Little Dog to the Rescue

LITTLE DOG TO THE RESCUE

   It was a long, hot, Labor Day weekend. Signs had been posted all over town. On telephone poles and trees that were located nearest the roadways, the message was the same. It was a plea for help. “Missing: Shih Tzu dog; needs medication. Last seen on King Arthur Drive. If found…” and the contact information was added to the bottom. The photo was of a black and white dog with an engaging happy face.

   Amy finished stapling the last of the posters she had brought with her. Geiser, the missing dog, had become her beloved pet several weeks ago. Back then, the dog was happily engaged in another person’s life who happened to be her neighbor, Mr. Edelbrock. But he unfortunately took ill and was admitted to the local hospital. He became despondent in having to give up his companion of many years. There was no doubt in Amy’s mind what needed to happen. She would care for the dog and assured her neighbor not to worry. “Mr. Edelbrock, I love Geiser just as much as you do.”

   He smiled from his hospital bed at her admission and in her genuine gesture of kindness in looking after Geiser. “Yes, you do Amy” he said, “Yes, you do.”

   Amy remembered that conversation they had shared several days ago. She was adamant in helping look after Geiser and now he was missing. She had let him out first thing in the morning as usual. It was the last time she saw him. Driving back after exhausting her poster supply, Amy started thinking of the poor little dog. She was afraid for him knowing how his frail little body struggled after the last seizure.

   She pulled into the driveway and shut the car off. As she reached the door to her house, a woman walking down the street, called out.

   “Amy!” Quickly she came up the walkway as Amy opened the door.

   Marie hesitated for a moment before blurting out, “I saw Geiser!”

   “What? You saw him? Where?! Amy was elated and hugged her friend.

   “Wait, Amy,” she began and pulled away from the embrace. “There’s more.” Marie hesitated a moment not wanting to tell her the troubling news about the dog.

   “I found Geiser about an hour ago near my house and was about to bring him to you. He came right up to me, Amy. He was the cutest thing and I knew he was scared.” Marie became upset and added, “But she said she knew the owner and was stopping by anyway.”

   “Come on in, Marie. Let’s figure this out.” Amy ushered her friend into the house and to the kitchen. Hanging up her hat and purse she said, “Okay, Marie. Who is this woman claiming to know me? Did you recognize her?” Amy stood with her hands to her hips, determined to unfold the mystery of her dog’s disappearance. “And where is Geiser?”

“I don’t know!” She continued still upset.  “ I didn’t know the woman! Amy, I had him right in my arms! But I gave him to her to bring to you. She was so adamant, almost demanding.” Sadly, Marie asked, “She didn’t come by, did she?”

   “No one came by,” Amy said.

   The two women talked more about the bizarre circumstances surrounding the disappearance of Geiser. What was this woman’s motive was the question they could not answer.

   “She was driving a red Mustang convertible,” Marie said. “That surely would be noticed, right?” She offered to keep in contact with the local dog officer, the police department and area canine rescue organizations. Amy thanked her.

   “Don’t blame yourself, Marie. You were totally caught off guard. What a phony. With a sigh, Amy said, “Well, II have to make one more stop. Let’s keep in touch. Okay?”

   Marie agreed and walked back to her house. Amy got into her car and drove the short distance to her planned stop and that was the dog park. She had built many friendships as a local veterinary assistant with the ones who frequented the place. They were shocked and concerned when she told them the news. They eagerly agreed to help by alerting her to anything that seemed suspicious. Geiser was to be featured in the local newspaper to hopefully solve the mystery.

   The day was getting long as the hours wore on. She worried about her dog in the heat. Amy hoped that whoever took him was at least kind. He was just a little guy but one that had a lot of spunk. She loved Geiser and regretted tomorrow knowing she would have to tell Mr. Edelbrock the sad news.

  Morning came and with a heavy heart, Amy got herself ready for work. She looked down at the empty dog dish on the colorful mat in the kitchen. It was waiting to be filled. “I failed him.” She admonished herself. She was thinking of Geiser but could not forget Mr. Edelbrock and changed her statement. “I failed them.”

   Amy got into her car and proceeded down the road. As she drove by her elderly neighbor’s house she turned to look at the empty structure. Suddenly something caught her eye. Breaking sharply she quickly pulled over and jumped out of the car.

   It was her dog Geiser!

   She was elated and called to him. “Geiser!” He started to run to her but stopped. She tried to coax him to her but he turned and ran back the way he came. He stopped again and turned to look at her., wagging his tail.

   “What is it little guy?” Amy said with a puzzled look. The more she tried to convince him to come to her the more he kept up the odd start and stop behavior. She finally realized that he wanted her to follow him. “Okay, you’ve got me convinced.” She could have run and picked him up but didn’t want to frighten him. She followed him up and over the stonewall and across the yard. He finally took her around the corner of the shed.

   And there she spied the red Mustang.

   Amy hesitated at first not knowing what to expect. Why was the car behind Mr. Edelbrock’s house? Geiser began barking and dancing in circles. Now he was approachable and came right to her. She was lost in the moment as little tongue licks covered her face. “I missed you, too!” She said happy to have her dog safe in her arms. “Okay! Okay! Can I put you down now and you won’t run away this time?  Immediately he ran around to the back of the house.

   “Geiser!” Amy called and followed him. She immediately stopped when she saw the open door. Cautiously she followed Geiser as he boldly went in. A woman lay on the floor not moving. Amy approached slowly, went over and touched her on the shoulder. “Are you okay?” she asked. The woman did not answer. How long had she been there? Her face was damp with perspiration. Quickly she felt for a pulse and was relieved the woman was alive. Amy had her cellphone with her, dialed 911 and waited making the woman as comfortable as she could. Geiser was happily in the way, wagging his tail. He looked to Amy and she could tell he was proud of himself for bringing her to this woman who needed help.

   At the hospital the mystery finally was solved. The woman was Mr. Edelbrock’s daughter. Amy was aware he had a daughter but he never spoke much about his family. She had been living overseas and that was all that Amy knew. Apparently, after her mother’s death, the father’s grief was too much for the daughter to handle and she left. Now with her father unable to care for himself, she returned to help. She saw her father’s dog away from its home as she came into town. The daughter was the mystery woman that insisted on taking Geiser unaware of his new home with Amy. It was ironic that this woman also had health concerns and suffered seizures.

   But it was a little dog that understood and sensed danger. He knew what was going on and attempted to find help. It was fortunate that Amy happened to be in the right place at the right time.

   Back home with Amy, Geiser was treated to a King’s dinner. He lapped up every drop of his special fancy feast snorting his approval all the while. Looking at him enjoy his meal, Amy was relieved to know that everyone was safe and well. Her little dog proved to all of them that the most unlikely hero came in the body of a twelve pound dog.