It’s been a long while since I’ve posted anything. Life has been very busy – in a good way. But I have a story that I’d like to share before I begin to try to catch up on the rest of my life. What has inspired me most to write this post is how the events of what could have been a tragic tale, reminded me of how good, kind and caring most people are. Especially when it involves a dog.
KC is 15 years old. She is nearly completely blind, able to see only very exaggerated changes from dark to light. She is also almost totally deaf, responding only to a sharp noise or clap.
Now that may sound like a sad way to live, but she knows her way around the house and yard very well. She continues to play with the other dogs and loves to ride in the Ranger.
Her story began at the Kern County Animal Shelter (hence the name KC), where we found her as a 3 month old pup and adopted her. She has been a perfect companion and pet.
So imagine how devastated we were when, upon returning from a lengthy trip to the UK and Ireland (another post I promise), we learned that just the day before, she somehow got out of the yard. You see KC has a fear of thunder, like many dogs. She paces and pants until she is let into the house. My daughter who was house/pet sitting for us while we were gone, was at work that day and somehow, KC found her way out. But not her way back in.
Immediately notices went out on Facebook and posters were placed all around our small south Georgia town. Within hours, we received the 1st call. She had been sighted that day, about a mile off. We drove to the spot she had been seen and drove all over (in the dark) but did not find her. The caller joined us in our after hours search in their golf cart, flashlight in hand.
The following day we heard of 5 more sightings, most from the day before.One guy saw the poster just after seeing a dog like her. He drove around the area for an hour and a half looking for her, while we did the same. Word spread like wildfire. This dog needed help finding her way home!
Every day we searched and clapped as we walked along every road in the area. Even my 14 month old grandson clapped in his stroller as we searched.
We drove the Ranger hoping she would hear it.
All the farmers were on lookout in their fields.
As the days turned into a week, and the phone stopped ringing… I began to loose hope. It could not be possible for an old blind, deaf dog to survive in the wild for so long. She was not even capable of finding a garbage can to eat out of. My heart was breaking. This was no way for a faithful companion to go after so many years of devotion.
After a full week, another thunder storm rolled in. I had a hope that it would start her pacing again… We drove down a dirt road near her last sighting, but slid off the road and got stuck in the mud. Again, helped by the kindness of a stranger. Someone drove by in a 4 wheel drive and offered to return with his tractor and pull us out. It took him longer than we thought it would to return. I began to think he would not. By then it was fully dark. Then – here he came. He was longer than expected because he had to help someone else too! He spent nearly 3 hours helping others that night and asked for nothing but a smile and a Thank You. And he promised to keep an eye out for KC. But I could tell, he thought it was too late for her.
At 8:30 the following morning, the phone rang. “Your dog is in the field across the street. She won’t come to us so Jimmy is following her at a distance in the truck.” I flew to the field. The woman from the phone was waiting by the roadside and pointed to the area where Jimmy was in the truck. I drove around the back of the property. AND THERE SHE WAS! I jumped out of my car and called out to her. Of course she didn’t hear me… I clapped. SHE RAN! Yes Ran! She was frightened and confused. I took off after her on foot. No way was I letting her get away from me! She settled to a trot as I neared the end of my ability to continue at this pace. As a last ditch effort I threw myself at her in a “first baseman tag” sort of maneuver. As the tips of my fingers tapped her hip, she spiraled to heap on the ground, dazed. I flung my arms around her and as I gasped for breath, I could hear Jimmy in the truck, laughing with delight.
She weighed 45-47 lbs when she left. More than a week later she returned home at 30 lbs. At 1st I’m not sure she really knew where she was. It was 3 days before she did much more than sleep or even waged her tail. And another week before she played with the other dogs and joined in on the daily routine of horse feeding and daily chores.
Now she is back to her normal self. Still too thin, but we are working on that. She still bumps into things, but she no longer panics if we get a few feet away from her. She will not be with us much longer, I am certain, but when she goes it will be surrounded by love in the comfort of her family, not alone in the woods.
A big shout out to the community and all the efforts that went into finding this old gal. THANK YOU ALL !!