McCall column

Jack McCall

We have two “farm”’ dogs in our operation. Both are Australian Shepherds. The male is named “Quick.” (We call him “Quick Dog.”)

Quick Dog is predominately white in color with pale blue eyes. He has a type “A” personality. He also, like a cat, has nine lives. Quick Dog has fallen out of, or off, the bed of a pickup truck on many occasions.

One day he fell out of a truck traveling at 65 miles per hour. Through the rearview mirror, the driver observed him doing summersaults down the center line of the highway. He was knocked out cold. He regained consciousness at the local veterinarian’s office. Except for a skinned up nose he appeared not to be seriously injured. After three or four days of pain medication he was back to normal.

       On a few occasions he has fallen out of the truck unbeknownst to the driver. I have helped search for Quick Dog in the general vicinity of where he might be on a number occasions. He always “showed up” sooner or later.

       Our other dog is a female named “Patsy.” She is salt ‘n pepper in color with searching, sky-blue eyes. Patsy is a type “B” personality, and she is frightfully shy.

       The very first time Patsy rode in the back of a pickup she fell off the flatbed and suffered a broken leg. Patsy does not like to ride in the back of a truck.

       Up until a few weeks ago, Quick Dog and Patsy resided in a nice enclosure constructed with 16 ft. cattle panels. Each enjoyed a nice doghouse. Inside their pen stood a mammoth hackberry tree which provided splendid spring and summer shade.

       I had noticed during this past winter the aging hackberry was showing signs of vulnerability. Fully, 30 inches in diameter, it appeared to have become hollow about 10 feet above the ground. I remember thinking it might fall any day.     Well, it did.

      Three weeks ago, as a storm front passed through, a powerful “straight wind” brought the big tree down in the middle of the night. I can hardly imagine the sound it made as it crashed to the ground destroying half the dog pen and flattening a nearby metal storage building.

       The next morning we found Quick Dog anxiously waiting for someone to return. Patsy was nowhere to be found. I suspected, in her frightened state, she might have run for miles. We called all the neighbors and posted her photo on Facebook. Days passed, no Patsy.

On the fourth day word came that someone had spotted her across the river on Highway 241 S. Our son, Joseph kept insisting, “She’ll show back up.” I was beginning to wonder.

       On the eighth day after her disappearance, while being driven to gymnastics class, two of our granddaughters spotted Patsy on Highway 241 near Centerville. Fortunately, my wife, Kathy and friend, Sissy Harper, were in route to Lebanon as well a half-mile behind. Kathy thought she was seeing a deer crossing the road.

      “That looks like your dog!” Sissy exclaimed, as she directed her car to the roadside.

       That’s when I received a call.

       “Does your dog have a tail?” were the first words I heard over the phone. (Not the kind of call you receive every day.)  I had to think for a moment.

        “Yes!” I said.

        “We found your dog! Get here as quickly as you can” she said, as she gave me an approximate location.

        I jumped in my car and sped to the scene. When I arrived, Kathy was out of the car trying to coax Patsy to come closer, as Patsy was easing away.

        That little dog was “a sight for sore eyes.”

       “Heh, Pats!” I called. She turned and came back to me.  I gently picked her up and loaded her into my car. She appeared “no worse for wear,” although she did smell like a dog that had been on the run for eight days.

       More on this dog tale next week.

Jack McCall is a motivational humorist, southern storyteller and author. A native Middle Tennessean, he is recognized on the national stage as a “Certified Speaking Professional.” Copyright 2020 by Jack McCall

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