Sunday, August 17, 2008
Cliff, his sister, and I, along with the dogs, Sadie and Angel, go for a walk every morning. Both Cliff and Rena work until midnight, but they're up by 7:30; they linger over their coffee and chat, and by 8:30, we're usually heading toward the woods.
Longtime readers may remember how I used to mention Sadie disappearing in the woods when Cliff and I walked. Sadie has gotten much better about that now, but I still remember how distraught I was when she'd run away and be gone for the better part of an hour. I was afraid she'd get run over, like Mandy.
Rena's dog, Angel, weighs seven pounds, and her legs are about one inch long, but she not only keeps up with us (and Sadie), but she goes on side trips into the woods from time to time. She never comes when Rena calls her, because she's as spoiled as she is cute. She pretty much does as she pleases.
Yesterday we saw her run into the brush on a downhill slope and kept walking. Cliff was sure that, once Angel saw we were out of sight, she'd catch up.
That wasn't the case, and Rena finally went back to the spot where we'd last seen her, calling and calling.
I began to hear panic in Rena's voice; and to be honest, I started feeling a bit worried myself. Cliff and I headed back to the house, still hearing Rena's plaintive "Angel, COME! Angel, COME!"
After perhaps twenty minutes, Rena came back and got on the four-wheeler and rode it back to the pasture, because Angel loves to ride and will come running when that engine starts up.
After another twenty minutes or so, Cliff and I decided to go back and help search for the runaway. We were concerned, because honestly I don't know how Rena would handle it right now if something happened to her dog. And the little doxie is so small, who knows what creature might consider her to be their lunch.
We could hear the four-wheeler in the distance, and Rena desperately calling. As we neared the wooded areas, I heard a familiar "Yap, yap, yap," in the distance. Rena, of course, wouldn't hear it because of the four-wheeler running.
"Cliff," I exclaimed, "I hear Angel barking!"
Cliff heard nothing; after all, he's terribly hard of hearing.
"I know that's her," I told him. "I'd know that yapping anywhere."
We went to the location where we'd last seen Angel, flagging down Rena as she went by on the four-wheeler to let her know Angel was alive and barking.
We all stood at the edge of the woods calling, and occasionally Angel would bark an answer; she didn't sound all that far away. Her barks began to have a bit of whine in them, and we agreed she must have gotten down in one of our deep ravines and was unable to find her way out.
Our wooded areas are full of stinging nettle (itch weed) in the summer, and all of us had shorts on. So I decided to stay and keep talking to Angel while the two of them hopped on the four-wheeler and went back to the house to get long pants on.
Angel would bark, I'd talk to her. She'd whine, I'd encourage her.
Finally I saw that little black "hot dog" body coming up the bank, back and forth through the itch weed. She was panting like crazy, and so glad to see me.
I saw Cliff and Rena coming back; once they were in sight I put Angel down and she went running to the four-wheeler. A very teary-eyed Rena hugged her dog so hard, it's a wonder she could breath.
And we all lived happily ever after.