OK, I meant to post this last week but with all that's happened it just didn't get done. So I'm now just able to sit down and finally get this all down on "screen" for you to read.
As you should know by now, I've recently purchased a new WR250R and I've been excited about getting out and riding some trails, forest service roads & anything else I can find. So last saturday, (the 22nd), the weather was nice so I loaded up the WR into the back of the pickup and hauled it the 40 miles to the Tahuya National Forest where they have an ORV park with roughly 35+ miles of trails through the woods. I drove through the staging are where maybe a hundred people were loading, unloading, riding, camping & whatever else and as I dodged everyone I found a good spot to park and unload the bike. After unloading it without dropping it on it's side, I got all my crap on and fired it up. It felt a bit awkward at first since I haven't seriously ridden a dirt bike since probably 1984. After about 15 minutes and one small crash, I started gaining confidence. The ability to anticipate things, recover from hitting a rock or whatever and just maintain balance, started to come back to me. It felt great to be out in the woods, riding on trails and just enjoying the freedom that riding provides.
I rode for about 2 hours and it was a great first ride. But as I was out deep in the woods and I decided it was time to head back to the truck, for some reason that escapes me I took less direct route back to the staging area and found myself exploring yet another trail on my way back to the truck. A few minutes into this new trail I came upon a lake and thought it'd be a good place to stop and take in the scenery before I turned around. As I dismounted, something caught my attention off to the right. As I saw it, it took a few seconds for me to process what I was seeing. It was a little black puppy, crouched low and looking at me. She was wagging her tail but was obviously a little scared. The reason I was a little confused is the fact that I was a LONG way from any civilization and this little puppy was, in my opinion, not capable of getting here by herself. I agree that anything is possible, but after a few minutes I came to the conclusion that someone had dumped her here a few days earlier and she wouldn't survive too many more cold nights out in the woods. She already had trouble breathing and I decided that I wouldn't feel right if I just left her there to die. The next problem I was presented with was how to get her back to the truck. It turned out to be easier than I thought. I tucked her under my sweatshirt and she actually was quite still once she was there. I got back on the bike and hit the "magic button" and started off back down the trail. It was slow going but since she didn't squirm too badly, I was able to get to the truck after just a few minutes of riding in 1st & 2nd gear. After getting back to the truck, I asked around to see if anyone knew of a lost puppy all I got were "sorry, no"s.
It was now almost 4:30 on a saturday and I figured that if I was going to stick with this I needed to get her to a vet to get her checked out. I called my wife Kim as soon as I had cell phone coverage and relayed the story to her. Since she and I both had to fly trips the next day we had limited options. Our regular vet was closing @ 5pm and I was able to get there just before they closed. However they only had time to scan her for an RFID chip, which she had none. They referred me to a vet in Tacoma that was open until 11pm (even the night before Easter!). Kim and I ended up taking here there and they gave us the option of leaving her there and they'd give her to the Humane Society on Monday... OR, they'd treat her if we took responsibility for her. Being raised as a responsible person, I opted to not send her to the Humane Society and to pay for the vet bill myself. My intention was primarily to make sure the animal was well taken care of and I really didn't like the idea of her sitting indefinitely in a pen with very little human contact in hopes to be adopted. So I thought we might be able to find a good home for her on our own. The vet suspected, (and later confirmed), that she had pneumonia so we needed to x-ray her lungs ($200) along with a bunch of other stuff. Also, since we both had to work the next day, we needed somewhere to keep her and the vet really was our only option ($70 per night x3 nights). The vet bill ended up being about $850. While I wasn't happy about having to spend a bunch of money for someone else's irresponsibility, I also felt that it was the right thing to do.
I posted this story on a forum at Adventure Rider (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=324012) and I received quite a few responses. Included in these responses were people interested in donating $ to the vet bill for the rescued puppy. I was / am very grateful for the generosity of the riding community, especially those who helped out with the vet bill. As of this writing, the contributions have totaled roughly $240.
Last night Kim and I made another decision. We realized that after the amount of time we've spent with her that it'd be too difficult to give her to someone else. So in spite of the cats' cries of disapproval, we now have a new addition to the family. We have yet to name her. There were suggestions of Lola and Amelia. I personally like Amelia (as in Amelia Earhart), but Kim prefers Lola. We're at an impasse trying to decide what to call her. Maybe I should put it up for a vote? Look for one on the sidebar in the near future.
So, to solve the problem regarding our work schedules that require us to be gone for extended periods of time, we looked into pet boarding, doggie daycare, etc... Ultimately we found the perfect (albeit expensive) solution. We were referred to Jennifer, a great young lady who runs her own business called "Hounds Around Town" http://www.houndsaround.com/. On the days we need her to, she'll come and pick up our little mutt in the morning and lug her around all day while she completes her other obligations and then drop her off in the evening. As I mentioned, it's not cheap, but we feel that considering Jennifer's extensive experience with dogs and her terrific personality/attitude, our puppy will become a more well mannered, lovable dog in the long run.
It's been an interesting week and I'm sure this puppy will change a lot of things about our lives but we love her and she seems very happy here so I hold out high hopes for a great future.