Rocco finds his way home

So this sweet cone-head dog gave me a heart attack last week. I decided to take him to the woods since he hadn’t been there for four days due to his incident in Cincinnati that led to his ear being sliced and glued, and of course, the cone of shame. The ear looked like it was healing and the doctor had told me he could take a walk after a couple of days so I thought this would be a nice treat. I left the kids at home and ran to the woods with Rocco Taco early in the morning. I kept his cone on him so he wouldn’t brush up against something and hurt his ear. As we ran into the woods, I let him off his leash like I always do. He went flying down the path and to the right like he always does. I followed. I didn’t see him but that’s not unusual since it’s covered over with plants and trees (wasn’t it yesterday that it was barren and 10 degrees outside?). I turned the bend, about 300 feet up from the right turn, and started to head back yelling for Rocco to come. Usually, I can hear the charging steps of his paws and then feel a swoosh of air blow by me as he runs past me. But nothing happened. I went to the fork of the trail and yelled for him. Nothing. By this time, I was concerned that he had gotten the cone stuck in the brush and was frozen. The day before, Bethany had called me freaking out she couldn’t find him. She searched and searched and while on the phone with me, found him stuck in the bathroom; he had accidentally shut the door with his cone. He hadn’t made any noise while stuck in there – no whining or barking. So I was concerned the same thing was happening in the woods and he was waiting for me to find him. I called for him incessantly and scratched up both of my legs climbing through brush. Nothing. By this time, it had been 20 minutes since I saw him. I called the kids and told them to come to the woods with Bethany to help find him. I called Bethany and told her to swing by and pick them up. I called Jon and told him what happened. I hesitated to call because I figured I’d find Rocco eventually and I knew what I was in for if I called…”why did you let him off the leash when he’s wearing a cone? why didn’t you watch him better? you can’t let him off the leash – you know he doesn’t listen.” And I knew what my response would be – defensive. But I had no choice. I could not find my pumpkin anywhere. A lot of what I imagined Jon would say came out of his mouth (I know my hubby ( and I would have said the same to him along with some cuss words!)) but he also told me to calm down and just keep looking. He turned around from his trip to work to come help me. About 30 minutes into the search, Bethany called from the house. I thought she’d ask me directions on how to get to the woods. Instead I hear this: “Rocco is on your front steps.” I was at once relieved and amazed.
They say that dogs have an amazing sense of smell, which allows them to find their way home if lost. Check out this little guy who made it home after traveling 500 miles! All those annoying stops along the way to the woods to sniff the grass or the sidewalk or the leaf were worthwhile in the end because it helped bring my pup home.
Let’s hear it for doggie noses!


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