Thursday, August 14, 2014


Maggie...  Yesterday morning, as I was working out in my yard, I got quite a surprise: a beautiful Springer spaniel with unusual coloring showed up right in front of me.  She was a mixture of brown and black spots on a white background all over her face, and larger patches on the rest of her.  This dog – Maggie on her tag – came running straight through the thicket of roses that line the irrigation canal on the east side of our property.  She was thoroughly wet, apparently having just walked through the canal.  Lots of people in the area let their dogs and cats run loose, so I assumed this was one of my neighbors' dogs, though I hadn't seen her before.

I called to her, and she came right to me, very friendly.  Being dog-deprived up here (our dogs are still all in Jamul), I took the opportunity to enjoy some canine company.  We played together for a while, then I went back to work.  That's when I started to suspect something might be wrong, as my new friend just wouldn't leave my side.  She followed me all over the yard as I went about my work cutting down some pine seedlings that had gotten out of control in bad locations.  Something about her behavior made me think that she might be lost.  So I called her over to me again, and this time I looked at her tags.  That's when I found out her name was Maggie – and that her home address was a mile and a half away, east of the town of Paradise.  I took a closer look at her, and noticed that her pads were not very calloused – she wasn't accustomed to running around long distances – and her coat was mostly combed out and recently trimmed.  This wasn't a dog used to field and stream; she was a pampered pooch.

So I walked over to my truck, Maggie trailing closely behind.  I opened the passenger door, and Maggie jumped right in, looking happy and excited.  I got into the driver's side, and Maggie crawled over the console onto the seat beside me (rather a tight squeeze!), and wouldn't leave.  We drove off, crunched together, on a search for her house.

It took a while to find it, as the street she lived on isn't continuous.  After a bit of exploration, though, I figured out how to get onto the right piece of her street, and finally located her house: a big, beautiful home on a hilltop, in a large lot (20 acres or so), with a commanding view of all of southern Cache Valley.  The yard was beautifully landscaped in a style I associate with Arizona, with mostly plants that have low water needs.  I rang the doorbell, and the lady of the house (Jill) came out with a baby on her hip.  She gave me a funny look, probably because I was drenched with sweat (it was a hot and humid day), and wearing one of my goofy hats.  But when I told her that I had a friend in my truck, she immediately knew that one of their dogs must have gotten out of her kennel.  I opened my truck door, and a very happy Maggie hopped out to see her not-so-happy-with-her owner.  Maggie had dug under her kennel wall, as apparently some of her fellow dogs had done before.  However, Jill told me that they'd never had one wander so far away before – and certainly had never had one cross the highway before.  I'd be pretty unhappy if I knew one of my dogs had done such a thing, and that's exactly how Jill reacted.

I suspect those kennels will be be fixed soon.

Maggie made my day yesterday, both with her company and because I was able to get her safely back home, where she belongs...

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