The wind blew the double gate open and our chocolate-brown lab, being curious by nature wandered out of the yard. He was gone for three days and I was sick to my stomach and heart-broken.
Worse yet, it was my lack of responsibility that had caused him to go wandering off in the first place. I was the one who preached time and again, “Bar the gate.”
I didn’t put the latch down and ‘Chubbs’ ran away.
For the next two days and nights, I was dutiful as I searched through a chilled rain and the surrounding desert area for him. He placed posters up near the mailboxes, fence lines, telephone poles, and markets.
The posters described the dog right down to the missing toe on his right hind foot. No one called, still I held out hope and prayed that the dog would either find his way home or someone would return him.
Finally, I drove down to the local animal shelter in hopes of finding him a ward of the county. I filled out the required paperwork and I searched through the records of the shelter for mention of a chocolate-brown lab with a missing toe.
A glimmer of hope came when I found a notation about a lab found in a church parking lot. It did not state the dogs color or gender, however it said the animal was “missing a toe on it right hind foot.”
I called the telephone number, but one was home, so I left a brief message with a home phone number.
Feeling somewhat discouraged I walked out to my truck and started it up. That’s when the woman from the shelter came bursting through the door of the building, blocking the path of his truck.
She was very excited and yelled, “Stop! Could that be your dog?”
I looked over to see ‘Chubbs’ wagging his tail excitedly, nearly dragging this tiny woman down the roadway.
Without re-parking my truck, I got out and greeted my lost dog. Along with this woman was a young man, he shook my hand and told me all about how they had found ‘Chubbs’ the day he had gone missing.
Then the three of us had one of those “goose-bump” moments when I called the dog by his name.
Neither of the good Samaritans knew the dogs real name so they decided to nickname him. At first they called him ‘Duke’ but decided that did not fit him.
Instead they chose to call the dog, ‘Chubbs.’