Tale of Tails: Tino & the Deer

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CherryCanyondetailmapIn our continuing series about Tino and his mischievous run-ins with various critters, our next installment is about Tino & the deer. This happened many years ago – Tino was in his prime, probably about 4 years old. We frequently ran & hiked in a place called Cherry Canyon in LaCanada, CA. It was a fairly big, very hilly open space area with many running trails.

We had a couple of trails we ran regularly, but this particular day, I decided to take a trail we don’t usually take just to give the dogs a different run. The trail looped around and up the opposite side of the main hill connecting at the top and looping back around to a more common trail. You can see from the map that this is a fairly large park, but situated in the middle of Los Angeles and bounded by neighborhoods and a couple of freeways, so not total wilderness.

We usually let Sally & Tino off leash when we were running. This was over 10 years ago, there were no strict leash laws and both of them were pretty reliable on their recall – with the exception of coyote sightings. But I knew it was late enough in the morning that the coyotes wouldn’t be out, so I let them off leash. Everything was going fine as we ran up the hill. Then we came to a hairpin turn with Tino out in front, I couldn’t really see what was ahead, but all of a sudden I hear crashing in the bushes and see a huge  deer animal dart across the trail in front of Tino. It happened so fast, I couldn’t even see what it was clearly, other than it was big (it was a deer).

Sally was right next to me, so I grabbed her, but Tino was off racing after the deer like his life depended on it. Unfortunately, deer don’t stick to the trails – he was off in the underbrush, with Tino right behind him and with me trying to run after them both. Within a second, it was pointless, they were long gone, I couldn’t follow them in the heavy underbrush and besides, who knows where they went. We were on the east side of the trail system and they were headed west – there was a lot of open space ahead of them. I know Tino, he’s not going to stop – he lived by his wits for at least a year in a similar park not too far from here. Would he end up like that again, abandoned & on his own in a park, or would I be able to find him?

cherryCanyon4_enlrgSally and I race as best we can up the hill, calling for Tino the whole time, but getting no response. We get to the summit and hope that we can somehow see him or hear him, but still nothing. We walk down 30-40 yards on each of the trails, but I know they aren’t on the trails – they are in the brush and who knows where because I lost sight of them a good 5 minutes earlier. Sally is pretty good at tracking Tino and we’ve had to do it in the past when he’s chased after something. But usually it’s a rabbit and they don’t go to far – they usually zoom right back to their rabbit hole 20 yards away, but the deer – he could be in Ventura County in 10 minutes. Sally was no help. She sensed that something was amiss and that Tino was nowhere around, but she didn’t know what to do either.

I’m in tears, Sally is perplexed and I’m trying to figure out what to do. I don’t want to leave the area in case I see him or hear him, but I have no cell phone or any way to contact Steve and the car is a 20 minute hike away. Sally and I sit there 5 minutes, 10 minutes, probably 15 minutes when suddenly I see Tino pulling himself up to the summit from the far western cliff (that runs down to the 2 freeway).cherry canyon trail

He’s panting like he just ran a marathon, grinning from ear to ear, and comes loping right to me to tell me of his big adventure. He knew exactly where I was – he was headed in a straight as the crow flies path, headed right back to where he had left us.

Needless to say, I was filled with relief and he was full of pride. I doubt he ever caught up to the deer, but he sure gave it a hell of a chase and had a wonderful time being a dog. He stayed leashed on the trail from then on.


We are joining the Monday Mischief Blog Hop hosted by Snoopy’s Dog Blog, Alfie’s Blog, Luna Dogs Life and My Brown Newfies

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  1. Well, that was an adventure for all of you!
    Sue at Talking Dogs recently posted…Monday Mischief: USDA and Horse SlaughterMy Profile

  2. We just learned from this that coyotes like to sleep in, had no idea they weren’t early risers. Mom says she feels for you and is glad Tino came back and no harm was done. In Germany, she had my sister Katie and Trine who passed way before me, off leash all the time. Trine was perfect, never strayed but Katie would take off just like that after deer. Mom says she was often brought to tears with worry but Katie always came back and was always happy. Not sure why mom kept letting her run loose but she did. I never get to go off leash unless the area is fenced. Mom says she doesn’t have the nerves for it…bummer!
    emma recently posted…An Unlikely Guest | GBGVMy Profile

