The well guys left the gate open and my dogs took off. BUT THE GPS WORKED AND I TRACKED THEM DOWN! Amazing that it worked!!

A few hours ago, I was at my computer and I received a text from Hubby:

What that means is that the well guys, who only communicate (when they communicate) through  my husband who works 300 miles away.  So, I’m in the house, have no idea the well guys are coming or here, and then find out that the dogs are gone because the well guys opened the gate.

Crap.  Crap.  Crap.  Our dogs are runners.  I’m still in my jammies.  They could be anywhere by now.

I feel sick to my stomach as we’ve lost a few dogs in the last few years and I’m still stinging from the reality that bad things do happen.  I kinda freak out.


The good news is that I did purchase GPS tracker collars for both dogs and they were both wearing their collars.  So I ran and put on some clothes, grabbed leashes and cookies and then jumped into my car.

It wasn’t until I was on the driveway did I realize that I didn’t know how to work the GPS tracking system.  So, I sat in someone’s driveway and tried to figure out the app.

First, I declared them LOST.  Then I realized that I could track them by going to their name and refreshing the feed.  A map would show up telling me where the dog was in relation to me.

For example… here is a screen shot I took while tracking Vivienne. It shows her leaving my house and taking this route.   I tried to use roads to get to where she had traveled – but she went through open land and vineyards. I’m the Blue “D”. Every time I would get close and refresh, they were far away again. They moved so quickly.


I could track them both, but separately.  In the photo above, I’m tracking Vivienne.  She had been near where I was in my car (Blue “D” in a white circle).  I was trying to cut across a field on foot to get her… but then she moved.   Because there were no streets where she was going, I was at a loss unless could gain access on vineyard paths on private properties.

Below you can see that Natty was near Vivienne, but all over the place.  In this snap, he was near a big street, Hog Canyon, which was good and bad.  I could backtrack out and drive to him, but he was near cars.  (All those vineyards are owned by Castoro, if any of you drink their wines.)

This was me tracking Natty. He was near her, but definitely took a zig zag path.


When I got up to where he was, the vineyard workers had seen him, but we couldn’t see him anymore.  I was at Castoro vineyards, if any of you drink their wine…  Anyway, they both took off back towards the house, but the dogs went over hill and dale, whereas I had to take roads.

I’m sure they heard me calling and heard my car.  At several points, I was close enough that I know they heard me.  They knew I was after them.

As I tracked them in real time, I could see they were headed towards home.  When I turned up our street, I was actually in front of their path.  They were cutting across the hills.  So I parked in the driveway of our neighbor’s vineyard.  I started calling their names and Natty popped out of nowhere!  But he wouldn’t come.  He was focused – looking and sniffing… he wasn’t interested in me, or cookies.

After about a minute, I heard Vivey.  She was panting and coming out of the vineyards, clearly a ways behind Natty.  She came right up to me.  I hooked her leash.  SAFE.  Then we both walked.  She was panting and I was nervous because Natty had gone back out to the road.  I decided to go back to the car and get his leash and drive closer to where he had gone.  When Vivey jumped into the car, I heard Natty running towards us from somewhere.  I couldn’t see him.  But then he appeared, running around the car looking for Vivey.  When he saw that she was inside, he hopped in.

Disaster over.  I was still shaking.  Both dogs were wet, muddy and panting.  I was so relieved.


I guess they were both on their way home since I was parked in my neighbors driveway when I intersected their paths.

I turned my car around and left my neighbor’s vineyard.  We drove up our driveway and I secured the gate.  Then I drove up to the house and took both the dogs into the house – still on leashes.  I locked them in my office while I went outside to make sure all the other gates were shut and that there were no well guys hanging around to open the gates again.

Everyone was gone.  Apparently, all the well guys did was open the gate long enough to let the dogs out and deliver a truck which sits in our field, waiting for the well to be drilled.

Now I’m going to have lunch – or a drink.  Not sure.  That was quite an adventure!

Below are the dogs’ steps charts…  it wasn’t even Noon yet when we returned.  Vivey had 21.7K steps and Natty had 32.2K steps.

This is Vivey’s steps so far today. 21.7K. Not bad for before noon. (I took this photo a good hour after it had all ended.)

This is the Grand Champion, Natty. He is at 32.2K steps. Clearly he meanders while she cruises.



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