Friday, March 7, 2014

A Good Listener


A Good Listener  © 2014 Karen Mathison Schmidt
6 x 6 inches • oil on GessobordTM
private collection • Poway, California

Here’s Mike the dog, who we met about four Sundays ago. It was a miserable, wintery, rainy day. When we got home from church and drove around to the back to go in the kitchen door, there was Mike huddled on the back porch, dripping wet and shivering.

Poor lost Mike! Of course we didn’t know his name then, but I could see before I got out of the car that he had a collar with (hallelujah!) a little metal plate that looked like an I.D. tag fastened onto it. Sure enough, when we invited Mike into the kitchen (I was calling him Charlie, because he just looked like a Charlie to me) and gave him some food (he looked soooooo hungry) we found that the tag did indeed have a name, address and phone number, which we promptly called and left a voicemail message. I googled the address and was surprised to see that it was in a neighborhood in town, about 30 miles from us -- a very long way for such a little guy!

While we waited for a return call, I dried Charlie/Mike off and made him a bed in front of the heater in a quiet corner of the dining room, away from our pack, who were quite curious about the visitor behind the closed door. I tried to get some pictures of him, but he was so excited whenever I would come back into the room that he wouldn’t stay still, and all my photos were blurry. Finally I was able to snap this one while he was basking in the heat from the radiator.

I could see he was getting sleepy, so I tiptoed out so he would rest a bit. After a while we got a call from Mike’s “Dad,” who was so relieved he had been found. As it turns out, they had only adopted Mike a few days before, and were visiting a friend out our way on Saturday when Mike slipped away and was running across the pastures and into the woods before they could catch up with him. It was a good thing they had been so prompt in giving him an I.D. tag!

While we were waiting for his owner to come and take him home, I went in the dining room to see if Mike was resting okay. The whole time he had been in our company he had been keeping his ears down against the side of his head, like in the picture. But this time when I went in and started talking to him, telling him his new Dad was on his way, his ears suddenly sprang to attention, straight out from either side of his head, like wings. I laughed and laughed, and ran to get the camera. I kept on talking to him while he hung on my every word, and was able to get a couple of semi-non-blurry reference pics. What a cutie pie!

Even though I was glad we had found where he belonged, I was sorry to see this little guy go home so soon. He sure was a great listener.

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