! That was last year with a very low snow average can you imagine this year?! This is what mainly makes southbounding sound so appealing, and many hikers are talking about it.  People on the PCT flip flop every year, but I will not be surprised if the largest number this year chooses to do so.  Other advantages are we can skip out on some of the fall rain in Oregon and Washington, and we will finish a lot closer to where our car is making it that much easier to return to good ole’ Winston-Salem.

Now for the story you are seeking from this post title! We were hiking along yesterday morning about 7 miles out from Highway 138.  We passed a man going south, and I asked how he was doing. He said he was feeling sad, because he just had to leave a puppy behind. He had found the dog in the desert and carried him along for three days (people often abandon their dogs out in the desert) .  He said he had to leave the little guy at Hikertown, a hostile just off the trail at Highway 138), and was worried about him.  He did not want to leave him, but he said he had to because the dog is not strong enough to do the trail, and the man is from Europe and would not be able to take him out of the country anyway.  We were planning to re-supply and stay in Lancaster instead of Hikertown, but we told him we would stop by and check on the dog. 

We walked pretty quickly and arrived at Hikertown in a couple of hours.  We opened a gate and found shade and water.  The hiker had told us to find Bob, and when we did he showed us to the abandoned dog.  The little white fluff ball ran up to us and jumped in Stephens lap, licking him as much as he could.  I asked Bob what they planned to do.  He informed me that the owner, Richard Skaggs, would be back tomorrow but they had to get rid of the dog.  He told me one of their rooms had four 4 week old kittens, who’s mother had just left a few days ago. ( I offered to help get these kittens to a rescue but he plans on keeping them all).  There were already two other dogs and they couldn’t take this one on too.  I checked on the kittens, who thankfully look to be more about 8 weeks, and walked around the rest of the hostile.  I was followed by a good number of chickens everywhere I went and spent some time with an old skinny and sweet black dog.  We eventually picked up the pup and started hitchhiking to Lancaster.

We were able to make it to Lancaster getting two rides, both of which were interesting, but the second one surprisingly more so then the first.  The woman who picked us up for the second leg of our hitch  talked a good bit about some very odd things and then fell on the subject of the pound near by. We do not know what all to believe from everything she said, but here is what she said, “I worked for the pound near here for a while, about 5 blocks over to the left. People don’t work there ’cause they like dogs, they work there ’cause they hate dogs.  They can’t wait to put ’em to sleep or have one start running away so they can shoot at it.  They even dissect ’em there…” Not that we were thinking of it before, but there is no way we are taking this adorable white terrier mix to the pound. It also made me even more grateful for the pound we have in Winston-Salem, as I know a couple of the people who work there and they are wonderful.

We wanted to take the pup to the groomers to get him looking fresh, but first had to be a vet visit.  We asked that they scan him for a microchip and the answer- negative.  This fact and give that he also is not neutered leads us even more to believe that he was actually dropped off in the desert and not somehow lost.  The vet commented on just how nice and sweet he is =) .  He also informed us that he has a slight heart murmur, but he expects it to get better without any medical care.  It is something that will need to be checked on in the future.  Other than  that and a few dreadlocks, he is perfect! He  weighs about 9.6 pounds and is estimated to be around two years old. The vet said he is not good at guessing breeds, so we are sticking to white terrier mix.

Anyone who has the chance to meet this dog is privileged.  Things so familiar to us seem quite foreign to him.  It is as if he has never seen a mirror before.  The first time he noticed the full length in our hotel room, his whole body shook with excitement.  He started vigorously wagging his tail and jumping up, trying to meet this dashing young dog before him. Of course we grabbed the camera and have a little video to show you which you can see here:

One he began to trust us even more, he started rolling over and now does so every time I reach to pet him.  Oh, he is splendid!  So what now?  =) We are working on that…We certainly can’t bring him with us.  He is very small and what researchers call “bait” for mountain lions and coyotes.  Plus, we experience some pretty harsh conditions that it would be unsafe and unfair to put him through. With our flip flopping plan, we are bound to be at an airport soon, and we could send him to someone (My parents!?! Forsyth Humane Society, Best Friends?). I have always hated the idea of flying pets, however I feel better flying him knowing exactly who he is going to other than relying on the good faith of people I meet in this area. 

More more more to come, love you all so much!




  1. Too many of these stories, eh? Love this blog. Signed on. Bliss & Blessings~ Dr Alexandra Brooks.

  2. Sherri in W-S brought this to my attention. I have sent the link to everyone I know in Cali. My hubs and I have both posted it to our Facebook. He’s super fine and shall have a home in no time, I just know it. I’ve been rescuing dogs for years and I can tell whoever adopts this one will get a wonderful bundle of friend.

    Bless you for picking him up. He would not have survived out there. Bless you for being part of the solution.

    ~ Therra Cathryn

    • Hey I am looking for a dog just like that dog for my 12 year old son. We dont want male dogs. I forget is that dog female? If the dog is female I’ll take her in! I have 3 other female dogs here where I am and we are only allowed 1 more dog within the city limits. Please let me know.


  3. I cringed reading this story and how they treat the animals.
    This story is SO HEATHER and Stephen!!! The animals are so lucky to have you both on their side. This little guy is so cute, and I hope he gets a great home where he can sleep in a real people bed, and show someone what unconditional love is!!!
    Thanks for the story….BLINK ON

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