So there I was sitting on the driveway with a flashlight and a box of Milkbones, playing my harmonica and thinking about life without my dogs. It was cold and clear, the stars so bright, but not bright enough to help me see a black dog in the night.
An hour earlier, I had been happily eating dinner when I saw Annie at the sliding glass door. Uh-oh. Sure enough, I had left the gate to their pen open. Fingers crossed, I searched the yard, but Chico had jumped the fence. Now Annie was looking to me to find him. I put on my heavy coat, grabbed the flashlight and leash and set off down the street, around the corner, straining to see, calling “Chico, come”. Nothing. I came back home, walked through the neighbor’s yard, saw him watching TV in his cozy living room filled with the mounted heads of deer, elk and other animals he has killed. No dog.
Having seen other people’s trash carts out,reminding me it was trash night, I decided to pull mine out, too. Maybe Chico would see the open garage with the light on and come home. No. Annie got out. With her dog super-powers, she soon located her brother and they both went flying down the street. I went after them. Occasionally I saw them, running, tongues out, tails wagging, united and happy. I opened the tailgate of my car and sat there. Sure enough, the dogs came, but they gave me a grin and dashed into the forest where the growth is too thick for me to go in there.
That’s when I closed things up and settled in with my harmonica, making up tunes in the key of D. The dogs approached; they like my music. I tossed a handful of treats onto the pavement. Annie came closer. As she wolfed them down, I grabbed her and dragged her in. Once she was safely locked away, I followed the same procedure for Chico. Both dogs were soaked and muddy. I dried them off and cranked up the pellet stove.
Soon the escapees were sleeping on the floor, exhausted and happy, perhaps dreaming of the sound of a harmonica playing in the night.