Saturday, October 07, 2006

A Good Dog Remembered

A year or so after we moved to Yellville, I discovered I was pregnant. Our delight only lasted a few weeks, and then I miscarried. I was pretty unhappy, but went back to work; I was DJs secretary because he couldn’t yet afford to pay one.

One day, one of his clients came in carrying a little solid white Border Collie, with a great big red bow around her neck. He handed her to me, and it was love at first sight. I kept her in a box next to my desk until it was time to go home.

That night, she fussed and cried until DJ went and got the box and put it beside the bed and let his hand hang down into the box. She was quiet and slept only until she realized he had turned over or pulled his hand out of the box. After that night, she slept in that box next to our bed with no problem.

She was such a sweet little thing, playful and dainty, that we named her Lady. As she got older, she stayed in the back yard most of the time. She never wandered out of the yard, even though it wasn’t fenced. Except once.

She had a brother, a littermate, who was owned by our neighbors. He loved to chase cars. He chased every single car that came down the street. He could hear a car coming a mile away, and crouched low, ears cocked, ready to run. Our neighbors would try to grab him, and he eluded them, they yelled at him, spanked him, tied him up, and generally did everything they could think of to break him of this habit. Finally, they decided to build a fence, but before that happened, one day he ran out into the street, gleefully, and all of a sudden, this white ball of fur shot out into the street with him, got between him and the car, and herded him back into his yard.

Lady must have given him a good talking to that day, because he never chased a car again.

About a year later, I got pregnant again, and this time it took. When DJ came to the hospital to take me and Kell home, we drove into the driveway, and there was Lady, waiting in the front yard. She ran around to the sliding glass doors, and I held Kell down so Lady could see her.

Later that night, DJ said, “I didn’t want to tell you while you were in the hospital, but Lady ran away the day you went to the hospital, and didn’t come back. I looked for her, but couldn’t find her, so you can imagine my relief when she was in the yard when we got home today.”

The next morning, I went out to bring Lady inside, and she was gone. We searched everywhere, but never found her. I still think of her, and miss her, and wonder what made her run away. I don’t think it was jealousy. I just think that maybe she went looking for someone else who needed her as much as I had.

She just didn’t realize that I still did.


gawilli said...

Animals have such a keen sense about human emotion. Maybe that is why they become so much a part of the family. She sounds like quite a Lady.

Annie said...

Oh, this story brought tears to my eyes, Betty.

Maya's Granny said...

I'm so sorry that she left. She sounds like such a wonderful dog. And, border collie smart, too.

Alan G said...

Well that story had a bit of a sad ending there. Losing pets is always hard.

Perhaps, as you surmised, Lady had felt a need to leave and was waiting for your return to come back and say goodbye before continuing her life's journey.

her indoors said...

oh my how sad i need to go and cuddle my dog now x

patsy said...

well its sad but probably someone stole her she made her way home and they took her again.

mouse said...

That is such a mixed emotions story, sad about Lady but happy news about the baby. I wish Lady would come back home to you.

John said...

Perhaps 'Lady' found her 'Tramp' and 'lived happy ever after'.

Betty said...

John: I like your happy ending best.

Alan: I felt so guilty about not bringing her in that night, but we were so busy, and had company, that it was best to leave her outside. I really thought she'd come back.

Maya's Granny: Since I was in the hospital for several days (new mothers were pampered a bit more then than now)I think she found a new "family" and just came back to say good-bye, as Alan has suggested.