Two days after Christmas, my sister Bethany left my parents’ house in order to drive home to the Bay Area. The folks live about 4 hours south, on the Central Coast. She drove a bit north, and pulled over in San Luis Obispo for a tire rotation and a lunch.
We’d been having wicked winds, and while she was waiting for a sandwich to be made, the wind blew over a heavy metal table.
Bethany’s dog, Boonie, was spooked, slipped her collar, and ran.
Now, what you have to know is that Boonie BELONGS to and with Bethany. Boonie’s a Thai fighting dog, a rescue straight from Thailand. She’s named after the jungle dogs that lived on Saipan when we lived overseas — the fast packs of dogs that act as intelligent units.
Boonie’s almost feral, not threatening, but certainly not tame. She’s the kind of dogs who can, and has, lived on street scraps. She runs faster than any dog I’ve ever laid eyes on, and she won’t be touched by anyone except Bethany and Bethany’s roommate. I’m allowed to give her treats (to Boonie, not to Bethany’s roommate), and every once in a while I graze her head with my hand, but that’s only allowed because I see her all the time (Clara is a favorite chase-buddy of hers).
But Bethany – Bethany is HER person. When nervous or feeling threatened, which is often, she climbs Bethany like a tree.
When Boonie slipped her collar, she left her tags behind, obviously. She’s microchipped, but apparently the Thai chips don’t talk to our machines here. This is a dog that would take months and months for animal control to snare, if they were ever able to. This dog would run, completely unapproachable.
Bethany was beside herself. She had to leave – had been heading out of town when it happened – to get back to work on the railroad. She managed to wrestle some time from her job to stay and search, and my other sister Christy and my parents threw themselves into the search, driving the neighborhoods and calling.
They papered the neighborhood with fliers, sparing no pole.
But Bethany finally had to drive herself back up north for a job run, inconsolable. When I called her, her voice broke my heart.
Then someone called her cell and reported seeing a dog matching Boonie’s description running fast in the area. Bethany borrowed my folks’ car to head home for work, and left her truck in the area (even though it wasn’t in exactly the same area as where she’d originally been lost) gate open, bed and food in the back. She didn’t hold much hope.
But Dad, yesterday morning, went to the truck and staked it out.
He saw Boonie jump into the bed of the truck!
He approached the truck, and of course, Boonie took off hell for leather in any direction that didn’t have a person in or near it. Dad called Bethany at 11am, and she was in the area by 3pm.
She went up to the truck, looked inside. No Boonie.
She called Boonie’s name.
A small head popped up from the cab.
Boonie had scrambled through the window into the cab of the truck and had been resting on the passenger seat, just waiting for Bethany to come find her.
Isn’t that the best story? Almost three days later, reunited. And Boonie had found the truck, on her own, not even at the sandwich shop where she’d been lost. And she just waited there, for Beth to come. Which she did.
I’m so damn happy for them.
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