As I write this post, the Little Sister is raiding the pantry sans pants, the fan is whirring gently and I can hear our dogs playing outside. Nothing out of the ordinary about that.
Except that one of our dogs died last year.
Or so we thought.....
When Jack went missing after a thunderstorm on Christmas Eve last year, we hoped he'd return. We checked with our Regional Council, we checked the local pounds and animal refuges. I once stopped and checked a dead dog on the road. Over time, I came to the sad conclusion that he must have drowned in the flood waters around our farm at the time. Eventually, I stopped checking the back of every tradie's ute I saw.
This morning was always going to be special. The moon had blocked out 83% of the sun before breakfast. We'd eaten our breakfast toast, sharing a welder's helmet and watching the moon take bigger and bigger bites out of the sun.
The partial solar eclipse was breathtaking, but it had nothing on the call I got a few minutes after 9am. A vet in a country town almost an hour away wanted to know if we had a red cattle dog.
And that's how I came to be standing in the main street of Pomona looking at a doggy in a window and crying my eyes out. The dog was a little bit older and a little bit fatter. But it was our Jack.
Our Jack that limps despite $3,000 of orthopaedic surgery and me lugging him to a dog physiotherapist for six weeks prior to the birth of the Big Sister.
Our Jack that survived four paralysis ticks, that vets assure me would have killed most dogs.
Our Jack that can leap tall fences in a single bound, despite his aging frame.
Our Jack that sees deep into your soul with his dark brown eyes.
Our Jack that would put his wet nose into the back of my leg and comfort me after "intense negotiations" with Bearhands during our stressful first year on the farm.
Our Jack that shares the back story of my childhood with my brothers, David and Anthony.
Our Jack that loves to swim because we snuck into Mum and Dad's swimming pool, even though we knew we'd get in trouble.
Our Jack that runs himself to exhaustion at the toss of a ball, because David spent countless hours hitting hockey balls in the backyard for him to retrieve.
And I cannot speak strongly enough about the magic of microchipping.
So over to you... Have you ever thought something was gone for good, only to have it returned to you?
Beth Mantle says
Oh my god, this made me CRY! What a great story and I'm so happy for you and Jack!
I had a Resurrection Chicken called Ginger. A few years ago I had a CatMax cat enclosure installed. The day the installer was due, a number of events lined up to cause a catastrophe:
- I left the garage door open at 8am so the installer could access the side of the house while I was at work,
- Ginger the boss chicken managed to escape from the hen pen, and
- A lonesome dog wandered past the house and decided to take a look in the back garden.
At about lunch time, the installer called me to let me know he'd only just arrived at the house and that there were feathers strewn all over the back garden. There was no body, but he said it didn't look good. I cried and refused to come home until evening. Ginger was gone.
A couple of weeks later I decided that having only two hens was really sad, and so I invested in another two to boost the flock. The four chooks were content in the back garden and I started to get over losing Ginger.
Then one Saturday, about a month later, my neighbour from two doors down knocked on my door.
"One of your chooks has got out and is in my front garden", she said.
I looked out the back window in consternation and counted my hens: one, two, three, four...
"But my chickens are all there", I said, pointing.
And then it dawned on me.
Sure enough, the chook in the neighbour's front garden was a more nervous, much thinner Ginger with a completely featherless rear end, and healing wounds from where she had plainly been attacked by a dog, but had managed to get away.
My miracle chook, Ginger the Resurrection Chicken, was back.
I lost her recently to blindness caused by meningitis. But she had a long life and laid many eggs, and she was the boss to the end.
Cooker and a Looker says
What a beaut story Beth! Was sorry to read about your fox attack the other night - poor chooks.
Resurrection Chickens would make a great name for one of those groups who rehome battery hens..... I think our next chooks might be retired battery hens.
Anne @ Domesblissity says
Amanda, I couldn't believe it when I read this. This is what movies are made of. What a wonderful, wondertul story, I'd be devastated if my dogs ever got lost but to find them is amazing. Good on you and good on Jack for being such a brave boy.
Cooker and a Looker says
Anne, I haven't seen the movie 'Red Dog' but a few people have commented that its similar. I had to call the vet back, after I caught my breath. I was truly shocked to get the call after so long.
Jackalack is back!!!!! Unbelievable! I need to see for myself. You write so beautifully!
Lydia C. Lee says
WOW! Brilliant story.Animals are amazing, aren't they?
That is AMAZING! What an incredible story!
Jack is a true trooper.
Maybe it's not just cats that have nine lives iSophie!
That is just amazing. What a special dog.
That is awesome, I am so, so glad that you got him back!! They are such a huge part of the family, I bet he is so happy to be home too!
I'd like to think he is, but I'm sure he was getting used to some comforts up there that we won't get here!
This is an amazing story. I am so happy for you all. I hope now that you're re-united you'll go on to enjoy some really special times. Give Jack a tummy tickle for me.
Will do Mumabulous!
Cranky Old Man says
I agree with Anne...this could be a wonderful movie. It almost made me cry...Oh Shit I did cry...but just a little.
Great story and well told.
Thanks Cranky Old Man - I'm sure you just had something in your eye!
I fear if I made a movie about my red dog it might encroach on the copyright of another Australian movie about a red dog!
Dawn Pereira says
Oh my what a wonderful story we remember Jack
What an amazing story. I am so glad to hear that you and Jack were reunited. I have a dog too and I cannot imagine how you must have felt when you lost him.
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Zanni Arnot says
Wow...I had goosebumps! What an amazing story! I hear of cats coming back after weeks, months, years...finding their way home to their owner at last. It happened to my mum's cat who was struck off after a week, and then returned. I am so glad you got your Jack back. That is truly a Heart Story! Thanks for sharing. xx
Oh that is a wonderful story! Welcome back Jack! I'm so glad my dog is microchipped after hearing that story. You are right, the lady who looked after him is an angel. It's people like that who give us faith in humanity.
What an amazing story !!!! So glad that he was found and returned. We have two dogs and they really are part of the family.
Have the best day !
How wonderful to be reunited with Jack.
We have recently bought a puppy and had him microchipped, it provides such peace of mind.
Thanks for sharing your story.
Carolyn Powell Simpson says
OMG, bawling my eyes out, we had a similar miracle with our dog Donut this year, we all sobbed like babies when he came home after nearly 3 years away... I'm so happy for you and Jack 🙂
Oh wow - what a miracle! As a dog lover myself, this story brought tears to my eyes! I'm so glad you got Jack back and thank God for people like the lady who looked after Jack while he was away from you 🙂 xo
Kylez @ A Study in Contradictions says
That is so unbelievably cool! So, so glad to hear you he's come home safe and sound. Definitely meant to be!
We think so Kylie. x
Now that is the happiest of happy endings. What a wonderful story. I feel a bit weepy after reading it, so glad you have your Jack back where he belongs. 🙂
Thanks. Me too! x
Have a laugh on me says
I'm waiting til the kids are a little older and I can't wait to get a 'Jack' ! So glad for the happy ending and microchipping - such a must 🙂 xx
Avoid a Jack at all costs Em - too much heartache! 🙂