Tuesday, May 30, 2006


buddy, originally uploaded by starbexxx.

So there we were, in the middle of nowhere, enjoying a fine brunch of farm fresh eggs (just whites for me, please) and this fried yuca-and-garlic dish I made the night before. (Simply slice yuca into sticks, boil for 10 minutes or so, saute 3 cloves of garlic in olive oil and add the recently-boiled yuca sticks to the garlic/oil liquid and saute. Salt and cayenne pepper to taste). And then, all of a sudden, just as we were remarking on the loveliness of the sylvan isolation, a dog suddenly appeared.

Now, there are many other forms of wildlife around the cabin - why, just that morning we'd discovered a scarlet tanager in the trees, and marveled at the luna moth clinging to the door.

There is also a squirrel who likes nibbling at the roof and several small chipmunks. We've also seen deer, and once a flock of turkeys waddled in front of the picture window. I, being the consumate wildlife expert, noted their fanned tails and shrieked, "Peacocks! Peacocks! ... I mean, TURKEYS! TURKEYS!"

But we'd never seen a dog there before.

Now, I don't speak dog, being firmly based in cat. But my boo is a dog fella. We fed the dog some leftover yuca and some egg yolks (just the whites for me, please!) and gave him a bowl of water. He seemed friendly -- a good dog. We reckoned he belonged to the family in the cabin downstream; they lived a short hike away but it was feasible that the dog could have wandered away. But then John checked his tags and called the phone number written there.

It turns out the dog belonged to a guy who lives the next town over. The dog ran away a week ago after getting "spooked" by the wind storm, and the owner was sure he was never going to see his dog again. He told us that everyone was so distraught that even the other dog in the household was "walking around with his nose all bent out of shape."

We told the owner where we were, and eventually he arrived and called when he was just at the bottom of the mountain. We lured the dog into John's car with a veggie hotdog and drove him down to meet his doggy-daddy.

And it was such a happy reunion! The owner was grinning and the other dog jumped out of his car. The dog who found us started scampering with the other dog. The owner called out, "Aren't you happy, Buddy?" I asked what the other dog was named. The man answered, "Buddy. They're all named Buddy."

Of course, that does save time at dinner - you'd just have to call out "Buddy" and all your dogs would arrive for chow.

The man thanked us and offered to buy us a bottle of Schnapps. We insisted there was no need - after all, the dog found us. We hadn't been looking for him.

I couldn't believe that silly looking cockerspaniel/mix dog was lost for a week. A whole week! How did he survive? What was he eating? Because, when he arrived, he wasn't begging for food. But he was all wet and he stunk to high holy heaven, so we'd figured he'd walked up the stream to get to the cabin.

But a whole week? Imagine what that poor dog went through! I bet Buddy is telling Buddy all about his adventures during his wild week in the wilderness. His own personal incredible journey. I bet one night he was sleeping under some roots and he saw a bear walk by and he stayed painfully still until the bear was gone and thought, "Schwoo, that was a close one."

But what was he eating? Was he skulking through people's backyards, and waiting til the people's dogs went inside and then eating the dry food the people left in a dish outside by the backdoor?

Was he rummaging through garbage cans? No, someone would have most certainly shot his butt full of buckshot.

So maybe there was a woman, let's call her Susan, who was a tad on the portly side. And she told all her friends that she was doing Weight Watchers and she'd already lost 8 pounds and she has so much more energy! But even though she likes that she's getting thinner, she has a raging case of PMS and she really needs to eat Twinkies. So she drives to the next town over and buys a two-pack of Twinkies at a gas station. No one noticed her, no one called her out. And she kept the Twinkies beside her on the passenger seat, and she knew she had to eat them before she got home (she couldn't let her husband see her eating Twinkies, now could she?) but she was enjoying the tantalizing torture of resisting the Twinkie temptation. When she was a few blocks from home, she couldn't hold out any longer. She ripped open the Twinkies and shoved one into her mouth, savoring the forbidden sponge cake and non-dairy "creme." But, oh no! Who's pulling up next to her at the intersection? Why, it's nosy neighbor Donna! Susan can't let Donna see her eating Twinkies. Blindly, Susan tosses the other Twinkie, still on its cardboard backing and sheathed in cellophane, out the window. It lands with a slight smoosh in some weeds.

And then maybe Buddy snurfled around and found the Twinkie and ate it! And it gave him the sustenance to survive another day!

I bet Buddy was just floored by Buddy's tale. I just know it.

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