Bacardi is our twelve-year-old cocker spaniel. We have never had a spaniel live longer than 8 years…. (No doubt, after reading my story). She is definitely the sweetest dog we have ever had. Not really the smartest kid in the spelling bee, but she has her charms… One of her charming habits is her nightly walkabout… At our old house, before bedtime, she would take a slow and leisurely walk around the back yard, enjoying the evening air.
There was little opportunity to have a walkabout at the townhouse. On the island, she has reconnected with her habit and tends to explore the property late at night. She usually comes back pretty quick and we don’t really worry about her. When we first got here, I found her in the middle of the night at the back of the property eating apples off the tree. Sitting in the dark, oblivious to my calls, expecting them to drop for a midnight snack.
Last night, still recovering from a weekend trip to Las Vegas, I went to bed early. I couldn’t even make it to the end of the hockey game. Sammi and I went to bed around 9:00. Before E came to bed he let the dogs out.. this is the usual routine.. and when Bacardi didn’t come back we sent Sammi out to get her. This usually works.. He is pretty bossy and manages to herd her back into the house when she is delaying his bedtime.
We sent Sammi out twice and both times he came back without her and curled up on the bed.. Apparently if she doesn’t want to come in and snuggle in our cozy bed, it wasnt his problem..
So E went out with his flashlight. He looked under the house and down at the water access.. He went up the hill to the bluff over the cut, over to the neighbour’s house and up owl lane to the apple trees.. (the apple trees are bare this time of year but as I said.. not too bright)
He came back and said there was no sign of her.. so I got up and dressed, grabbed a flashlight and went up the hill with him. We looked again and called to her.. She is pretty deaf but still she should be able to hear us calling that loud.
I should mention that if Bacardi loses us during the day. ie we are working at the burn pile behind her instead of in front of her . She will go down to the front door of the house and bark and bark and bark and bark and bark until we come and get her or show her where we are working.. Once she catches sight of us she stops barking and comes to join in our project..
So we thought she would bark if she was stuck somewhere.. The only thing we could think of was either she had gone for a long walk to see A maybe or she had fallen off the cliff.. But if she had fallen you would think Sammi would have barked or she would be crying… eghad.. how was I going to tell the kids…
We came back down the hill to the house one more time and we shone the flashlight on the rocks down below the window seat.. at first there was nothing but I must have seen a shadow or something because I asked E for his flashlight and I shone both down together … and Lord Almighty.. there she was walking around the corner toward me…. she was down on the rock ledge below the house..
She didn’t look hurt.. just scared.. She didn’t look up to see us. She was preoccupied with pacing back and forth trying to attempt crossing the water to the next rock ledge… How did she get down there????
We have water access in front of the house but there is a disconnect.. (we thought) to the ledge that wraps around the house….We will have to go down in our boat one day and figure out how she did it but in the mean time..
How are we going to get her back up? It was 11:30 now. The rain had stopped and the wind died down but the water was going to rise and she couldn’t stay there very much longer. We phone the Y’s as E was going to need DY to go out in the boat with him to rescue her… But the Y’s had the C’s over for dinner.. So DY and DC jumped in their tin can while their wives drove over to watch from above with us.. It took them about 20 minutes to get here as they had engine problems.. All the while we just shone the light on her…
Sammi just watched the goings on and didn’t seem concerned at all that his sister (by marriage) was at the bottom of a cliff…..
As it turned out it was great to have DC’s tin can.. Our big boat would have been very awkward to get up against the rocks.. Note to self we really need to get a small dingy here on the property for just such an occasion..
She didn’t tell us how she got there or explain what the hell she was thinking.
This morning when she walked into the living room, alive and with not a scratch on her.. I felt she needed a treat.
So I gave her a banana.