Off-leash hikes are great for our pets, but even with careful training, bad things can happen. Several times, I have read about a missing dog in the same woods that I hike nearly daily with Luna and Leda. Generally, these dogs go into a fight or flight mode and won’t even return to their loving owners. Often, they have to be trapped. While I’ve always been fortunate not to have this happen, a close call pushed me to start using GPS collars.
We share the forest with hunters at certain times of the year, and one early morning, we happened to be close to one who must have been shooting at game. Unfortunately, Leda can be afraid of loud noises, and she began running towards our vehicle, which was about two miles away. I was able to get her attention and get her back to us because I carry a small toy. Fortunately, she found that toy enticing and returned to me to play. We played for several minutes before I leashed her and continued to play with her all the way back to the car.
I was very fortunate. Things could have been very different. I immediately started using the Garmin Astro GPS tracker and collars. As you can see, these collars do not have a shock option, which isn’t obvious when they are wearing them. I had tried other trackers before, but they relied on cell phone service, which isn’t always available in the forest. With my hand held device programmed to the collars, I can quickly locate Luna and Leda and have about a nine mile radius to find them if they do run.
I do not particularly like that the collars look like they could be shock collars, but I had to get past this and know that safety comes first. If you walk your pets off leash and don’t have cell phone service, I highly recommend looking at a GPS collar with a handheld device. It can literally save your pet’s life.