It had already been an adventurous evening of four-wheeling and fishing by the time Nephew Reece and I drove down the gravel path to admire the wildflowers blooming at the Lake Bella Park Tuesday night.
There were purple flowers, white flowers, yellow coneflowers and pink flowers in bloom, and it was a beautiful sight!
Then, just as I turned the car around and prepared to drive back to the farm, Reece spotted something on one of the paths.
I slowed down and, sure enough, here came a dog, panting and thin, seeking a friendly face and, undoubtedly, some food and water.
I rolled down my window and the black-colored, four-legged friend came over with his tongue hanging out and his tail wagging. When I didn’t open my door, he started to whine.
With no one else around, I immediately wondered if someone had lost their dog or – worse yet, dumped their dog in the middle of nowhere.
I started to drive toward the park’s exit, and the dog kept pace behind the car.
Reece wanted us to save the poor, lost pooch, and I did, too. Unfortunately, with my own dog in the front seat, Reece in the back seat and four fishing poles and a tackle box in the hatch-back, there was no room for another dog.
Thankfully, it was a short trip back to the farm to unload some of our stuff, including my dog, Molly. My folks encouraged us to go back and bring the dog home – at least for the night – so he could eat and drink and be safe.
Reece hopped in the car and we were back on the road, but we didn’t get too far before My little seven-year-old Godson just couldn’t contain his feelings anymore. He burst out bawling, not understanding why someone would ever drop their dog off to fend for itself.
Dogs are like babies – they need to be fed, they need to be watered and they need to be loved.
As I comforted Reece, I realized he’s a lot like me. He’s an animal lover, too.
When we arrived back at Lake Bella Park, it didn’t take long to find the dog. He was hanging around a trio of campers in the park, who had given it water and wondered, like us, if it was lost or dumped. When we said we would take it to our farm, the guy helped us coax the dog into the back seat.
“Have a life,” the man said to the dog, encouraging him to go in the back seat.
The dog, unfortunately, was just so excited to see people that he couldn’t stop wagging his tale and seeking affection – even a simple pat on the head would suffice.
It wasn’t until Reece clambered into the back seat and began to coax the dog in that we’d started to see some success.
Again, the guy there said, “Have a life. Go with them. Have a life.”
It was enough to bring a lump to my throat.
Slowly, the dog put his feet on the floorboard, and then on the back seat. A little coaxing from Reece, and a gentle push from me, and he had all four feet on the seat.
I shut the door, climbed in behind the wheel and then Reece asked, “What should I do?”
“Climb over the console and sit up front with me,” I said.
Seconds later, Reece was in his booster seat with the seatbelt snapped in place. I put the car in gear and started down the path.
Then, Reece burst out in tears again.
“What’s the matter?,” I asked, the lump still in my own throat.
“These are happy tears1” he exclaimed as the tears rolled down and he gulped for air.
Poor buddy, this dog rescue was just a bit overwhelming for him!
By the time we pulled in the farm driveway, Reece had decided to call the dog “Skittles”.
I tried to tell him that Grandma and Grandpa wouldn’t be able to keep the dog. After all, we already have Molly, and one dog is enough. We’d give the dog some food and water, and give it a place to stay overnight.
By the end of the night, I’d posted the dog’s photo on the Lost Pets of SWMN site on Facebook, and it was shared by a couple of other people. As of this morning, however, no one has claimed the dog.
Please, if you have lost a Lab-cross dog with a patch of white on his chest, let me know. Reece and I would love to return him to his owner. We need to know that he wasn’t dropped off in the country like a bag of garbage. We want a happy ending to this story.