As Grandma sat under a tree wondering where I was, the sun rose over the mountain, warming the day. People came to the park, some walking their dogs, and Grandma spied a couple walking me on a leash!
Hope blinded her to the fact the yellow dog she saw was well-mannered, which meant it was NOT me.
She ran to them. “Is that my dog?”
They looked puzzled.
“Is that a boy or a girl?”
“It’s a girl named Dixie,” they replied.
Grandma was disappointed. “She looks just like mine.”
She did not explain the excitement of that morning. Looking down, she walked away, and said, “I can’t find my dog.” The couple continued toward the lakeshore.
Using her binoculars, Grandma scanned the woods and the rest of the park, praying for a glimpse of me. She crossed the river again, scooting over rocks and logs searching in the area where she had last seen me. She watched for the eagles, wondering if they would circle overhead like buzzards do, indicating the location of a fresh kill.
“Petey! Petey!” she called, knowing the rushing river probably drowned out her voice.
In about an hour, she spied the couple with the twin dog returning to their car. She ran over to them, again describing how remarkable it was that Dixie resembled me. “My dog ran off, and I can’t find him,” she concluded.
Their faces brightened. “Oh! We saw him down at the lake. Two men were playing with him and carrying him around, asking people who owned him.”
“Really?!” Grandma was so happy I was still alive she almost cried.
“Yes,” they answered. “The men are camp hosts and…” Grandma ran to her car and drove to the nearest of the two campgrounds. She approached the campground director.
“Have you seen my yellow dog? There are two men looking for me. I’m the owner,” Grandma asked with great earnestness.
The director pointed across the river. “They are camp hosts at the state park. Check there…” Again, Grandma raced to her car before the end of the explanation.
She drove through Wallowa Lake State Park , searching for the camp host sign and found it,
along with a hand written notice hanging on a tree.
But no one was there. She sat under the FOUND DOG sign and waited. And it that pause of excitement, she remembered the Blue Sock.
“How am I going to explain that to these guys?” she wondered. She pondered even longer and felt great embarrassment. “That’s going to be a long, a VERY LONG STORY,” she thought. She rehearsed every episode of drama that had occurred since she acquired me.
Now she was very worried. “They are going to decide I am an unfit pet parent and take Petey from me!”
A bright idea flashed into her mind. “I’ll just tell them that’s how we train dogs in Wallowa County!” They would never know otherwise.
Satisfied, she settled back against the tree, but in a short time, realized she was sitting under the FOUND DOG sign, which could lead to more misunderstanding. So she headed for the park office.
“I lost my yellow dog and was told the camp hosts were looking for its owner,” she explained to the office clerk.
“Oh, yes! They came by and are now on their way to Enterprise to drop him off at the Humane society.” It was a Sunday and Grandma knew that office was closed. “Would you mind calling the men and tell them I’m here?”
“Sure!” She made the call, and the men said they would turn around and bring me back. Grandma returned to their campsite and waited, standing by her car.
In about ten minutes, they drove up. I was sitting between them in the front. These were now my buds, as they explained very happily how much fun they had with me.
“We went swimming in the lake. He’s good at fetching sticks. Then we stopped and got some barbeque. We asked around, looking for the owner. Everybody loved him. We had a great time. What’s his name?”
“Petey,” she answered, puzzled that the blue sock was nowhere in sight. She was curious but would not ask. “What blue sock?” she pretended in her mind while they rattled on.
“He’s a great dog! We had so much fun!”
Grandma finally pulled me out of Fred’s arms, and now she had her dog back.
“I can’t thank you enough for taking care of him,” she said gratefully. “We were attacked by a doe, and he ran off. I’ve been looking for him for hours. I was afraid he was dead.”
“Oh, no! We had a party with him, didn’t we?” Fred looking at James.
James nodded. “Oh, yeah. It was great.”
“Well, we need to go. Thanks again.”
I curled up on the passenger seat. I was aching from the beating and tired.
“Petey,” Grandma said as we rode out of the park. “I have been searching for you, afraid coyotes, bears or eagles were going to eat you when you died from the doe’s pounding, and you’ve been playing it up with the party boys.” She was a bit miffed.
I licked her hand.
“No, Petey. I don’t want to talk to you right now.” Then she scratched my head, “Well, except for one thing. What happened to the blue sock?”
It’s a good thing dogs can’t talk.