June 03, 2023

The Hounds & Dog ESCAPE --- Gone !!!

Taking this photo and the next one of Henry this morning while standing in the great room, little did I know what would bring a HUGE adrenaline rush to me today. It was my fault as I had a total mental failure that led to their escape. Instead of going out of the fence gate to mow the grass I took the lawn mower from the shed, through a single door into the garage and out the opened garage door. While I mowed, due to the high temps the hounds and the dog were basking in their cooled AC rooms.

After finishing all the grass outside the fence, I took a "water break" before mowing the backyard. I went inside and grabbed a 32oz container of ice cold filtered water and headed to the computer room to answer some texts from friends. Before I did that move, I walked to the patio door and opened it, letting the hounds and the dog out for a short break while I stayed inside cooling off and hydrating myself. It was in the 90s but I wanted to finished the lawn mowing.

It was a total brain fart ... some call it a senior moment ... others might just say plain crazy.

(All of those spots have filled in naturally with thick grass since that photo was taken in April) 

That white sliding door opens to a storage/shed that is built on the back of the garage. Where the house goes to the left is the back wall to my garage. Well since that door is my main entry for the mower, gasoline, weed eaters, tools etc .. it was open and is always open when I mow. What I forgot was the single door that goes to the garage from the shed WAS OPEN !!!! Since one of the garage doors were open ... the hounds and dog had a clear fast shot to freedom .... and they took it !!

I cannot tell you how long they were gone but I can give you an idea by what I did before I realized my terrible mistake. After letting them out I walked back to the cool computer room drinking water, cooling off from mowing in 90° weather, texting some friends and looking at ESPN at some baseball scores. I was basically relaxing before I went back outside to mow the backyard. So there was a good amount of time I did not know they were out running the neighborhood with no collars on Walter and Watson, and Henry wearing a collar but no tags. NO identification.

From our walks and Walter following me around the front yard when I am out watering grass, the neighborhood knows the hounds and the dog. They would know where they live if they saw them loose in the neighborhood.

To say I had a sudden jolt of fear come over me when I realized my mistake would be an understatement. I knew they would not be around the house and didn't look for them in the backyard. I ran out to the garage, grabbed the two leashes and sprinted to the street looking both ways calling Walter's name. I knew of the three he is the one that would come back if he heard me.

My quick glances left and right, across the street, next door on each side of my house .... I didn't see any hounds nor the dog. I did not hear them either. At the end of the street were some kids playing, screaming with their mom ... the sound you would hear if small kids were playing with the hounds and dog. They love seeing the hounds when they are out walking. I went running that direction as the mom starting walking toward me. "No, we haven't seen them, both the basset hound and bloodhound are out, oh my !!!!?"

She yelled for her husband to get in his truck and try to look for them but I thanked for her offer and stopped him. I WANTED to think they were in this quiet neighborhood of nice people but I also knew they had been out long enough the hounds could be a long way off ... Stella and Sadie would have been long gone by now.

With the heat I thought Walter would be coming back to the house because it was just too hot for him.

She said they would keep an eye out for them and if they found them they would bring them to the house. 

I started my walk up the center of the street, heading back to my house and the way we walk. I looked in different directions as I walked. IF I made it to the intersection it would be about a half mile away. I am yelling Walter's name as I walk and no signs of any hounds or dogs. Neighbors have dogs but they are never outside alone.

Now I am past the line of panicky. I'm scared that I have really screwed up and my hounds and the dog are gone. Even a wild thought of someone seeing them and taking them ran through my head. All three would get any anyone's car.

Places I thought I would see them, they were not there. I mean I was unaware of my mistake for a time that now felt like a lifetime ... if they had picked up a scent like they do when I walk them ... I was thinking the worst, plus Walter would follow the other two.

Just as I get up to my house in the middle of the street I hear a faint voice "they are over here" but I didn't see anyone. I keep walking and keep yelling Walter's name.

See that house that is straight ahead and is two story? Well I about the time I get to the street that you see on the left edge of the picture with leashes in hand ... I see Watson, Henry and Walter running out from their side yard with Mike following them. That side yard would have been a full yard over behind that white truck. They were not running to get away, it was the type of run where they are playing and jumping at each other at the same time ... all except Walter ... he is sprinting to me.

As I yelled a "thank you" to Mike and telling him what I had done that led to their escape, the hounds ran right past me in the street, turned their run to our front yard and headed to the open garage door. I didn't even have a chance to say "come on". Their little period of fun and freedom was over and they all wanted water when they got inside.

