What Was Lost Is Found, and What Was Found Is Lost

This morning I headed out to work, after doing a bit of satisfactory blogging.  The day promised to be a pretty one, and the redbud trees bloomed out on either side of the two-lane highway heading into my little town. 

I passed by Sugar’s house on the way, like I always do, and a bit further along, closer to town, I saw the shape of a large dog lying half-on, half-off the road, on a little bridge that goes over a swampy area.  It was unsettling to see that she was deceased, and also that she looked like one of Sugar’s dogs, Rosie. 

Rosie is a brown brindle that just came running up Sugar’s driveway a few years ago.  We didn’t know she was a brindle because she had no hair, a condition caused by one of the most excessive cases of demodectic mange that I had ever seen.  I had stopped in to see him, and was standing in his driveway talking to him when his dogs starting making a fuss at the fence.  This pathetic dog was running up the driveway to the fence to say hello.  He took her in, had her treated, and she became very comfortable at the Little Big House.

But this morning, things were not looking so good for Rosie.  I went on to work, explained the situation to my employer, and headed back to Sugar’s house to see if by some stroke of luck Rosie was there.  I drove to his house by an alternate route so I didn’t have to drive by the dog’s body again, and pulled into his long, shaded driveway and drove up to the gate.  All the dogs came out to say hello, all except Rosie.  I counted the dogs, looked them all in the face, and still came up one short. 

I set the trip odometer so that I could see how far Rosie had traveled when she was hit.  By the time I got back to the dog’s body, I had gone more than a mile.  What had made her travel so far from home?  Why had she dug out from under the fence?  I pulled over to the side on the road, still on the bridge, and put on my flashers.  I had some blankets in the back of the car, and I used one for a sling.  It was Rosie, alright, but I didn’t remember that she had a streak of white on her chest.  In any case, she died quickly.

I took her body back to work and prepared it to be picked up for cremation.  Then I announced that I had to go back to Sugar’s house and walk the fenceline to see where she had dug out and block it up so that no one else could get out.  Sugar was at work, and I didn’t dare call him.  While I was driving, I was rehearsing what to say, when to call, and how to break it to him that Rosie had gotten out somehow, and had gotten killed, and that I had taken her body back to the vet’s office where it would await pick-up for cremation. 

I pulled into his driveway again and drove up to the gate, and looked at all his dogs frolicking about in the springtime sunshine, and I counted heads again and looked at their faces.  No Rosie.  I walked the fenceline and saw absolutely no spot where she could have gotten out.  I headed back to the car and stopped to say good-bye to the dogs, who seemed inordinately happy in the face of tragedy, and said, “Good-bye guys.  I’ll see you later.  Good-bye… Rosie??!!”

For there at the gate with the other dogs was Rosie, stretching, and yawning, and blinking her sleepy eyes.  She had been asleep in the house the whole time.

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5 Responses to “What Was Lost Is Found, and What Was Found Is Lost”

  1. Rosalee Bloss Says:

    Nice story with a happy ending. This would make a great kids’ book. Glad you had a happy ending. Were you able to find an owner for the dog at the vet’s? Rosie


    • ruthrawls Says:

      Rosie, the dog didn’t have a collar or any ID. I called the shelter to report a found dog, deceased, and they had no reports of missing or lost dogs matching her description.


  2. Becky Says:

    Whew, what a story. I’m sorry for the deceased, but happy Rosie is around to stretch and yawn. And glad you don’t have to deliver that well-timed and rehearsed speech to Sugar!!


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