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  • Writer's pictureKerri Rae (K-Rae)

K-Rae and Petey the Puppy's Wild Mountain Adventure

Well…  I always say “Never a dull Moment” but ..  Inserio??  Any of you who follow me on Facebook will know I am fostering 8 puppies, which I know have 6 left.  Those who have been to my property will be familiar with the side behind the outdoor kitchen with a very steep drop in the mountain that goes down, eventually to the river.  There was once a path that was clear, and we would hike down there, even had a bench to sit.  The large fires of 2019 wiped out that cleared path and the rains of 2023 created landslides with no footing.  Each time I foster Momma’s with puppies I am petrified that one or more of the puppies will fall down that steep area and I would not be able to rescue them. 

Well…  My nightmare came true late Tuesday afternoon.  Around 4:30 pm, as I was making my dinner in the outdoor kitchen (yes, I am now so old I eat dinner at 4:30 in the afternoon. I’ve been up since 4 am

so it only makes sense, no?).  The puppies are all running around the property, having a grand ole time.  They are getting bigger by the minute and with that, they are much more curious about everything.  One of their favorite spots to play is directly behind the kitchen, big piles of dirt, space to run and unfortunately, very dangerous.  As many times as I “scold” them for playing there, they are just too curious.  I put my tuna melt grindah in the oven and sat back to relax while waiting for it to toast up just enough for the cheese to melt.  Got the pickles out of the fridge and one more minute I’ll be in Tuna Melt heaven.  Until….  PUPPY SCREAMING bloody murder.  Oh NO!  That is NOT a playful, wrestling puppies scream.  That is definitely an “Oh Poop, I’ve fallen down the hill scream.  The “Please help me, I’m falling even further scream”.  I run to exactly where I assume he is going to be, the worst possible spot for me to help him.  Sure enough, there he is, about 10 feet down the hill, trying desperately to climb back up but the dirt is so wet and loose he continues to fall further down the embankment.  “OH SHIT!!”.  What in the Holy H*LL am I going to do?  It’s 4:30, Olvin, My right-hand man, left at 3 pm.  The restaurant is closed so no customers, it’s getting dark soon and it’s starting to rain.  OH SHIT!  Do I try to call someone to help, or do I climb down and try to get him myself?  Screams get louder, more consistent, and more panicked.  He’s dropped another couple of feet.  If he falls anymore, he’ll go right to the bottom about 50’ down.  OHHH SHITTT!  Ok, looks like I’m climbing down there to get him on my own.  This is where you are all saying, “NO DON’T DO IT ALONE”.  The screeching screams coming from this poor little puppy are freaking me out so, YUP, I grab the other 5 puppies (who are now all following me and crying, wondering what’s happening) and throw them in the house.  Look for the shoes with the most traction… where the F**K are my “snake boots?  Screaming from the mountain is getting more panicked and louder.  “SHITT”!  Grab my nicely washed and spotless pink sneakers and head to the rescue sight.  I’m wearing a workout tank top and SHORTS and my pink sneakers.  Thinking positive thoughts, I think I’ll just hold on to the large fallen tree and I’ll have him in my hands in two minutes.  Hahahahah……….  I know this is why I’m always getting into these predicaments.  I thought, “I should call Olvin, he’ll come and help me”.  “I should grab a rope and tie myself to the tree above in case I slide down and can’t get back up”.  So many thoughts ran through my mind and yet… none of them meant anything when the puppy was screaming and slid down another foot.  “OH SHITTT, It’s now or never”. 

I climb down as far as I can and grab onto the fallen tree.  Well… it wasn’t a fallen tree, it was a VERY large fallen branch, NOT AT ALL attached to the ground.  The dirt was so loose and nothing to hold onto so, you guessed it, I slid about 10 feet and, luckily, landed right next to the still-screaming puppy.  OH F**CK!  Now what?  No phone to call anyone, closest neighbors out of “yelling for help” range.  I guess I’ll walk down to the river and try to get to a phone for a ride back.  Hahahahah…..   Best laid plans….   I grabbed the puppy, did I mention the largest and heaviest puppy of the 8, of course?  He’s at least not screaming anymore, Thank the good Lawd.  He’s clearly aware of the graveness of the situation and is just shaking, covered in mud, and hanging on.  I slide down another 20 feet, through vines, branches, and lord knows what else.  I’m sure you can imagine I’m thinking “What critters am I sliding through and please God, Please don’t let there be any snakes, PLEASE!!  (My other worst nightmare!!).  I see large holes everywhere and freak out for about a minute.  “I got no time for dat”!  HAHAH…  I get down to the bottom where I think there will be a nice, clear path to the river.   Yeah, OK.  That was a dream if I ever had one.  I realize it’s getting darker; it’s raining now and my best bet is to try to get back up to what was the path below my house at one time.  POSITIVE THINKING, RIGHT??  So, with a heavy puppy in my arms, I started climbing back up.  Dirt is so loose, with prickly bushes and vines and no machete.  “Just keep going”.  Oh, I think I see the path!  I trudge through more vines and fallen trees and branches.  I needed to put the puppy down a few times to which I got “the look”.  The, “Oh boy we are in trouble” look.  No one knows we are down here.  I could twist my ankle, get bitten by a rattlesnake, or get poked in the eyes with a prickly branch.  So many things go through your mind.  “So close and yet SO VERY VERY FAR”.  LOL

