Monday, 19 October 2009

Dog break

Our dogs are farm dogs. They sleep in the garage and are basically outdoor dogs, although they do come in for a few hours most days. Rosie the red heeler follows me around and is always hungry. Thunder the white husky really prefers to be outside most of the time and is a very picky eater. They are always there in the morning, waiting to come in for a tiny bit of milk and their food. But this morning Thunder wasn't there. This is very worrysome for me because twice in the past he has not been around the house and turned out to have been caught in one of the traps that our neighbor a mile or so away sets for wild creatures. Once he hurt his foot in a leg trap and the other time he got caught in a noose and had a very swollen neck for a few days. So far, he's survived, thanks to the people who have found and rescued him, but you never know. So we worry a lot if he's not right around the house.

I went out and called several times. Nothing. Finally I took Rosie outside and said several times, "Where's Thunder?" I did this because two years ago on a sub-freezing winter night when he was caught in the leg trap too far away for us to hear him, I said "Where's Thunder?" and she seemed to turn her head in the direction where he turned out to be (we never would have found him back in the woods there), and later I thought she might have been trying to help me find him.

Anyway, I said, "Where's Thunder?" and she took off across the field to the south orchard. She never runs away when she and I are outside together; she runs alongside me, or heels me, or tries to bite my feet. She'll chase a bird, but she never runs away for long. I thought maybe she was heading toward the south-side neighbor, who recently moved cows into his field. When they were much younger (they're four now), the dogs used to get into trouble chasing his cows, but they haven't done that lately. But she ran down the hill and up the hill through the path Tom had just mowed yesterday, then veered to the left behind a tree. I was watching from the driveway and had to move to see behind the tree. And I saw something white. So I followed her and there was Thunder, happily chewing away on some deer innards left behind by a hunter. I'll never know if she really was leading me to Thunder or just wanted to see if she could get some of his snack, but I like to think she'll keep track of our wayward husky for us. She got lots of praise and several treats.

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