A buff and white colored Basset Hound trotted by our home yesterday, ears flapping in his low-slung glory. At the time I didn’t recognize him as the dog that lives up the street. But his green collar and easy pace down the sidewalk made me figure he had broken free from somewhere close by. I was about to take off to try to catch him but saw a car slowing down and people running toward him. I assumed all was well and went about my business.
Not true. Last night Dan, Hope and I were out for a walk when a truck stopped and a man asked if we’d seen a Basset Hound. Oh, dear. This was serious. The pup was still at large. And I knew just how awful the dog’s owner might feel.
Last week I thought I’d lost our own dog, Tabor. He was sleeping on the driveway – in his own Labrador glory – while I was tending my flowers. I finished watering and decided to go on an errand run. Before I left I slipped into the house to take care of something and got distracted on my computer. I was lost in thought until about 30 minutes later when I heard, “Where is Tabor?” from my daughter’s caregiver. Uh oh. I forgot him. I ran out of the house. I didn’t see him anywhere near the driveway. I went around back to the park beyond our backyard. I called and called. No Tabor. I returned to the house, he wasn’t anywhere inside. I went through the garage and was about to head down the street when I spotted movement in the van. Two happy eyes peered at me through the darkened windows. Oh my gosh. I forgot I loaded Tabor for the the errand run before I went in the house. I felt so silly. But so relieved. Dan later mentioned it was a good thing it wasn’t 100 degrees outside. True. It was a good wake up call before the summer heat sets in.
But back to the journey of the Basset Hound. This morning I ran into our neighbor, Andrew, at the hardware store. We talked about the lost dog who had apparently broken through his invisible fence. Andrew knew him and had seen “Stanlee” too but couldn’t quite snag him. Nor could his kids who took off on their bikes to chase him. “I couldn’t believe how fast those short legs could run,” said Andrew, who is himself an avid runner.
After the hardware store I drove home on a two mile stretch of highway that connects the neighboring town with ours. I thought what a beautiful day it was for farmers, sunny and breezy. Then I noticed cars were slowing down ahead and I saw him trotting toward me. Stanlee! Maybe he would jump in the van if I stopped. But it was a highway and there was traffic. And I had Tabor with me and I wasn’t sure if the two dogs would be friends. So instead of stopping I drove to the home where Andrew said Stanlee lived. I ran to the door and knocked. “He’s running down the highway, along the bike path,” I blurted to a young man who darted past me to a pickup on the street. He was joined by a young woman before they peeled off down our street. I followed and then saw Andrew’s car coming toward us, passing the truck. I slowed and rolled my window down. “I have him,” Andrew confirmed. I honked at the truck and it turned back.
Seeing the happy moment when my young neighbors (who I learned are Leslie and Andy) reunite with their elusive Stanlee made this gorgeous day even sunnier. Tears streamed down Leslie’s cheeks. “Thank you so much,” she said. She later told me that Stanlee had been a wedding gift ten years ago. “He’s part of the family,” she said.
Andrew deserves the credit for the apprehension, which came only after another short chase. I’m so glad this story ended well.
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