My dog, Bear, who ALWAYS hangs out right near the house and is immediately in for dinner when I call him at 6 pm, was missing. I called and called, every 5 mins I called. I went to the door and opened it to see if he was there. He is one who has never scratched or barked or otherwise let me know he wanted in, so I always have to check. At 7, thinking it will be my last check until just before dark, I went to check. No Bear. I close the door. Just as I am beginning to cry, I hear his distinctive whine, as he does when he sees the cats or me, or a friend. I open the door, and there he is. I burst out in tears. I couldn’t stop. I still can’t even though he is home and uninjured. These lives are too short and mean so much.
His mother, Dakota, is still around. She taught him well. He is the main guard dog. When he and his sister were approximately teen-angers, she used to take them on runs – long ones. She taught them the mountain and how to make their way home. Dakota would always be first home, but Bear wasn’t far behind. Miranda, a little overweight, was slower. But they always made it home. After a while, they knew all the paths, all the tricks, and they all stayed home. Tonight, he found his way home again. I am so grateful. But that little bugger is going to have to stay inside for a few days. He took 5 years off my life.