Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Secret Lives of Dogs

We live just down the road from the Seneca Nation. The drive through it is scenic. It is a remote area, and there is no cell phone service. Just thick heavy woods. You have to be very watchful for deer and bear while driving.
We were in our big truck, pulling a car dolly, driving along. I noticed a dog, stretched out in front of what appeared to be a pile of rags. The dog was very alert, ears up, staring at this pile of rags. And I saw the pile of rags move. A hand fluttered.
Tim slammed on the brakes, but a big truck pulling a dolly does not stop on a dime. We both leaped from the truck and ran back.
The dog had watched us approach warily. He was a very large dog, and I was not sure of his reaction, so I dropped to my knees to talk to him. He hesitated, and then stepped aside. We were able to go to the girl lying along side the road. It was a badly beaten Indian girl from the reservation. She and her brother had been drinking. They got into a fight on the way home. It turned physical. He pushed her out of a moving car and left her. All night. She'd laid along the side of the road, drunk and injured, the entire night.
She refused medical care. She just wanted to go home. We were much closer to her home than the hospital anyways. We loaded her up. When I turned to let down the tailgate for her dog, he was gone. I worried about this, and asked her to call her dog. She said, "That dog scared me to death. I don't know where he came from. He came in the dark. I couldn't even tell what animal he was. I was afraid he was a bear. I didn't even know he was a dog until it started to get light. He stayed with me all night long."
We took the girl home to her father's house.
We've traveled though that remote area many times since. We have never seen that dog again. I always wonder about him. Did he go to the door to be let out that night. Did a sleepy owner get up, open the door, and then stand swaying at the door, half awake waiting for him to get back? And when he didn't come back, did the owner grumpily go back to bed? When the dog wandered back home the following morning, was there an angry owner scolding him, telling him he was a bad dog, not having one clue that his dog had been on a God given mission that night?
And I look at my own good natured beast, Buck-the-amazing-wonder-dog. I wonder what heroics he has performed on the rare times that he's gone missing. I wonder at the secret lives of dogs.


Mikey said...

Wow. Good story. I've got goosebumps. I'm gonna say that dog was an angel.
How bizarre... I'll be pondering that all day you know

PaintedPromise said...

Mikey you beat me to it, i was gonna pop on here and say "i've got chills!!!"

no doubt in MY mind that was an angel!!!

Lavinia said...

Thanks for providing the link to this story, from your post today. I was not aware of your blog way back in January so I missed this. Eerie story. That dog was an angel. But sounds like this young woman needs an angel 24/7, and she doesn't have one.