My side of the story
|Mary Wakefield Buxton|
by Mary Wakefield Buxton
URBANNA, VA— Hi, I’m the Lord speaking to you this morning instead of Mom.
Oh, I’m not THAT Lord, I’m Mom’s golden retriever puppy born 7 years ago under her desk as she was writing a story and now grown to 110 pounds. My real mother, “Lady,” and I both live at the “Pineapple Palace” in Urbanna with Mom and Dad. They think we’re “furry angels” . . . but we’re really furry devils.
The other weekend Dad took us down to the boat for a Saturday night swim. We leapt into the water and kept on swimming. He stood on the pier for hours calling for us in the dark. He didn’t realize we needed a getaway.
I suppose that sounds wicked but if you think like a dog you know how tiresome it is to be petted and hugged all day long. Mom talks baby talk to us as if we were poodles and she even tucks us into bed at night wrapping us up in terry cloth towels so we won’t get a chill. Doesn’t she know we’re big, bad, wild beasties and not lovey-dovey lap dogs? What? What? We’d have to get away every now and then or we’d go stark raving mad.
It was raining and Urbanna Creek was spring cold. We didn’t care. The water felt good against our thick furry coats. Lady headed for the beach and I followed. Lady’s the bad dog. I can go either way. She’s the ring leader. Mom says that’s because Lady was a rescue dog and learned bad habits before Mom adopted her and put her through her School of Kisses.
We beached at the sand point of Urbanna Harbor and raced through the woods like a pair of wolves. Hurrah! We crossed several fields in newly-planted corn and stopped to get a drink in a marshy pond. Whoa! Bad water! Then Lady found a dry spot under a copse of trees and flopped over and went to sleep.
I lay down beside her and gave her a good licking from head to toe with special attention on each ear. I always clean Lady after every swim because I like the salt and also I love Lady with all my heart and soul because I know she’s my real mother. A more wonderful dog never walked this earth.
The next morning we awoke and stretched our cold, stiff legs. It had stopped raining and the sun was breaking over the river. Mom, who quotes Shakespeare, would have exclaimed, “But look! The morn in russet mantle clad breaks o’er yon eastern hill!”
But no Mom this morning. We were fiercely hungry. We thought about going home but Urbanna Creek separated us from home and we didn’t know how to cross over the bridge. We set off together down the river bank dreaming of Mom’s buttered toast, maybe a scrap of bacon, or an egg pan to lick clean.
It was a long day. I needed my medication. Mom’s got me on a strong, addictive drug to control seizures, and I had already missed two doses besides two meals. I wasn’t feeling very good but Lady kept me moving onward. She decided to head for a Christchurch boatyard because Mom and Dad had spent the last three weekends there painting the boat and we figured they might still be there. Besides, we liked the German shepherd “Belle” who lives there and we always enjoy playing with her.
Maybe it wasn’t very smart to go to the marina because the boat had been returned to Urbanna Harbor, but lost dogs do the best they can. Mom, who thinks like a dog, had already called Loraine at the marina to ask her to watch for us.
Meanwhile, back at the dock, Dad had stayed up all night looking for us in the rain and Mom had cried herself to sleep. They were upset, but how silly is that? Didn’t they realize we would have come home if only we had known which way to go?
About 3 p.m. on Sunday afternoon we arrived at the marina exhausted, thirsty and starved. Belle was waiting for us but we were too tired to do anything but collapse on the sand.
The phone rang soon after at the Pineapple Palace. It was Loraine. “They’re here!” she cried happily. Mom burst into tears, and Dad jumped in the car and drove over to pick us up.
We were so tired we could hardly get up the front steps to greet Mom, who was still weeping. (People are crazy about dogs!) She gave us water, dinner and medicine and we slept like the dead for the next 12 hours.
The next day we were so stiff we could hardly walk. I told Lady we should limit our “getaways” to a few hours and leave overnights to younger dogs. ©2012
(We send our sympathy to the Wynne family in Deltaville for the loss of their lovely Lab.)