When Good Dogs Go Bad!

Monday night while clouds gathered – would we get caught in the rain?

It had been a long day of appointments, and the dogs had been cooped up at home while I was gone, so even though I had driven miles, and was wet-noodle-limp, I corralled Zoey and Mabel into the van and headed up to the Appalachian Trail.

Why does it seem like a trek? It’s only 3 3/4 miles up the road from home to the entrance.

It takes 4 songs on the playlist time wise – about 12 to 15 miles because the road is so winding you’ll find yourself only going 12 to 15 mph around those curves.

But it’s NOT FAR – so why is it such a struggle to go sometimes?

6pm – no one but us and the ponies.

We only saw three –

But it was enough to delight my senses and make the trip worth it.

Golden evening light and tall shadows.

I was feeling pretty chuffed by the time we made it home for a late supper. I didn’t want to do it. I was tired, I had every reason and excuse NOT to do it – but we got out there and did it anyway. We hiked about 2 1/2 miles, mostly uphill until I reached this spot, and then worked our way back down and around again.

The double leash thing works fairly well, unless ONE of the dogs decides they want to be on the “other” side of me and tucks back behind my knees which requires a whole lot of untangling and getting straight again. But we are learning.

A short leash is key – but I’m funding that yes, I can manage two bumbling barkers with one lead instead of a cross-armed effort at two separate ones.

Yesterday though – oh yesterday.

Usually I let the dogs out in the yard around 7am to do a walkabout the property. It’s 42 acres of mountainside covered in woods – no other properties near us, no one’s yards they can get into – just trees and creeks and squirrels and chipmunks, birds and nature –

They are usually back at the deck door within 30 minutes wagging tails and wanting treats.

Yesterday started like every other ordinary day – I was planning on leaving for Charlotte at 10am to meet Dave’s plane at 12:30. Plenty of time!

I let them out, watched them charge up the mountain as if the world were their oyster, and I headed to the shower. 30 minutes later – no dogs. 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours – there were no dogs. I called and called. I whistled both with my own fingers (I can whistle loudly – it’s one of those things you’d not know about me!) and I used the dog whistle as well. Whistles usually get them coming.

At this point I’m frantic and texting Dave who was boarding in Atlanta for Charlotte.

A plan was hatched that he would take an Uber to Statesville and I would meet him there. It divided the trip in half that way. It saved gas and it saved time. And surely the dogs would be back by then?

Nope. Noon arrived. I had to leave. There were no dogs and I was frantic. I put their beds and food and water out on the covered portion of the porch because it was now also raining.

The dogs are microchipped, they have tags with names and phone numbers, and they have vet tags on their collars. Surely someone would call if they found them? But would they wander that far? It’s no man’s land on the mountain.

I drove with a sick feeling in my stomach – If I lose them, I can’t go through this again. There will be no more dogs for me. My heart can’t take this.

Statesville is about 1:45 from home. I drove through torrential rain and wind. I met Dave and we started home, but stopped for gas and for a bite to eat because we were both starving. It was nearing 4pm by the time we pulled up the drive and I was so afraid and sick to my stomach to think that they wouldn’t be there.

We got out of the van, and there on the porch above us, peeking snouts through the porch rail slats = two very dirty muddy dogs who had come home and were waiting for us.

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. The pet beds were covered with drying mud and wet. They’d evidently had the time of their lives –

I have no idea how long they’d been home – but both were exhausted and slip hard from the time they were let in. They slip through the night. This morning neither of them shows any desire to run anywhere.

As soon as we get the pickup back from Collision Express so we can haul a trailer, we are building a chain link panel “play pen” A large corral where they can hang out and be outside without running off for 5+ hours (It was 9 hours from the time they headed up the hill at 7am until the time we returned at 4pm)

But these faces – and these looks – how can I be mad at them? They have no concept of time – they only follow their noses. When they follow their noses they turn off their ears.

And since I’ve been brave enough to share this story – the last thing I need is berating comments, so please don’t tell me what I need to do or should be doing. I’m not asking for advice. Commiseration, yes – I’ve berated myself enough already.

The dogs were never lost. And that’s all I need to know for now.

Last night’s hand quilting –

Star centers are laying flat!

When they say “It will quilt out!” it oftentimes does. The poofy star centers from a seam allowance that was “just that much” too wide (I didn’t know about scant 1/4” seams when this was put together with a full 1/4” seam allowance.) are all working in with hand quilting where machine quilting would have pushed pleats.

I’m currently on the first side of the 4th round in.

I love working on this in the evenings and having everything bound and finished so excess batting and backing is one less thing to get in my way.

And that texture – need I say more?

I’m headed to the QPO this morning to catch up on things that have been set aside over the past couple of days. It’s a catch-up Wednesday.

What do you have going on where you are?

I’m so excited to see that we’ve got over 6,000 entries on our April Showers PDF Pattern & Fabric Roll Gift-Away!

The April Showers PDF pattern release has exceeded all expectations as we are all (in this hemisphere anyway!) clamoring for spring followed by summer.

Thank you so much for your positive response! I see photos of you digging through your stashes, posting images of fabric pulls and first blocks already. Sew! Sew! Sew!

I love how ALL of the purples are so varied and play together so well. Mother nature knows what she is doing!

I use these rulers all of the time. If you don’t have them, invest in yourself and get them! You’ll find them in the Quiltville Store.

Traditional rotary cutting and piecing methods are given to those who don’t have the rulers.

Does your purple or green (And neutrals – always!) stash need a bit of enhancement? Check out these color rolls by Cotton to Quilts!
The best variety and fantastic service! And I’m so grateful that Cotton to Quilts is once again offering up 2 fabric rolls for this gift-away!
We’ll be drawing for one winner who will receive the PDF pattern for April Showers and a facets of purple color roll, and a second winner who will receive the April Showers PDF pattern and the facets of green color roll!

Quiltville Quote of the Day –

Take a good look at your recent roadblocks. Be stronger and more persistent than they are!

What is holding you up? Push through it!

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!

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