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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Dog Ate My Homework, and other unlikely excuses.

I was supposed to go with some others from my church to the NMI (Nazarene Missions International) District Assembly opening service tonight to sing in the mass choir. Looking at the clock, I decided it was time to start getting ready. Before getting in the shower, I decided to let SeeBoo 'go out', as there was rumbling in the distance, so he might not 'go out' later.

I had just let him out the side door when I spied the rooster in the yard. My eyes are no better than the dog's--he spied it, too. And, just like the last time this happened, SeeBoo took off like a rocket after the twice-his-size bird. The rooster raced toward his pen, but unlike last time, he couldn't fly high enough to get back over the fence. So off he went running down the driveway toward the creek, with a little white streak hot on his heels. (Do roosters have heels?)

Ever see a three-year-old on a sugar high in one of those net pits full of colorful plastic balls? Do you think they can hear you when you call? Well, neither can my Wee-Chon. If you ever saw the look in his eyes when he's chasing something, you would realize that he has to run. It's the only way he can keep his eyeballs from popping out of his face!

The rooster dove into the woods at the creek. To the one side of the driveway, where the goats live, the woods are thin and walkable like a city park. But on the other side, where the running duo was last seen, the woods are impassible, as they are a thick mass of underbrush containing wild roses, honeysuckle, grapevine, saplings and weeds.

Have I ever mentioned that I don't run? I don't run. I especially don't run as fast as a happy little doggy trying to bag his first rooster. They were gone.

Every few seconds, I would hear a ruckus from the rooster, a bark from the dog or the rumble of thunder--each time sounding farther away, except for the thunder. It was starting to rain. The last sound I heard was SeeBoo barking. He sounded like he was more than 1000 feet away upstream. I called the neighbor that lives just past there, and told them to be on the lookout for a little white dog chasing a huge rooster, and then I got in the car and drove down there. Parking back by their barn, I headed for the tree-lined creek. I called and called my puppy's name to no avail. Standing at the edge of the woods in an approaching thunderstorm, I decided to give up my search.

The storm was moving in. I told the neighbors that if they saw him, to let him in, but not to bend over to pet him or he'd pee on their floor. (A story for another time and place.) Then I headed home. Coming up the lane, I blew the car horn several times...a sound SeeBoo is quite familiar with, as he tends to run in front of my car if I arrive home while he's outside. It was raining harder. Poor guy is scared of storms.

SeeBoo, with half a haircut cuddling up to my soft slippers.
I opened the garage overhead door and blasted the rain with an air horn, followed by my voice trying to drown-out the sound of the approaching storm. I traded my hard shoes for my slippers, fetched my cell phone, and pulled up a chair, ready to start calling the shelters, police, etc to give them the heads-up on the missing dog. Time was of the essence. In the evening, the coyotes come out to search for food. SeeBoo would never survive a night in the woods.

Did I mention that this whole time I'm praying? I've prayed a lot for my critters. I pray for their safety in the storms, and for their health when they're sick. I prayed for my little dog...

I sat down in the chair in the garage, facing the open door and the pouring rain. Just as I started to look up the first number, it started letting up, and I spied something white in the next field that butts up to the chicken run. The grass there has not been cut this year, and is up to the top of my thighs. I squinted. Sure enough, I recognized that adorable little face sticking through the fence! SeeBoo had made it back! Almost...

The rooster had escape him the first time by going through the tall grass. SeeBoo would go in a few inches, and then back out. He didn't like the tall grass. As he stood there, looking so scared, he had no idea how to get through the fence to get home. He was only about thirty feet from the north corner of the fence, but he couldn't see it for the tall grass. I took off running on my sore feet, in my soft slippers, over the rocky gravel lane. Okay, you're right...I didn't run. I don't run. But I did walk fast!

Even though I stood at the end of the chicken's area where the grass is shorter and called to him, he wouldn't budge. I finally gave up, and soft-slippered my way into the tall wet grass until I got close enough that he could see me. He exploded towards me! Yesterday's bath was just a memory. His white coat was streaked with mud, but no blood. No sign of the rooster either. (I think if he had poked his little head out, I might have shot him!)

SeeBoo was so happy to be home, he didn't even protest when I sat him in the kitchen sink and turned on the faucet.

After washing the mud from SeeBoo's coat, I rolled him up in a towel, and then grabbed my phone to let people know I wouldn't make it tonight. My text read, "Not gonna make it. Toe is on fire from chasing the dog and the rooster through the woods in a T-storm..."

Yeah. And the dog ate my homework. Go ahead and rain...