As a long-time, unpaid pet detective, I feel qualified to offer time-tested advice to keep your best friend safe and healthy. Pets are, after all, God’s sweetest gift to mankind, ranked by …
As a long-time, unpaid pet detective, I feel qualified to offer time-tested advice to keep your best friend safe and healthy. Pets are, after all, God’s sweetest gift to mankind, ranked by Blessings Quarterly just ahead of a cool breeze on a hot roof.
I won’t bother with the obvious, like never strike a dog because you’re having a bad day (we all know those people will find hell a bit stifling), but will focus on less obvious, but equally-vital reminders. I’m talking that unlikely happenstance a nurturing pet owner might never give a second thought. For instance, should you let your dog out of your vehicle to pee, always remember to secure him/her back into that vehicle before driving off in a second vehicle.
That sounds pretty basic, but let’s say you’re about to golf 18 holes at the Powell Golf Club. Your cohort arrives in the cart and in your haste, assume you’ve secured your dog like a a thousand times previous. It’s theoretical of course, but what if you return after the front nine, visit your vehicle to relieve your buddy and to your shocked consternation, there’s neither hide nor hair?
Is this an extreme, unlikely scenario only used to dramatize a point? Well, sure, OK, but it’s not beyond the realm of possibility — and who could judge that person irresponsible for one unintentional lapse? Exactly.
Now that we’re on the same page, I’ll confess that scenario did indeed happen to me — ME of all people — and my precious Ginger. I arrived that August day and, while awaiting Dave Beemer to fetch me in the golf cart, let Ginger out as always, since she has a medicated, manageable bladder tumor.
I’m following behind as she struts along those bushes by the No. 10 tee area, stopping frequently to squeeze out her few drops. She even dropped a stool at one point, just as two burly chaps approached to tee off. Pointing to the offending heap, I quipped, “I think you’re supposed to hit from the brown markers.”
I got a disgusted chuckle at best as I dutifully cleaned up the doody and Ginger continued down the bush line. At one point, I noticed a car pulling in next to my truck and rushed over to shut my open door. The self-titled “Beem the Dream” arrived in the cart and we proceeded to tee-box No. 1, where I bounced my first mighty drive about 20 yards into a clump of bushes.
My game improving, I couldn’t wait to get to that tree-trap back nine I much prefer. Dave headed to the clubhouse and as I neared my truck to again let Ginger out. Imagine my perplexed horror finding an empty truck. Did someone overreact to a confined dog with open windows and cold water, in the truck Ginger would rather be than anywhere in the world, and set her free?
Everyone knows their own dog, though, and in mid-70s weather, I wouldn’t dream of leaving sweet, elderly Ginger home alone. But she was gone, and no one we frantically queried had seen her. Dave rushed inside while I asked one more party of four about to depart. The other three shook their heads, but a lady on her phone stopped for a second to say, “If she’s black and tan, I saw her on the highway heading towards Garland.”
Rankled, she returned to her phone without mentioning a timeframe or highway progression. I leapt into my truck in near-panic and slowly, fruitlessly drove that road all the way to Garland and back. With my phone still in the cart, I had no way of calling authorities for any reports.
With Beemer still out patrolling the course, I ran inside and frantically stated my case to an obviously sympathetic gal named Jane behind the bar. She reported Ginger had been seen at some point lying just outside the clubhouse door and a gent sitting with club pro Kury piped up that he’d tried to corral her an hour earlier on No. 15, but she ran off.
Beem returned and we took his truck for another highway run. I was praying and later learned Dave was doing the same. About halfway to Garland, I heard the three most beautiful words imaginable in that situation: “There she is!”
Parallel with the canal, nearly obscured by weeds, Ginger was scared, tired and thirsty, but she was back! I couldn’t hug her enough as we left her with a dish of cold water and headed to the back nine. (One might conjecture after all that, we’d forget golf and count our blessings. That’s a fair appraisal, but that’s not how golf addicts roll.) Call it gratitude inspiration, but I golfed my heart out, lowering my front nine score by 12 (sadly, short of the course record).
I’ll conclude with a final pet-friendly PSA: Should your dog be hunched in that No. 2 position, don’t make cute jokes to bystanders. Ginger’s expression left no doubt it’s embarrassing for a dog.
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