The great adventure
The other evening I was blissfully working away, finishing articles for that week’s issue of the Salem Times-Register when I got a call from my husband.
“I’m late leaving for the Salem Lions Club meeting because I had a situation here at home.” Uh-oh.
“The dogs got out of the fence and wound up at somebody’s house on Bear Creek and I had to go get them,” Bill said.
I figured our giant puppy, Catawba, and smaller friend, Skippy, had gotten out in the few minutes between Bill getting home from the tax office where he works in Roanoke, and when he called me.
Nope. They had been gone all day, visiting neighbors one and two roads away and who-knows-where else.
The first message on our answering machine was from Gale on Zana Drive shortly before 11 a.m. “There was a big yellow dog and a smaller black-and-white one. Maybe they’re your dogs?…I don’t see them now.”
Other messages sprinkled throughout afternoon reported dog sightings, from people who evidently got close enough to read Catawba’s tag that has his name, our last name and our phone number.
Skippy the terrier-Shihtzu mix slipped his new Georgia Bulldog collar off, of course, and lost it somewhere in the back yard. Maybe Catawba, the Golden-Great Pyrenees who could be mistaken for a pony, ate it.
At any rate, I don’t know if our wandering pair ran down Lawyer Drive and then over to Zana, or through the woods and over the hill.
We know for certain they crossed Wildwood Road, a Virginia Secondary Highway, to get to Bear Creek Subdivision.
One of the messages was from an unnamed jogger who, bless her, took the time to read Catawba’s tag and call.
When I telephoned another of the neighbors who had spotted the pups, she mentioned they had been near two dogs known to be territorial, and when those went after Skippy (through the fence? I didn’t think to ask), Catawba “whipped their butts.”
That’s our gentle giant for you, defending his little friend. He meets dozens of dogs of all sizes, breeds and temperaments on Saturday mornings at the Salem Farmers’ Market and when we take the pups to the Salem Rotary Dog Park. I’ve never heard him even growl menacingly at another dog, much less go for one who appeared threatening.
Bill got home in time to catch the phone when Ashley called, and got directions to her house where her family was holding onto our dogs.
“I drove up and opened the car door. Skippy came running to me and Catawba jumped into the car,” Bill reported.
The gate is bungeed now so that even if the wind blows it open – or Catawba figures out how to lift the latch like that black bear who opened my car door to get to the homemade cookies – it shouldn’t open.
We’ve gotten to meet by phone, at least, a couple of sets of neighbors within a mile or so that we didn’t know before. Thank you to all the people who either live or travel along Wildwood, Zana, Bear Creek and anywhere else you might have seen a big yellow dog and a smaller black-and-white one running free.
I wish I’d had a doggy cam view of their Great Adventure.