Seriously?!? You Have Got to be Kidding Me!!!

The alternative title to today’s post was “Why I hate the National Park Service”.

Let me start from the beginning…The girls and I decided to go hiking at Ft. Pulaski. It is a fort left over from the Civil War days which is now a monument with nice hiking trails. The weather was very nice although quite foggy as you will see from my pictures.

The fort was originally built to help protect our shores from overseas threats. During the civil war, the brick construction couldn’t stand up to the new types of cannons being used.  It only took two days for the fort to fall. Much of it was rebuilt but you can still see some of the scars of battle.

I thought we had started on the Lighthouse trail, but it turns out we ended up walking around the dike that surrounds the fort. It was a really nice trail but at one point I did really question if I own a hunting breed. There was deer poop everywhere on the trail-I’m thinking there must be quite the population.  We even came up on these two (look carefully to the right of the tree). The fort is the building in the distance.

You might ask why I question my dogs. Well, lets see…Bella did sniff the ground where the deer might have crossed our trail. Other than that, my dogs made no indication that there were prey animals anywhere near us! I was able to stop, and take a bunch of pictures and walk by with my dogs completely oblivious to the deer. I am sure the deer didn’t mind that but come on!! I have coonhounds!

We stopped for a sniff and a drink where the canal that fills the moat at the fort comes in from the Savannah River.

I saved going into Ft. Pulaski for last. I knew the dogs would be nice and tired and there were quite a few tourists walking around. I love that they welcome dogs here as many places in my city are not dog friendly. So, now I am sure you are confused as to why I was so upset over my day there….

You walk over a drawbridge through this very narrow passage that cuts through huge hills of earth. In the picture…that walkway is coming from the right. Bella did not not enjoy the walls seeming like they were going to fall in on her. I stopped to take a few pictures to the entrance of the fort and had started to walk in. That is when the cannons started to go off. Oh yes, you did read that correctly. They were shooting cannons in the middle of the day in a 150+ year old decommissioned fort!! Needless to say Bella instantly called off our trip to the fort and went to bolt out of there as fast as she could. She almost pulled me down. I am so thankful I was able to hold on because I’m not sure if I would have ever got her back once she started running. I did stop before going out to put the leash loop around my wrist and wrap the leash in my hand. The cannons went off 3 times in total. Bella was a wreck. My girl can pull when she is panicked. She lowers herself to the ground until her chest touches and uses all her might against the leash. That is how we walked back to the car which she couldn’t get in fast enough. Daisy, OTOH, flinched the first time the cannon went off then just stood there waiting for me to decide which way to go.

There was nothing at the entrance or in the guide we were given that said anything about the cannons. Honestly, I would have called off the trip and went to a different park. I have found out since then they also do musket firings sometimes. Isn’t this something the Park Department should have big signs for?!?! Or written in the guide you get when you come into the park?? Needless to say Bella will never be going back there. I just can’t risk it with her and it makes the day not fun for her or me. Its hard to see your dog in 100% panic mode then quivering on the ride home.

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  1. Oh my! I DO understand the issue. Our last dog, Lucy, became frantic around explosive noises. I took her to a relay once in which one of the legs was cycling. When scores of folks clicked into their bike clips, it sounded like gun shots. Lucy bolted and I went sailing behind her. Luckily, I was able to grab her up and stagger off with nearly 60 pounds of frantic, struggling dog in my arms. We were in the woods and if she’d broken her leash or collar, I never would have gotten her back.

    • Yeah, once Bella is in panic mode (which doesn’t happen much anymore) I don’t think she’d stop until she collapsed. I’d prob not have found her.

  2. Hugs to Bella! I’m so glad that Holly isn’t scared of noises as much as she used to be. It used to be we couldn’t go outside on windy days because the wind in the trees scared the fur off of her.

    I hope you guys find a quieter hiking spot!
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  3. I didn’t know there were any national parks that let dogs in. Most of them don’t, unfortunately. Our girls wouldn’t have liked the cannon fire, either. Actually, earlier this year, we went to Gettysburg, and they were having reenactments in the streets! We had to be really careful, but we did know that reenactments were going on, and some idea about when. We usually tend towards places that are more off the beaten path, though!
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  4. Oh dear that was quite the traumatic end to an otherwise very enjoyable hike. I would have gone ballistic too at the loud bangs!

    Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! 😀

  5. Poor Bella.

    I remember one time I attended a doggy play time during hunting season. The rifles in the distance spooked all the dogs. I can’t imagine what they would have done with cannon fire.
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