    • That’s probably why I keep Jack on leash most of the time now too – just don’t have the nerves for it anymore.
      mkob recently posted…Tale of Tails: Tino & the DeerMy Profile

  3. What an adventure for Tino. So glad he came back after his run. 🙂
    2 brown dawgs recently posted…Monday Mischief–Who Left That Bird There?My Profile

  4. When we still had our house we saw deer all the time in our yard, and on our hikes. Have you ever seen a 7 lb dog chase a deer? Pretty funny really. I’m glad Tino came back safe and sound though.
    Roxy the traveling dog recently posted…Monday Mischief in Sun ValleyMy Profile

  5. What a delightful story! I just love your Tino stories. 🙂
    Flea recently posted…Funny Bone Monday, 31My Profile

    • Me too – love remembering and telling them. He was a character. Many more 😉
      mkob recently posted…Tale of Tails: Tino & the DeerMy Profile

  6. I hate that kind of mischief! 🙁
    Our girl Princess got away from me a few times in the woods, and after panicked searching, I’d find her sitting patiently on my doorstep!
    Coralee and Finn recently posted…Monday Mischief: Tired OutMy Profile

  7. Your adventures are so much fun to read, reminding me of Maddie…

  8. That’s an awesome story. I worry about the deer in our woods because I’m pretty sure Delilah would end up pulling a Tino. She always comes back but it’s a tense time. 🙂
    Jodi recently posted…Seven Ways to Pissed OffMy Profile

  9. I bet that was scary! I had something like that happened to Joker, and I once except he was on leash. We where in the middle of this huge park, and all the sudden a cat pops out of no where running. It happened so quickly that the leash sliped out of my hand, and there Joker went darting after the cat. Luckly Joker didn’t went toooo far because he has a pretty good recall, but man I was so scared that moment!
    Francesca Villa recently posted…Off Leash Time Hooray!!My Profile

    • Tino was usually pretty good, but sometimes instinct just takes over.
      mkob recently posted…Tale of Tails: Tino & the DeerMy Profile

  10. Oh, I bet Tino remembered that as one of his Top Ten Dog Days. The things they do that scare the heck out of us… Glad the story had a happy ending! 🙂
    Jackie Bouchard recently posted…The Worst (or Best??) Kinda Mischief…Puppy Mischief!My Profile

  11. I could just see Sage doing that, and fortunately hasn’t! Really scary when you don’t know where they are and IF they can find their way back.

    • Yeah, I was pretty scared…you can see what a big park it was and I just thought he might be gone…
      Slimdoggy recently posted…Help Us Help OthersMy Profile

  12. oh my scary. so glad he made it back and unharmed. Isn’t it something how they do manage to find their way back.
    joann stancer recently posted…Monday Mischief ~Tree ShakerMy Profile

  13. I could totally see Leroy do the same thing! So glad Tino made his way back to you….and that he had fun!
    Jen recently posted…Holiday Weekend MischiefMy Profile

  14. That was a scary one! I can imagine just how you must have felt. Lots of fun for Tino, not so much for you! Just glad it ended well. I don’t have the nerve to let the dogs off leash anymore, I see too many people who have lost their dogs and I’m not sure I could hang in there like they do.
    Jan K recently posted…Home Sweet HomeMy Profile

  15. Oh Tino

    That’s some major mischief buddy!! I’m glad you were all re-united again! My Mum’s always worried I’d run off cos I’m a herding dog, so she always keeps me on the lead – doh!

    Wags to all

    Your pal Snoopy 🙂
    snoopy recently posted…Monday Mischief – Here Kitty!My Profile

    • He was a mischief maker for sure. I was pretty glad he found his way back too, although I should have known he would.
      mkob recently posted…Wordless Wednesday 7-10-13My Profile

  16. Glad you found him! That area looks like where I hiked with my brother when I visited him in LA last year. I know it’s not but the terrain and vegetation looks the same.
    Jessica recently posted…Saving Animals Doing What We Love – Petties AwardMy Profile

    • Most of the trails around here have the same look, green for two weeks in the spring and then dry brush!
      mkob recently posted…Wordless Wednesday 7-10-13My Profile

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