Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.
It was a few minutes past 6:30 in the AM on the Monday Morning of the 25th day of November when the beagles, Sharolette and Barbaree, leaped for joy as they ran down the EastWing stairs to the grass. The routine has, by now, pretty much been established. The beagle girls go out at 6:30 AM and I don’t see ‘em again until I come home from the office in early to mid afternoon. Yeah, I’m kinda lazy, no longer work full 8 hour days, just kinda come and go as I choose.
Arriving home that afternoon, I was greeted by Sharolette only. That’s not too unusual, as Barbaree is the real hunter of the two beagles. As darkness came on, I continued to look for Barbaree at any minute to come to the glass doors of the EastWing. Evening came, and morning followed. Sharolette slept alone. On the morning of the 26th Sharolette did not want to go outside when the time came to go outside. With encouragement, she done her duty and, wonder upon wonder, she came back to the EastWing glass and insisted on coming back inside the house. With Sharolette insisting on staying inside, I put her in the crate and went to work.
Much of last night and all of the morning on the way to the office that day, my thoughts were on Barbaree. What happened to that little beagle? Why would she run away? I finally concluded that there was no way the little girl dog would leave the EastWing, life was too good to just up and run off. The only home she’d ever known, the sister she’d been with from birth, the cats she loved to play with, (not Sophia, Spike The Man Cat), and her very special friend, Mr. Bentley. No, there was just no way that Barbaree would leave the EastWing by her own choosing. For that, I was sure. There had to be another reason for her disappearance. The day at the office was spent in worry about a little beagle girl dog named Barbaree.
On the way home that afternoon, I pulled the car in the garage after hearing the weather forecast of an impending massive lake effect snow for Starke County. Walking from the garage to the house I heard a beagle howling. Thinking it was Sharolette whom I’d left in the crate that morning, I’m thinking she’s really howling loud for me to hear her all the way outside. As I walked inside the house, Sharolette was not howling from the crate.
As usual, Mr. Bentley was overjoyed to see me and showed such by trying his best to push me over with his excitement. Mr. Bentley and I go to the EastWing and rescue Sharolette from the crate. I opened the glass door to the east and the two dogs leaped to the dirt, ran like the wind to the north edge of the lawn. There Mr. Bentley stopped cold, turned and looked me directly in the eye. He had never done that in all his days at the EastWing. Forever, Mr. Bentley has always ran to the east. That day he ran north. Something inside me simply said follow, and so I did.
As soon as Mr. Bentley realized I was coming toward him, he ran into the freshly picked corn field north of the EastWing. Mr. Bentley ran maybe 100 feet then stopped, and once again looked me directly in the eye. When he realized I was still following, he once again ran into north Wind as fast as he could go. As I walked northward, I realized that I was being lead by Mr. Bentley. Of that, there was no doubt, he would run, stop, look back, and run again.
A chill came over me as I realized I’d come outside without a coat in 28° weather following a dog, having no idea where I was going or any knowledge as to why I was even there. But I was there, and with labored breathing almost to the point of inability to continue, I continued to follow Mr. Bentley.
All the while I’m following Mr. Bentley, I’m walking the east property line which is identified by a very deep ditch. Almost a ½ mile north of home, Mr. Bentley stops and looks back once again. He sees me still trying to catch up. He changes directions. Bentley goes down the ditch bank and pops up on the other side.
Now I’m 150 feet away but I can clearly see Mr. Bentley on the other side of the ditch. As I continue toward his location, he goes from the far side of the ditch to my side of the ditch. When Mr. Bentley comes up on my side to the ditch, we once again makes eye contact. Just as soon as that happens, Bentley goes down the ditch bank and pops up on the other side.
When I reach the spot where Mr. Bentley went down the ditch bank, I walk over to the ditch bank and looked down.
Barbaree is setting in the bottom of a deep dry ditch bed, her right foot stuck fast in a large steel trap. Mr. Bentley is standing at her side. I shivered when I realized what I had to deal with. I fell on my butt going down the ditch bank, and I knew that going back up was going to be a problem.
Thought I could push it open, that steel trap, by hand. I could not. Don’t know if they’re building steel traps stronger or I’m getting weaker, either way, I had to place it on the dirt and step on the damn thing to get my beagle’s foot free. Of course Barbaree did help to the extent she could. Just as soon as I’d relieved the least amount of pressure, I’m sure she pulled like crazy to get out of that trap. In the blink of an eye, Barbaree was free at last. Thank God, free at last.
Damn near froze to death and unable to walk, I picked Barbaree up and started up the ditch bank. It became apparent real soon that I could not climb the ditch bank holding Barbaree in my arms and wearing Crocks in place of real shoes. What to do, oh Lord, what to do. As the ole boy in the move “Oh Brother Where Art Thou” said “damn we’re in a tight spot”.
My beagle couldn’t climb the ditch bank, I wouldn’t leave my beagle, and I couldn’t climb carrying my beagle and wearing Crocks. I thought maybe I could climb the ditch bank bare footed. The decision was made, I pulled off the Crocks, threw the Crocks up on the land. Picked up my injured Barbaree, then bare footed in 28° weather, clawed my way up the ditch bank to the flat corn field above.
By the time I got there we had to stop and rest, me and Barbaree. After winning the battle of the ditch bank, just breathing was now my major issue to deal with, but Barbaree was in my arms, so life was good and all was well.
Almost a ½ mile from home and carrying a beagle may not sound like a challenge to many. One of my medical conditions is called Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Now that’s just fancy doctor talk meaning ya can’t breathe worth a damn.
Having that problem severely limits one’s ability to walk any measurable distance. Yet I carried the beagle, and we started home. Four rest stops along the way made all the difference in the world. Now Mr. Bentley didn’t quite understand why I was stopping so much and I didn’t have the breath to explain the reason why, so he just sat and waited for me to carry on. It seemed Mr. Bentley wanted to get Barbaree home as much as I did. One thing for sure, Mr. Bentley was not going to leave little Barbarees side.
We got home, Barbaree and me and Mr. Bentley all the while being accompanied by Sister Sharolette, barking every other step. Barbaree was first taken to the water dish before she left my arms. She drank away two days of thirsty. When her thirst was quenched, I carried Barbaree to the food where she ate away two day of hungry. Now hydrated and with a full belly, I carried Barbaree to her EastWing Couch. Barbaree was home safe at last.
From the time I picked Barbaree up in the ditch to the time I delivered her to the couch, Mr. Bentley had not had an opportunity to touch her. He was at my side on the way home, but not able to get to Barbaree. After Barbaree was placed on one of the EastWing couches, Mr. Bentley walked over and licked her injured paw.
Tears came to my eyes as I realized one of my dogs had, in all probability, saved the life of the other. Mr. Bentley continued to lick Barbarees right injured paw. Tranquility flooded the EastWing. The tribulation was over.
Stay safe in Afghanistan.
From The EastWing,The Tribulation, A Beagle Lost, Trapped In Steel, A Rescue Angel Named Bentley, Bare Footed & Going Home
I Wish You Well,