Friday, January 05, 2007

Two Lost Daisies

I read a story online last night about a dog, well actually a “rat terrier,” that ran away from home in Colorado in April 2006 and showed up some 1300 miles away here in Tennessee Christmas night. It is an amazing story- whether it happened the way the owner suspects (Daisy was stolen in CO and escaped near Knoxville) or Daisy actually trekked the many miles Eastward.

Many (many) years ago our family (as in my mom, dad, sister and mini-me) was vacationing in North Carolina, staying in our grandparents cabin near the Pisgah National Forrest outside of Burnsville. It was a rustic cabin put together some years earlier by my grandfather James Moore on a couple acres he and my grandmother scrimped and saved for as a summer escape from Florida’s heat.

The weeks spent there while growing up provided a platform for some of my fondest memories: getting lost rafting with my cousin in the deepest part of the forest, river-walking, building massive rock dams, bonfires that lasted until dawn, and of course, losing and then finding my dog Daisy.

The land the cabin was on was adjacent to a dairy farm so an electric fence ran the length of the property. We suspect Daisy crossed through the fence, was shocked, and decided she wouldn’t make that mistake again and likely wandered off looking for another way to get back to the cabin. Days went by and we couldn’t find her despite endlessly searching the surrounding area screaming her name. I don’t remember all of the details of the search, but I do have vivid memories now of the despair the whole family felt.

About a week or so later, we took a trip to Pisgah National Forrest, with inner-tubes in tow, and hit the Toe River for some white water tubing. If you have been, you know the insane fun that can be had sitting inside a giant truck sized inner-tube rushing down the river, and dropping down 3-8 foot waterfalls into pools of deep and cold river water. It is quite an experience.

Late in the afternoon, a couple walked up to our picnic table asking if the van with the Maryland tags was ours. They asked if we had lost a dog by chance. Turns out Daisy showed up at their house, miles and miles away from our cabin, through dense forests and ranges of hills almost earning mountain status, and walked right up to their front door. Daisy had a collar with a vaccination tag on her that didn’t have her name- only the city and state of the vet clinic that had vaccinated her near Fort Meade Maryland.

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