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Night-time dog rescue raises questions

Public speaking is a source of knee-rattling fear for me and many others who aren't Toastmasters.

Speeches, when words are well-crafted and well-delivered, can move a nation.

Abraham Lincoln's brief Gettysburg Address said more in a couple lines than the hour-long speech that came before it. I marvel at the impact of Franklin D. Roosevelt's words at the depths of the Great Depression: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself'' reassured a scared nation that times would soon get better. John F. Kennedy said "My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country'' to inspire a new generation to public service.

Communications — especially so for couples together for so long they can complete each others sentences — can be difficult.

Kathy insists that I sometimes listen without hearing to such a degree that a hearing aid might be necessary. Selective deafness within couples can be effective if not overused.


Meaning what you say and saying what you mean can get lost in translation.

That happened the other night when Kathy shook me awake at 2 a.m.

"Go get him,'' she said.

I didn't know who needed getting because all present were accounted for.

"Bogart is out there all by himself.''

I was content to roll over and pretend that I didn't hear just, which is a habit learned when an infant demanded a bottle or suffered from an ear infection.

Humphrey Bogart is our adopted and nettlesome dog. He's mostly a beagle, which makes him a scent hound and skilled at tracking rabbits, small game and deer. A beagle is an allegedly intelligent dog and single-minded in pursuit of its purpose. Bogart and I are on the outs for his outrageous behavior.

He had left the house to do his duty as darkness fell and we expected that he would soon return.


Because he was gone eight hours, Kathy feared the worst — he may have run into a pack of coyotes, a black bear or a wolf. Haven't seen a bear or wolf in the neighborhood, but that doesn't necessarily mean they aren't out there.

Ignoring the crisis by pulling the blanket over my face, which works when the toilet malfunctions, wouldn't save me when duty calls. Wearing a winter coat, pajamas and untied mud shoes I left comfort for a sky spitting rain, darkness and ghost-stirring wind.

"He might catch pneumonia,'' she said.

I returned a couple minutes later to report Bogart was alive, well and barking near the creek.

"He's not barking; he's singing."

I didn't know he was multi-talented.

"Go get him.''

The flashlight didn't work and the pasture is filled with brambles. A "what in the world am I doing'' moment — when life seems even a little more off-kilter than usual — occurred while yelling Bogart's name. He didn't respond, which forced me to walk until I could hear the water move in the darkness.


A 20-pound dog that doesn't want to be in your arms is a heavyweight, but we managed to stumble back together.

We were greeted at the door with a twin heroes' embrace.

Bogart got food and water.

I went back to bed feeling a bit put-out.

Bogart started barking/singing in the bedroom.

In the spirit the moment allowed, I disclosed that I saw two wolves and a big furry animal that might have been Bigfoot. Kathy, who if not gullible might not have married me, seemed to think the tall tales true.

Bogart and his muddy paws, sedated with abundant amount of food, jumped on my side of the bed. I take to the recliner and the notion that we have a singing dog loops through my mind. When the morning breaks, Bogart remains comfortable in my bed. Bogart, being a beagle, is certainly no dummy. The same cannot with any certainty be said for the person who rescued him.

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