At least I know my house isn’t far away if I can just get up to the next ledge of a flat surface.  “Suck it up Buttahcup” comes to mind and I forge ahead. It’s now about 5:30 I’m guessing and getting darker by the minute.  Luckily a full moon is a risin’ and I have a least some light.  The rain has slowed to a sprinkle, and I think I see my back stairs that lead to the garden and beer garden.  Push through I tell myself, just push f*cking through.  Anyone who knows me and knows me well, much to the chagrin of my Mom, I swear like a truck driver when stressed and/or frustrated. I was not even allowed to say “fart” as a kid, so the “F” word was a big NO NO!  “Sorry Ma, it can't be helped sometimes.   I’m sure those who know me and know me well can hear my truck driver's mouth while reading this.  Hope you are and hope you are laughing along with me, to a point. After all, things could have gone HORRIBLY, HORRIBLY WRONG. 

About 20 minutes later I pushed through the longest thorns on branches I have ever seen, some ridiculously strong vines that kept getting wrapped around my legs and some crazy branches that kept getting caught in my big, curly bun of hair.  Hallelujah, Hallelujah, WE MADE IT!  I see the stairs to the upper garden and breathe a sigh of relief.  I also practically collapsed immediately as my legs were like rubber at this point.  So, Puppy and I sat on the rain-soaked steps for a few minutes while we caught our breath and took a minute to realize how lucky we were.  The steps to the upper garden and then the next set to the beer garden are probably the longest and steepest steps you will ever climb.  I made it to the top, crawled to my front porch, and collapsed again.  A few minutes later, I yanked the branches out of my hair, pulled the other puppies out of my shower, and gave “Petey” a nice warm shower and fluff dry.  He fell asleep within seconds with all his puppy siblings lying beside him.  Like they knew what he just went through.  I stripped off my soaked, muddy clothes and shoes and took the longest, hottest shower in history.  Well, that was fun!

A few insights from this latest little adventure, because I know while reading this little blurb, many of you were thinking exactly these things.   Why didn’t I bring my phone?  Why didn’t I call for someone to help?  Why in the hell didn’t I take two more minutes to find my “snake boots” of which I have 2 new pairs that I dragged with me on the plane in April for this very occasion?  Why did I choose the lightest colored, least amount of traction sneakers to throw on? Why didn’t I tie a rope around my waist so I would be able to pull myself up when I would have most definitely slid down the steep slope?  Why didn’t I call the Bomberos?  Why? Why? Why?  All I can say is this…  when 5 puppies are standing at the ledge while one has fallen over the ledge screaming at such a high pitch my ears were ringing, my only thought was, I need to get him up here before he slides too far for me to get him and it gets too dark for me to see him.  Those were my only two thoughts, at first.  As I slid down 20 feet and realized I couldn’t get back up, every single one of those thoughts entered my mind, several times.  Why do I get myself into these situations was also one that replayed in my mind for those 2 hours of hellish conditions.  Life would be so much more peaceful if I just thought before diving in, but then there’d be no stories to tell. 

 

In conclusion, considering all that could have gone wrong, I think all ended well.  The puppy is safe, I came out with only a few scratches, which I am really shocked about.  I learned just how far that steep slope IS and just how much trash needs to be recovered from down there (pool floats, mixing bowls and plates galore).  I learned to stop telling people you can walk to the river from there easy peasy, big fat lie I also learned I’m not in as bad a shape as I thought I was.  After my Cancer diagnosis and surgery/treatments, I haven’t had much energy to exercise and my lungs are pretty weak.  I get winded just going up 10 stairs.  Never in a million years did I think my lungs, my legs or my body would make it climbing through brush, up steep inclines for two hours.  (Granted my thighs are so sore I can’t bend and have difficulty walking 2 days later) However, once again, this little adventure, albeit a stupid one, taught me quite a bit about myself and my property.  So, I hope you read this story with a little humor and not worry.  I’m still kickin’ and have learned to do exactly what I should have done in the first place should this ever happen again.  I’ve also decided to somehow block that little gem of a landslide so no one else falls over the side of the mountain, human or otherwise!  Have a GREAT DAY Everyone and I hope you enjoyed my latest installment of Kerri is an idiot and knows it.  😊








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