A Little Bit Western


Dog Gone

May 20, 2014

I love a story with a happy ending. They are few and far between these days, but whenever I hear one, it kind of restores my faith in the world. I recently came across one such story involving a ranch dog that had ran away but returned a day or two later. It reminded me of our very own Happy Ending story from one year ago.

My Other Half had been riding through some pastures one fine summer day and was many miles from home. He was packing our trusty Border collie dog, Tuck, and at the end of the day, he loaded his horse in the trailer, Tuck in the truck box and started heading back to our ranch. On his way home, he decided to take advantage of his location and stop for a quick visit with some nearby family.

During the visit, clouds had built up and a quick rain shower passed through. Now, most dogs don’t like storms, and at the mere sign of a cloud, Tuck would usually curl up into a small ball and hide in the corner of the truck box, as though that was his canine version of storm preparedness.

After a brief visit, my husband was ready to head back on his way except for one problem… Tuck was missing in action. No need to panic, my Other Half whistled and called and knew that Tuck would obediently return. When this didn’t work, a quick search of the buildings and vehicles ensued, yielding no sign of our loyal dog. An unsettling feeling settled in the pit of my husband’s stomach. After hours of searching, whistling, calling, and checking at the neighbours, there didn’t seem to be any sign of our dog and dark had fallen. Dejected, my Other Half returned home with half of the animal companions he had left with that morning.

Hard-working cowdogs don’t accidentally reach the age of eight years old without being a bit savvy and, shall we say, pasture-smart. Tuck had a good sense of direction and we thought by the next morning, he would be found sitting on the step and wagging his tail in the yard where he had last been seen. I circulated a few photos of Tuck on Facebook and we went to sleep that night worried but hopeful that he would show up in the morning.

Morning came and there was still no sign of Tuck. We followed a few unsuccessful leads from our social media posts, including one that eventually lead to this column, but that’s another story for another day. Everyone was on the look-out, and my husband and boys headed back south for another search. Nothing. By this time, that unsettling feeling of worry was turning into resignation. There is a lot of country between where Tuck was presumed to be and where his home was, and the list of things that could happen was getting pretty long.

My husband had another commitment the next morning, and for many reasons, we had really hoped we would find Tuck before he had to leave. There were a lot of long faces, including those of our three kids and other dog, Kit, when my husband pulled out of the yard and there was still no sign of our dog.

Half an hour after he left, my husband got a call saying that Tuck had been spotted travelling homeward bound in the ditch along the highway. An observant motorist had recognized Tuck’s picture from Facebook, and another friend stopped and persuaded Tuck to get into the back of his truck. Flooded with relief, I threw my pyjama-and-cowboy-boot-clad kids into the vehicle and sped off to retrieve our beloved dog.

Looking a bit worse for wear, he was still the same old Tuck, and he hopped into the back of my pick-up, as if to say “let’s go home.” We’ll never know what he encountered during those two days, but it doesn’t really matter. The sun was shining, the grass was green, and there was a smile on his face as I brought Tuck home. It was a happy ending after all.

Please like & share:

  • Enter your email address below to subscribe to 'A Little Bit Western' and receive notifications of new posts by email.


  •  

  •