Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Return of The Muffin Saga, Part IV

In 2008 I began a series of blog posts entitled The Muffin Saga about my dear doggie friend of 14 years, Muffin. There are 15 parts to this story about Muffin, my family and me. After numerous requests, I am again publishing the series, one part each Sunday for at least 15 weeks. I promise this time to complete the saga by adding parts XVI and XVII.

A few years after Muffin joined our family, we went on a camping vacation to the Smokey Mountains. Muffin stayed at a doggy hotel and didn’t accompany us. As soon as we got home, I picked up Muffin from her vacation hotel and, with her sitting beside me and licking my face, brought her home.

The next day we went shopping to restock out pantry shelves. After we returned home, I realized that Muffin wasn’t in the house. All of a sudden I remembered that she had gone outside to do her doggy thing and we’d not called her in before we left on the shopping excursion. I wasn’t worried because I figured that sooner or later Muffin, who was probably out raiding garbage cans, would show up on the porch, barking to be let in for her supper.

But she didn’t. And when darkness came, I became worried. I walked the town streets; then drove the town streets all night looking for her. By daylight I found that I had been up all night and had found no Muffin. I became resigned that she may have been hit and killed by a car, even though I didn’t find her body anywhere during my all-night search.

So I decided on another search, this time in daylight. I also decided that before I undertook this search I’d telephone the mayor, a member of my congregation, and ask him to inform the town's agencies that, should Muffin’s body be located, to contact me before disposing of it.

I can still picture the moment when I picked up the telephone to dial the mayor’s home. My hand was shaking and, even though I’d memorized the telephone number years before, I couldn’t remember it. I replaced the handset in the telephone cradle and picked up the church directory to look up the number.

It was then that I heard a noise outside the parsonage front door. I opened it and found Muffin lying on her side crying. I was about to express my joy when I saw the blood around her left hind leg and side. I called out to my sons; we wrapped Muffin in a blanket, and drove her to the animal hospital. The vet’s assistant took her out of my arms and carried Muffin into an examining room. The half hour or so that we waited for word on her condition was one of the longest I have ever spent in my life.

The vet finally came to us and said that luckily Muffin had had no internal injuries. She had, however, evidently been hit by a vehicle and her hind leg was broken. He recommended surgery to insert a metal rod in her leg until it healed. Of course I OK’d it and the vet set to work operating on my shaggy dog.

The vet kept Muffin over night to be sure she came out of the anesthetic OK. When I picked her up, I saw that she had about two inches of a steel rod sticking up out of her hind leg. Being Muffin, she quickly learned to walk with the stiff leg. About ten weeks later the vet removed the rod and Muffin was completely healed—not even a limp!

Where had Muffin been all night? The vet suggested that after she had been injured she may have crawled somewhere she considered safe and hid there to regain her strength. With daylight she made her way the rest of the way home.

To Be Continued

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