Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Crossing Paths

Vic amazed me with an enchanting evening for two filled with everything married couples do when they get a break from the kids; go out to dinner.  

On the way home from our magical night, we were discussing random things like how incredibly dark the sky was, and how intensely bright the stars were, when I looked out the windshield and saw the glassy glare of a pair of eyes.  I told Vic to slow down and look ahead at the animal in the road.

"Look, on the right, it's a coyote." I said.

"Oh my GOSH, I think it's a mountain LION!" I screamed.

As we approached the beastly looking figure, and shined the headlights on its face, we could clearly see that it wasn't a lion or a coyote. Feet dragging from exhaustion, but still walking along the white painted highway stripe, against traffic, in the middle of nowhere, was this huge dog who was obviously lost and following a path to certain death.  

I cautiously put my hand out the window to see if was "nice," he didn't bite or run.

My love for animals made me jump into rescue mode and I looked at Vic with my sad eyes and said, "we have to help him!"  He agreed, then made a split- second decision telling me what to do while he watched for on-coming traffic.  

I hurriedly jumped out of our truck, trying to steady myself with high healed wedges and a maxi (long) dress, I softly talked to the giant trying to push my fear of big strange dogs to the side, and began stroking his back hoping to quickly gain his confidence when I noticed his back was dipped and bumpy like an old man.  I swung open the back seat door and tried coaxing him to jump up. He wouldn't budge. I resorted to lifting his giant front paws up to the floorboard and praying he wouldn't bite me.  After his front half was in, I put my arms around his hind end and lifted with all my might until he got his bearings and pulled himself the rest of the way in.  Slamming the door, I ran to my door and jumped in.  I turned around to look at him and was in awe at his massiveness, he took up 3/4's of the back seat! He sat there exhausted and panting with his black tongue hanging to the side, that's when I was able to see that he was some type of Chow-Saint Bernard mix.

We drove on up the road looking for a place to pull off where we could search his collar for a tag.  Luckily he had a tag with his name, phone numbers, address and some type of sensor attached to his collar.  His name was BoBo,  someones beloved old buddy.  After an hour of calling and texting the numbers on his tag with no answer and Googling his address for directions only to pull up, 'No Results For This Address,' we had no choice but to bring him home to the ranch for the night.

We weren't sure where we would put him as I knew our three dogs would not get along with him, so we decided to put him in the fenced grassy play area we have for the kids.  He seemed content once he got used to his surroundings, so we decided to hit the hay and see him in the morning.

I woke up a 6:00 am, made the coffee, looked at Vic's phone to see if there were any messages from BoBo's owner and there was a message saying, "We got your message, please call ANYTIME so we can come pick him up, thank you, Fiona."

"Thank goodness," I said to myself, and called her immediately to give her directions to our house.  I thought that I would let everyone in our house continue sleeping, so I got dressed, grabbed my coffee and tip-toed out and drove down to the play-area to visit BoBo and wait for his owner.  

When I got down to the fenced area I looked around and DID NOT SEE HIM!

He was gone.

My knees buckled and I nearly fell to the ground! "Where did he go?" I frantically thought to myself.  I just hung up the phone assuring Fiona, the owner, that he was safe and ready for her to pick-up!

Reluctantly, I drove back to the house and woke up Vic for help.  We searched everywhere for him.

He was gone.

Fiona's Jeep pulled through our entry gate, she had a huge smile on her face,  my stomach sank to my ankles.  I walked up to her introducing myself and explained that somehow her dog got out in the night.  Her face dropped from the happy smile to one of concern and worry as she looked around the ranch probably thinking finding him would be like finding a needle in a hay stack.

I stood there reflecting on the fact that we saved this dog's life last night, we were able to find the owner to get him home, and now he's gone again.  My heart broke at the fact that he was 14 years old and lost again.  

Fiona was kind and appreciative to us for rescuing him, but she wasn't ready to give up.  She quickly thought of a plan for finding him and decided to start walking the property in the areas we didn't look.  We went up the highway looking for him and checking with the neighbors. After a couple hours we took a break; she went home and we came back to the house with our tails between our legs.

Later, Vic and I jumped back into the Ranger and began looking again.  We drove by the play area where we had put him the night before and there he was laying right on the ground panting, wet and feet covered in mud! I wondered if he "smelled" his owner when she was there earlier, so he came back looking for her.

We were so happy and amazed that he returned, without hesitation, we called Fiona and told her the news, promising not to leave his side until she got back to the ranch!

 BoBo waiting (drooling) for Fiona.

He fell asleep sitting up as he patiently waited.

Buried in old dirty Chow fur was the tag.  If we hadn't had this important piece we would have never been able to find his owner.  Made me realize that we need to get tags on our dogs.

I learned that the sensor on his neck was for the electric fence he "broke out" of. 

Tired and hungry, still waiting for Fiona.

Reunited at last!

The good that came out of this story was plentiful, BoBo went home, and we made some new friends.  It didn't hurt that his owner is a wine maker and she gave us a bottle of her wine as a thank you!

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