This is not the usual Jeeping with Dogs, however a Jeep was present as well as the dogs so we have dubbed it acceptable content! First a little background.
I inherited a gun.
The gun belonged to my Great Grandfather Harry who I never had the pleasure of meeting but I am the proud owner of his Colt Officers 38. It ended up in his daughter’s possession because she was stalked back in the 50’s before they called it stalking. For the record the police back then told her to shoot him and drag him inside. Not that any of that is really pertinent to this conversation with the exception that somewhere along the way Harry or his daughter changed out the grips. They were loose, they did not fit well and as such I had not fired the gun. We found new grips and now Harry is ready to go and we decided to go out to the forest to plink.
Our Jeep has the mesh net to keep the dogs safely and securely in the back. So our 20 pound Corgi mix and our 65 pound Heeler sit back there and have their own land of dogs so to speak. We set up a few plinking targets, got the gun ready to go and were behind the Jeep where we could turn to see the dogs securely in the back. The passenger door is open with our shooting accoutrements displayed inside for easy access. Now I enjoy shooting, I enjoy hitting the target, I enjoy seeing if my skills are improving. I like my rifle and I wanted to see if I would like this revolver. The good news is I do! It is fun and let’s face it simple. I like things that are easy to understand and with guns I believe you should understand how they work and all their moving parts if you are going to have them.
But that is not the tale I have come to share. Our Corgi Suki can apparently slip through the netting. That is right she was only as “secure” as she chose to be. And apparently the loud noise from the shooting told her it was time to flee the secure area in the back of the Jeep. She is partially deaf (clearly not to the sound of gun fire) and as I am taking aim I see a puff of blonde go darting past me, straight down into where the targets are and did I mention we are in the forest? That was it, the future flashed before my eyes, Suki wandering the forest as the sun goes down without nary a comfy bed or cookie to be found. I knew it, at that moment she was gone, not to be seen again and likely within hours coyote feed. Devastation, panic (but yet still good gun safety) settled in me. She is 15, she is losing her hearing and her eyesight. She is a runner. She has decided not to be a great listener (I cannot tell when it is her or her actual hearing) and I know this at that moment I have failed her.
I yell, she stops and turns, and for once it was that easy. I am not likely to take her with us again when we go shooting, she clearly doesn’t care for it. But I have learned something, no matter how much I believe I can control they are likely smarter and more nimble than I believe and likely more often than not stay put by choice. They are smart and ingenious and clearly I cannot be trusted with their wellbeing but they let me think I am in charge. Every day with the Jeep, the man and the dogs is a good day.