A dog rescue was not part of the plan when two of my daughters and I took a bike ride along the dirt road at the back of our property. Just the day before a neighbor hung a FREE sign on a retro-styled Huffy and I had to have it–my old bike having been stolen years ago in NJ. I rode the Ford pick-up back to the bike (the tires were too soft to ride on) and after my husband spruced it up I snapped this pic:
As we took the turn on the dirt road two of our neighbors’ Labrador Retrievers ran into the road to bark at us covered in mud. We’re dog people so we had to pet them and coax them back to their fenced in yard since the neighbors, who we affectionately call “the girls” were obviously not home. After closing the gate we heard plaintive whining from the woods.
My daughter Amanda and I live for this stuff and our new tag along daughter-to-be fed off our excitement. Poison Ivy be damned, we were going in! At the bottom of a deep ravine we saw what looked like a fat bear with a white nose (dried mud). We went to Malcolm at once, noting his hindquarters were weak. He had completely given up trying to climb out of the six inch deep mud. We later learned Malcolm weighed 100lbs which explained our trouble trying to hoist him to dry ground. Amanda raced home and came back with supplies–leashes, collars and iPhone–and the rescue began in earnest.
Malcolm’s weight and our laughter made it tough going for a while and if we hadn’t finally summoned all our strength the construction workers banging away in a nearby field would have been called in. Upper arm strength being in short supply, we still somehow managed to finally right the muddy ship of flesh and drag him out of the woods.
Amanda and foster kid (who for now has to remain anonymous) found the loose plank on the picket fence, ran for a hammer and nails and repaired the fence while I watered the dogs and wrote a note explaining why the girls’ dogs were covered in mud.
I’d planned a short bike ride and a bit of editing for the afternoon, but laughing in the woods with muddy dogs got the better of the day.
Writing, especially in the summer when animals and bicycles beckon, is especially tricky!
NANCY CHRISTIE at One on One–Insights into the Writer’s Life talked to me recently and the first part of a four part interview is featured here: ONE ON ONE WITH AUTHOR ADRIENNE MORRIS.
I hope you take a moment to read it!
Happy 4th of July!