So, I'm sitting here, working on a story, and out of the corner of my eye, I notice movement in the backyard. So I duck my head down to look under the edge of the blinds and... there's a dog.
It's not unusual to see a dog wandering around in our backyard. There's a hole in the back gate that, despite my best attempts to block it, somehow is always open (I suspect our children in this matter), and thus, must be irresistibly tempting to the canine species.
There's a Jack Russell who comes into our backyard regularly, trots around to sniff things out, then departs without so much as a flick of an eye at me if I come out to address him. There's an Aussie Shepherd from down the street that comes in at least once a month, but she's very shy of me, and will flee if I look like I'm coming out the back door. A chihuahua comes strutting in, takes a quick tour around the yard and struts back out every now and then. And a large, hairy, brown mixed breed makes occasional visits, as well as a small rag mop type dog.
This morning, it was a beagle, and I watched it for a few seconds, then went back to my writing, figuring that it, like all the other dogs, would find its way back out.
A little while later, I look out and... the beagle is romping happily through the remains of our drought and sun raddled garden, before heading toward the garden shed which I see with alarm is open. So, I got up, threw on some jeans and went out, because I figured Mr. Beagle had forgotten the way out.
I noticed something a little odd about Mr. Beagle, but it wasn't until he turned his right side toward me and I blinked. He only had three legs. One front leg was missing.
I sat on the porch and spoke to him, and he came lolloping happily toward me. Yes, that is the exact word to describe it, "lolloping," and I just invented it and am very proud of it! So, Mr. Beagle came lolloping happily toward me, sniffed me, decided I would do, and cemented that by flopping down in my lap. After a few rather hairy and damp moments, we went to the water spigot, and he refreshed himself while I got a look at his rabies tag and discovered that his human and I share the same vet clinic. So I called and asked, "Do you have a three legged male beagle as a client?" and read the number off his collar.
"Oh, yes, we do!" the receptionist said, laughing. "Oh, my, is he with you now?"
"Yes," I said while he drooled on my foot. "He's very tired and sort of flopped down on my porch."
"You're the fourth person this week to call about him! I'll just let his owner know and have him call you, if that's all right?"
Of course, it was all right, and do you know, the owner just lived about six blocks down from us? I was a little surprised when one a member of our fire and rescue crew drove up, but it was his beagle, and he called Mr. Beagle his three legged miracle, promised to tell me the story another time because he had to go back to the station.
No, he didn't skip off duty to come get his dog. Apparently, everyone at the station insisted he go get Mr. Beagle and bring him by, because they hadn't seen him in a while!!
We exchanged numbers, because we figured Mr. Beagle was probably going to be making a lot of "visits" here.
Three legged beagles... don't think I'll be surprised by anything that shows up in my backyard anymore!