Friday started out as nothing unusual. I had the morning to get housework done, then a few hours at the office before picking my grandson up from sports, and a quick stop at the grocery store. He helped to bring in the groceries while I got ready to take the dogs for their evening constitutional. Lulled into a false sense of security, or perhaps just tired, I stopped to pet the cat while putting on my leash belt. (it leaves me with one hand free, gives more leverage to a fellow who can pull like an ox, and saves my shoulder muscles) Anyway. While I was distracted our free range bunny hopped out into view, the dogs nosed open the gate, and the chase was on!
The rabbit took off into the backyard, through the lilacs, around the house, behind the shrubs, through the steps, past the garden and dove into her burrow under the garage. At this point the Beagles are still at the side of the house because they can’t get behind the Rhododendrons. I was thinking I would simply grab the dogs once they got distracted trying to find a way under the garage. Silly me.
They never got there. Somewhere in the front yard they got hooked onto an older scent trail that led to the apple tree, and from there it was a direct hit into the woods.
I did attempt to round them up. Let’s just say that attempting to catch a Beagle with no collar, in the dark, in the woods, that’s completely distracted by its nose, is a task for someone faster and more nimble than I. Well, nothing to do but wait.
Around 10 p.m. a four wheeler pulls into the drive. The neighbors had a bonfire and Momma decided to join their circle. So one dog home and no sight of the little guy. I went to bed, getting up every few hours to see if he’d come home. The animal control officer is just a couple of miles away, so I figured I’d check there in the morning.
About 5:30 I found him curled up on his rug on the porch, looking just like an old sod who’d spent too many hours carousing with the guys. Eyes barely open, limping slightly, he made his way to the sofa before deciding it was just too much effort to jump up, and flopped on the carpet next to it, for a long, long snooze.
They were very happy Beagles.
Exhausted and stiff from their long romp, like myself after I’ve spent a day in the woods, walkies were much more sedate for a while.
I really wish that they could experience this much fun on a regular basis. For one thing, if they could, the escapades would be much shorter, and less rigorous. They would be happier, and would be fulfilling their doggy destiny, but that’s not to be. So, hyper-vigilant again, I remind myself that they are still much better off than in the 6×8 enclosure at the shelter. They are warm and dry, well loved and well fed, with regular long walks in the woods and fields every day. Perhaps their memories will sustain them.