I cannot express how happy I was for the happy ending. The hounds and the dog were thrilled to be home. While poor Walter was panting like he was having an asthma attack, pollen was 10/10 today, Watson had a big smile on his face as did Henry ... within minutes after all of them drank water, they were laying on the cool tile floor and were were sleeping by the time I walked back outside to mow the backyard.

I MADE SURE the door from the shed to the garage was closed. I also made sure the patio door was closed. Besides mowing the yard twice to get rid of the excess grass left behind, walking over 5 miles to do that, my heart rate was probably maxed out while I was looking for the hounds and the dog. I hope I never make that mistake again.

February 11th is when Samson attacked me. It took all this time for that bite wound to look this good. It blends in well with all the other wrinkles. 

This photo is up at Whidbey Island WA. That is Hope Island and this is the main passage out to the sound with Deception Pass Bridge up around to the left of that last piece of land sticking out into the water. In the early 1990s I rented the apartment that was the first floor of a house.

This is that same island from my porch. That spit you see was where my two basset hounds and I would take our daily walks. We could catch fresh crabs for dinner and dig for clams right off the backyard. 

(The credit of this photo goes to Carl Stephens, a local photographer in that area.) I do not know him but I pulled this photo from the internet. I had taken similar photos just like this one, while standing on that spit but could only find the two photos I posted at this house.

This will give you a better idea of one of the best places I have ever lived. During the winters the owners of the house that lived upstairs would spend their time in Palm Desert CA. My basset hounds spent a lot of time in that backyard hanging out ... but they were always tethered to something in case they decided to "test the waters". LOL

That's Harry in front and Arthur in back. Harry was the first basset hound I bought as a 8 week old puppy. He is around 3 years old in that photo. 

Last night Al over at Travel With The Bayfield Bunch mentioned he would love the cycle they had him ride at his physical therapy for his hip. It had a lot of information he wish he had. I told him about the Strava app I use for my bicycling. It also has a lot of the same information he was wanting. I hope he sees this if he or Kelly visit my blog. 

I am showing them here also in case a reader is looking for this kind of information while they run, bicycle or even walk everyday ... with the free app synchronized to your smart phone and if you are like me, your computer ... this data will synchronize with both as soon as you tell the app you are finished bicycling, running, walking, canoeing, any activity you choose.

The first ride was this past Monday, the second was last week. With that effort rating it makes me wonder if I might have started riding to hard too soon because after my ride tomorrow morning, it will only be my third ride of this week after riding five days last week. It really is amazing what technology can do now.

While I ride I do NOT need to take my phone ... Just my Apple Watch. While I ride I can look at the watch and see how long I have ridden, distance, heart rate and speed. After my bike crash and hip replacement in September 2019 I do not take any slow 1mph turn for granted. I see every rock that is in front of me, if there are any.

So an exciting day ... the hounds and dog had fun, my Reds lost but IU won in baseball, excess grass is mowed/mulched out of site, and the hot days will continue as far as I can see on the forecast.

As I post this Walter is snoring loudly next to my desk, Henry is sleeping and blocking the doorway with Watson sleeping in the hall just outside that doorway. I may never get out of this room unless I can quietly step over them without waking them up.

Overall ... it was a great day here in "the tropics" of Southern Indiana.


  1. So happy that all ended well. We called one of our Yellow Labs the traveler as she would take off from time to time on the last call of the night. Always came back home with her tail wagging and a happy face, she was a real pill at times. Good memories.

    1. Harry in the picture would do that. He would come back smelling like fireplace smoke while living in that house. The following spring a contractor doing some new additions yelled when he saw Harry ... didn't know his name ... but Harry had been going down to his house every night when I let him out for the last time ... bark at the patio door, they let him and he would take a nap by the fireplace ... wake up go to the patio door and they would let him out and he would come home. LOL

    2. Harry sounds like he was a real character. When my Black Lab would disappear during the day, I knew where to find her. She would walk down the lane to our 80 plus year old neighbor who loved her. Mystic would take her a stick and she'd sit in her lawn chair a throw it for her.

    3. Thats a nice story. When I first moved here, no fence, Walter use to walk in the side yard and sit with the neighbor that has dementia.

  2. Oh, those little rascles ! I like how they all stuck together. Good that you live in a friendly neighborhood as well. Thanks for the app info. Kelly

    1. Your welcome. I hope Al can find some way to use that. Yes the 3 are a pretty tight group. Walter is the protector and they all clean each other's eyes, ears, jowls daily. I was happy that the hounds did not act like Stella, they would have been gone hunting in an instant with Walter following them.

  3. Congratulations on the safe return of the family.

    1. Believe me, it felt good to see them head for the house on their own once they saw me.

  4. So glad you found them and they are safe and sound back at home.

    1. You and me both. I was worried there for a while. Really worried.