Last Friday I went skiing … the snow was so-so and after a few runs in the fog I headed home. Well, that’s not too unusual in my world, but that day would turn out to be nothing like the chill bucolic day I was planning.
When I headed out that morning I took my mother’s dog Charlie (the little white house dog we’ve been fostering) down into the Sweetie’s shop so he
could hang out with Mala our Pudelpointer. After about half an hour of his scratching on the door Sweetie let him out to wander in the front drive area … which he’s done for the past 7 weeks. Nothing unusual there either … except … Charlie decided to “go walk-about’.
When I walked in the door Sweetie said, “I lost Charlie”. Oh no! I thought, my mom is going to have a stroke or something. So off go the ski boots and I went into I’ve got to find Charlie mode. You should know though that Charlie is his own dog (read SPOILED) … when you call he goes the other way … like catch me if you can …. You also may remember that here in Council the shop is in the middle of 97 acres of burnt dirt, rocks, and sage brush and rolling hills. At this time of year, with unusually warm weather the ground is swampy from snow melt. I climbed hills, took the binoculars out and scanned the hills for movement of any kind, I called, I walked looking at snow patches trying to see if there were Charlie prints anywhere. Nope. Quail prints, horse prints, man prints … big dog prints … no Charlie prints.
Then I drove up and down Highway 95 … well, if the little guy could make it that far (1/2 mile) to the main road, maybe someone picked him up. I drove up and down the highway a LOT .. sloooowly with my emergency flashers blinking while I was on look out for “a body” … Nope! No body. Wheww! Home I went and made up lost dog posters and plastered them at all the gathering spots around Council. I put info on Facebook, I called veterinarians in a 60 mile radius (like Council is in the middle of nowhere so 60 miles is a good circle). I messaged found animal services. The result? Nothing, notta, nope, no sign of the little white house dog that doesn’t listen. And I prayed. I called my mom, I called my sister I said, pray .. and they prayed, and friends prayed and sent good thoughts. I prayed every time I thought of that “stupid” dog.
Saturday I was all in a twist about him … it had rained the night before. I was sad, I was worried because my mother was heart broken. As I was praying, driving again down the road, I had a sense of peace calm me down and I felt that Charlie was okay. Thinking he had been found and that someone would see one of the adverts and contact us. Talking to my mom she said she felt the same way. No news Saturday, or Saturday night, or Sunday … someone called and said he may have been at a vet in Weiser.
… that’s 3 days of praying and watching for a gathering of crows (the body thing again), but no news is good news? I continued to feel that peacefulness and figured, well, he’s okay. He’s either with God and he’s okay or with someone and he’s okay. Fast forward to Sunday evening (3 days after the little white dog took a powder) and 2 minutes before the end of the Superbowl.
I thought i heard a scratch at the door … we were screaming for the Eagles in those final minutes and I wasn’t certain I’d really heard anything. I went downstairs, but didn’t hear any scratching or noise. But, a thought came to mind to just open the door.
I opened the door and that little white dog dragged himself though and stood there, head down and shaking. Some how, where ever he had been he found his way back. I yelled upstairs, “Charlie’s back”! Total shock echoed throughout the group … I picked him up, carried him upstairs and had Sweetie take a picture of him to send to my mother. He was shaking and sighing (yes, a dog can sigh). I put him down and the dog who doesn’t eat kibble unless bribed ate 2 plates of kibble, some chicken jerky, and some philly cheesesteak and probably drank a quart of water.
Where he went, how far he walked or ran, how he avoided being a coyote appetizer, or giant barn owl dinner we’ll never know. What stories he could tell. His feet are still sore and he’s sticking pretty close to the front door when he has to go out.
His return is a miracle. Charlie’s safe return is a testament to sincere prayer and faith in a loving Father in Heaven who is always aware of each of his creatures, no matter how small. God is Wonderful.
On a separate note: Charlie will be heading back to live with Mom in a few weeks, she’s decided to return home … she says the people at the independent/assisted living apartments are OLD and though she won’t say it out loud … I don’t think she trusts us to keep Charlie close so he won’t go walk-about again.
Life is good, isn’t it?