Have you ever had a seemingly average day in the park turn into a spontaneous adventure?
In November, the American Grove team went to the Partners in Community Forestry conference in Tulsa and had an absolute blast. There is one particular instance during the bus tour that I will remember forever.
The last stop on our route was Turkey Mountain, where we had an hour and a half to explore this urban wilderness area. Upon our arrival, we were greeted by a very loud guest. It was impossible to ignore the wild barks coming from within the forest. The dog was mangy, underfed, and obviously scared out of his/her mind. The dog’s coat blended into the leaves of the forest floor and would have been camouflaged if not for the cries for help. While others began their tour around this beautiful geologic feature, our group was determined to help this dog.
First attempt unsuccessful: The dog shied away from any human contact, too frightened to come to close to us. I thought to give up. Mary Lynne, an American Grove team member and an avid dog lover, was not easily convinced. It quickly became our mission to check for a collar or name tag.
Second attempt: Luring with food, also unsuccessful. A valiant effort. Mary Lynne tried donating snacks from her purse. After throwing Pringles, cookies, and even dog treats, we could still not get the dog to come close to us. (Side Note: the dog treats were supplied by a local dog owner; they did not come from Mary Lynne’s purse.)
Luckily, we met concerned locals who joined in the efforts. They contacted a nearby humane society and soon a volunteer was on their way. A majority of our allotted field trip was spent trying to console this dog. Reluctantly, our trip had come to an end and we had to head back to the bus. We sat in our seats, concerned, staring out the window longingly at the mangey ball of fur. Abiding by the conference schedule, it was time to head back to our hotel. Before we left, Mary Lynne was sure to give the local her business card so that we could receive updates regarding the status of the dog. It is safe to say, that if concerned locals were not actively trying to help this dog, Mary Lynne would have missed the bus to stay and wait for the arrival of a humane society volunteer.
UPDATE: the dog has been cared for and has accepted love from a foster family.
The American Grove is not just tree lovers; we are passionate about even the smallest members of our urban communities!! Thank you, Mary Lynne, for being such a compassionate and dedicated earthling. The world needs more people like you! We are glad that being outdoors brought us the opportunity to help this poor dog! A successful day in the park!