You never know what’s going to happen around WarmFuzzy’s and Sunday we had another adventure.

All four tires on our vehicle were a little low on air and inclement weather was on the way so we decided to drive into town and air them up as one less thing to worry about. We were headed down the highway on our way back when the Missus suddenly stopped the vehicle in the middle of the road. She was driving. She doesn’t like it when I drive. I don’t like it when I drive either so we have a system worked out. Anyway, back to my story. There was a white boxer hauling tail at a brisk clip straight toward us, right in the middle of our lane! As the dog approached, I stepped out to greet her and asked what she was doing out on the road. She came around and faced me, wagging her tail, so I petted her head, opened the car door and told her to get in, which she did without additional coaxing. Friendly little dog. Slurpy dog. I got kisses when I got in.

Out here in the country houses out here are few and far between. We stopped at the nearest residence to ask if the dog was theirs or if they might know the owner. It wasn’t and they didn’t but they’d heard that the dog had been hanging around for “a couple of weeks.” Their neighbor tried unsuccessfully to locate the owner. Mom lived in a house out back but she didn’t know the dog either. Great, we might have a stray on our hands, I thought, but the dog seemed healthy, well-fed and very happy. Is she male or female? Check it out. Yep, she’s a little girl. She was wearing a red collar with no tags and also an expensive flea collar. Her toenails were worn down, proof that she was definitely used to being outside.

We decided to call one of the vet clinics in town that is supposed to accept strays and help find the owners, but their “supposed to” and “actually do” are often different things. We described the dog and the vet immediately knew who it was. He said, “The owner of that dog is a bad man.” How so? The two of them apparently had a heated discussion over a vet bill. That’s not our concern, we just want to know who owns this dog. The vet couldn’t remember the man’s name but said that he lived in town somewhere off of 4th street. Could you be a bit more specific? The vet said the man had a fenced yard (duh) and that he had recently lost a son to bone cancer. It’s a small town where everyone knows everyone’s business and this tidbit of info just might help us find the owner. It’s weird but hey, whatever works.

We headed back into town and we were soon slowly cruising down 4th street in search of a man who may or may not be pissy, who has a fenced yard, and who recently lost his son. At the first house we found with a fenced yard, we knocked on a door and spoke with the folks. They didn’t recognize the dog, nor did they know anyone who recently died of bone cancer but “There is someone at the mortuary who died of lung cancer yesterday. He’s [name deleted]’s, nephew. They live off of AA Highway.” Sad story. Close to where the dog found us but that’s not our guy. Thank you. Bones and lungs are two different parts of the body but what if the vet got the story wrong? How would the vet know if the man just died yesterday? Still sifting clues. Time to move on.

We found another fenced yard and knocked on the door of that house. I immediately recognized this elderly fellow from years ago from when a bunch of us used to get together every morning at the local pharmacy for coffee. He was still driving that same small purple pickup truck of his. It’s either hard to sell a truck that color or he’s genuinely fond of it. Anyway, the pharmacy in town was sold, the new owner remodeled the place and things were just never the same after that. The group eventually dissolved. Sad. After a short reunion, he shuffled out to the car to meet the dog but no, he didn’t know the owner. There was a woman that lived around the corner who owned a small white dog but she moved to Harrisonville about a month ago. Thank you. It’s good to see you again.

Do we have an abandoned dog? I hope not. We decided to keep looking.

We stopped to talk to a man who was using a leaf blower in his yard. He was very friendly and wanted to help but he didn’t recognize the dog. He said if he didn’t already have two dogs he’d take it. Good luck.

We came upon yet another house with a fenced yard and I knocked on the door. A friendly lady with two small barky dogs came to the door. LOUD, high-pitched barky dogs! Little ankle biter critters with cute haircuts. The lady stepped outside to get away from the noise (thank you) and I told her about the boxer in our car and where she’d found us. She said it wasn’t hers and then pointed, “You might want to go down this road to the end and it’s not the house on the end but the one to the left of that one. They might know something.” I told her what the vet said about having a heated argument with the owner. She nodded with a smile and said, “Yeah, that’s probably, [name deleted], he’s got a temper. He used to live at the house at the end of the street, (not that house but the one to the left of that one) but he sold that house and moved into those apartments behind the vet clinic. He’s building a house out south of town.” I added that the vet said the man had recently lost his son to bone cancer and she nodded, “That’s definitely [name deleted]. I don’t know what apartment he lives in or if his new house is done but you go south out of town on the gravel road next to the reservoir, two miles. Take a left onto that gravel road and it’s not the first house on the right but the second one that sits back in a field.”

People who live in small towns are awesome.

Headed back the other direction, we turned right onto the gravel road just past the reservoir and we were on our way south. First gravel road…second gravel road…turn left. Not that sad old house on the corner, it’s the second…holy smokes what a beautiful place! The long driveway wound around to the back and now I’m getting a little nervous that we were driving back to what appeared to be a large workshop behind someone’s house. Folks in the country don’t like trespassers. Trespassers often die of lead poisoning. Gorgeous workshop! I’m jealous. There were two Klipsch outdoor speakers hanging on the wall outside, pointed at the wide driveway. Those speakers sound awesome and they are very expensive! Now I’m really jealous! I knocked on the door and shortly thereafter a somewhat short, clean-cut, friendly fellow appeared. I hoped he wasn’t going to be pissy. We were on his property behind his house, a ways from the street and too far to be heard if things went wrong. I asked the man if he might be missing a dog. “Yes, a small, white boxer, named Coco.” That’s the one! He left his door wide open while we walked to our car. I opened the car door, Coco jumped out and ran into the house…and then back out…and then back in…and then back out again.  Happy happy happy! We have a winner and Coco has a rich daddy.

After a short conversation about fleas and ticks and flea collars, we were on our way. Another happy ending.

Yep, we sure had an adventure Sunday and so did Coco. From what we could tell, she was on her way back home, the home she knew before they moved. Not the house at the end of the road but the one to the left of that one.

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