Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Ruthie and I are both short. It doesn't take a really big dog to tower over us when we're on the ground. But this was a Mastiff, drooping ears and pendulous lips.
He'd been in my yard before and I knew him to be friendly. I quickly reassured Ruthie. Still, he was intimidating. But after following us around a bit and having a loud and messy drink out of the bird bath, he plopped down close by to watch us. He's very curious.
From that day on he visited our yards regularly. Jerry, Ruthie's husband took to Spike right away. We'd learned his name by now. He wore a thick leather collar ringed with decorative metal spikes—no sharp pointy things.
Actually, Spike lives down the road from us. We live in the country, so we have roads, not streets. His owners are nice, friendly people. Spike has no reason to not want to stay at home. They drive a red pickup, and when we see it cruising by, we know they're just making sure Spike's okay. Ruthie feeds Spike and Jerry gives him treats and talks to, or with him, I'm not sure which. :-)
Spike is afraid of bad weather. He finds his way to Ruthie and Jerry's back door when dark clouds roll in and they let him hang out in their garage until it passes.
And then something happened to Spike. We couldn't figure it out.
He didn't show up for about three days, that wasn't normal and we begin to watch out for him. His owners came down to see if we'd seen him. After almost two weeks, we knew something had happened to Spike. Probably got snake bit or hit by a car and went into the woods to die.
Anyway, we mourned Spike. We remembered how he kept our back patios tracked up with his muddy, number nine paws. When he drank water from the blue pan, he dribbled it everywhere... we fussed and called him a pest. One morning as we cleaned the patios, Ruthie commented that she hated it about Spike, but as least the patios would stay clean now. I sighed and agreed that at least that would be nice.
The next morning Ruthie stuck her head in my back door and with a big smile said "I guess the patio won't be clean for long". Spike's owner had driven down to tell us that Spike had returned.
He was too tired to come on down the road to see us.
His owner said he barely made it to their yard, where he drank lots of water and then laid down and slept. He slept the rest of that day and most of the next. He had bumps and knots on his head, he'd lost a lot of weight and his heavy collar was gone from his neck. The hair was rubbed off his elbows as if he'd been kept in a cage or something way to small for his size. It appears that someone picked him up and carried him off, no telling how far away. It was obvious he had fought to free himself.
We were eager to see Spike again, we couldn't believe he was still alive, to heck with clean patios!
After several days and he didn't show up, we began to wonder if he wouldn't stick closer to home after such an ordeal. Ruthie and Jerry's bedroom face the road that runs by our properties. The room has a big window that they open the blinds on while they're having coffee in bed. Ruthie told me later that they saw him loping down the road, headed our way. By the time they could both throw on some clothes and get to the back door, Spike was rounding the end of the house, eyes on their door. He got a whopping good welcome.
I got to see him later in the morning. He was so happy to see us all that he nearly knocked us down. His backside was wagging so hard we could barely get close enough to rub and pat on him. Spike was one happy dog.
It was easy to see how Fat Cat felt about his return. Hmm.
Things are back to normal. Spike slobbered on my black pants today and I told him he was a real pest. Why didn't he just go home?