The Homecoming

I lost my dog this week. I walked out the “gulch gate” to pick some heliconia for a wreath I was making and both Lily and Akamai followed me out….usually not a problem, but a cat came out from under the bridge….and both dogs took off in pursuit. Akamai (such a good boy….) did return when I called, but Lily the whippet mix could not resist her inherent hunt/chase instinct, and she was probably already out of earshot when I called.

I hung around on the bridge for awhile, walked along the fence skirting the gulch, calling. But there was no response. Of course, some of you may remember that Lily came to us as a lost pup….and I imagine the original circumstances were similar…..
….which didn’t make me feel any less distraught. I got in the car, drove up the cane road, then down the county road, stopping periodically with windows open to call her name. I drove down to the old highway, through the deep gulches, calling, with no response, and finally drove home, on the verge of tears.

As I came down the hill though, I saw her pacing back and forth in the farmer’s field below us, on the other side of the fence (this is about a quarter mile from where she bolted), trying to find a way back into the yard. I drove down to the fenceline. Akamai had run down to join us and was frantically whining, trying to get to her on the other side of the fence. I reached over and hauled her into my arms, lifting her into the enclosed yard. Sbe and Akamai (and belatedly Ewalani) all fell over each other with joy at their reunion.

For years, the three dogs have met us at the back gate when we drive up to it, waiting for the “click” of the solar gate opener, and they bolt out when it opens enough for them to squeeze through, running to the car where they wait for us to pat their heads through the open car window. But since her adventure, Lily runs to the gate, noses it…..but refuses to exit it as it opens. She looks like she will start to….then, tail between her legs, turns back into the yard and waits for us to drive in. Clearly, she is afraid of getting lost again.

This has been a hard year. We have all had so many losses….lives, jobs, health and fellowship to name a few. I pray for all of us that God will reach over the fence and haul us back into his safe enclosure, where we can, like the dogs, fall over each other with joy at our reunion and salvation and never again fear being lost.

A blessed, and safe, Christmas to you all.

Photo by sergio souza on Pexels.com

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