Yes, she's strange and different...but not THAT different.

05 December 2010


Three weeks ago, Baxter, our middle dog, ran off. Redheaded Spouse was walking him in the morning and he charged off after a squirrel, jerking the leash out of her hand. When he missed the squirrel - as he always does - he just kept going. And disappeared.

You have to understand that we live out in the sticks. Yes, we live in something of a subdivision but it has 25 houses in over 90 acres surrounded on all sides by farms and ranch land. And creeks. And ponds and lakes. And woods.  So when I say he disappeared, I mean he ran fast enough to round some corners and disappear from RS's sight.

This was not the first time that Baxter had taken off and he's always come back home within an hour or so. Not this time. When Fireball got home from school and found out that he wasn't back, she went door-to-door to our neighbors and asked them to keep an eye out for him. When he didn't come back by dark, serious worry set in. The kids went with RS and they drove around in the dark with our big floodlight looking for him and calling his name. And yes, looking for him as roadkill, too.  No luck.  No Baxter.

I got home the following day and cruised our area looking for him again. I submitted his description to the county Animal Control website. I put an ad in the newspaper. I made up signs with his picture and posted them at major intersections where people around us would be sure to see them. I walked the creek behind our house for several miles in either direction. I scanned fields. No luck. No Baxter. The weather turned very cold. It rained. We worried. We looked further and further away from home, but there were many places we simply couldn't get to so we couldn't look everywhere. We checked with Animal Control daily. No Baxter.

After days and days of no Baxter, some of us in our family began to give up hope. He hadn't turned up at the pound, no one had seen him and it was logical to believe that one of the packs of coyotes had gotten him or a big rig had gotten him or the weather had gotten him or he had managed to get the leash caught in the woods and thirst had gotten him.

But one of us never gave up hope. Redheaded Spouse KNEW that Baxter was still out there somewhere. So we all kept at it, but with most of us knowing it was likely a futile waste of time. But last Wednesday, she found a diamond ring on the ground near Fireball's school while looking for Baxter in the playground. The ring was gold with a number of diamonds and she handed it in at school the following morning, Thursday. They knew exactly who it belonged to: it turned out to be Fireball's teacher's 20th anniversary ring, and she was VERY grateful it had been found. RS turned down a reward.

Yesterday, Friday, was a gorgeous day. After seeing the kids off to school and walking the remaining two dogs, RS decided to get a cup of coffee and sit out on the back porch and enjoy the weather. And as she opened the back door, there sat Baxter.  He still had the leash on his collar and was a little skinnier and a lot stinkier but in good shape. And now he's home again.

So, don't forget that while karma can be a bitch, you can make it your bitch. Good deeds are repaid.

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