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Wandering Oaken

Our dog Oaken recently decided to go on an adventure. If you don’t know about Oaken, he is a Pyrenees/Anatolian Shepherd cross, these breeds are born to be independent thinkers, livestock guardians…not always the best pets, they need room to roam, and a job to do…following the rules is optional. We got him to protect our goats from predators like coyotes and cougars.  He was named after the character in the Frozen movie, Oaken…owner of Wandering Oaken’s Trading post. Little did I know when we picked out the name how appropriate it would be (particularly the wandering part). I blogged about his addition to the farm last February.

We knew when we got Oaken he’d need a secure fenced yard, we didn’t realize that just a regular fence isn’t good enough, he’s a climber and despite his large size, he can scale anything. We had a hard time containing him, so finally, I had to resort to putting a strand of hot wire around the perimeter and gate. One zap and he seemed cured of his fence climbing habit. I’m always worried about shocking visitors, the mail lady, FedEx guy…neighborhood boy scout selling popcorn. So when my mom came for a visit I left the gate and hot wire open for her. I’m sure you know what happened next…Oaken was gone. These fall days are short and by this time it was already getting dark, but my husband went out to search for Oaken. No luck. We tried again the next morning and afternoon and made calls to the local animal shelter. Then I went to Facebook looking for lost and found groups and starting scrolling, that’s when I found this.

Our Oaken had wandered all the way to Lacey?!? This is not just a short little stroll, we live in the sticks pretty much, in a town too small to be a real town so they just include us with Olympia, but really, it’s Littlerock… it would take us 45 minutes to drive to where he was last seen. Here I thought he was lost up in Capitol State Forest defending his territory from coyotes. How did he get to Lacey? I guess I’ll never know. As we were about to get in the car to Mullen Road to try and find him, my husband see’s him home on the front porch! So…he went all the way to Lacey and back?!? Our gate was closed so he’d have to have climbed back in.

My guess is — some kindhearted person spotted our poor, cold, starving and lost Oaken wandering about last night. They probably picked him up and planned to seek out his owner the next morning. They may have put him in their yard…this is where I’d guess Oaken barked his head off like he normally does if anyone tries to contain him to a small area, he then probably escaped again because you pretty much need a bomb proof fence to keep him in…then he wandered some more and met some nice people who fed him and offered him shelter (thank you people). The good kind person probably woke up and realized he’d escaped before they could find his owners. Anyway that’s just a guess…from there I have no idea how he found his way back home. It’s a mystery!

I decided to write up a list of information about how to care for Oaken should he be lost again:

  1. Oaken likes to eat A LOT, keep all food or food like items in a BEAR proof container, he will eat an entire bag of dog food given the opportunity (or cat food, or goat food, or your food, you get the idea).
  2. Keep your car windows closed all the way, or he will climb in your vehicle, leaving scratches on the door, and eat any lost bits of snacks (when you have 3 kids there are bound to be a few crumbs)…or he’ll happily gnaw the car seats if there are no snack remnants.
  3. Keep the solid doors of your house closed, he will force his way through screen doors to eat everything he can sniff out (like that box of croissants you just bought at Costco, and that huge loaf of bread).
  4. When you do feed Oaken feed him in those special SLOW feed bowls or he will inhale his food as if he’s starving.
  5. Like with any normal puppy you will want to puppy proof your home, make sure he doesn’t have access to garbage cans, soda cans, lightbulbs, cords, pretty much anything he can fit into his mouth, he can and will chew them.
  6. He does bark, but only if he hears the wind, sees smoke, that lady the rides her bike down the street everyday…and I’ve decided he barks at the dark, because when I try to figure out what on earth he’s barking at at midnight, when I’m trying to sleep, the only thing I can determine is…it’s dark.

Despite being a bit of  a challenge, he’s the biggest love you’ll ever meet. I hope this information will come in handy should you want to keep him, thank you for caring for our dear Oaken!image

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