Happy Endings: Man’s Best Friend

To usher in the New Year, my friend Caitlin and I decided to take her dogs to Turkey Creek and talk a bit about the coming year. In times past, we went to Bastrop State Park with a pad and pen in hand and wrote out resolutions. We’re less formal these days.

We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful morning to be out in the woods. Missy and Hazel, the dogs, were having a fabulous time off-leash, running with abandon and playing in the pools of water that were everywhere (thanks to the recent rains). About an hour into our trek, the dogs ran up an embankment and disappeared for a bit before coming back down…at least Hazel came back down. Missy was suddenly nowhere to be found. While Caitlin wasn’t really concerned, I don’t know the dogs the way she does and I was immediately worried about Missy. Nevertheless, we kept on walking ahead for some time until we were now both concerned that Missy hadn’t returned, despite our calling out to her.

As we began asking people on the trail if they’d seen her, we got reports that she had been seen heading back to the parking lot, and so we eventually turned in that direction. We’d also heard that she had run from people in the parking lot (unusual behavior) and even went out onto City Park Road (egads!).

When we made it to the parking lot there was no sign of Missy. Driving up and down the road didn’t lead us to her either, and so we decided to walk back to the mid point of the trail in hopes that we would find her that way (and because someone thought they’d seen her going back into the woods). The minutes were ticking by and before we knew it, two hours had passed since we’d last seen her (and there’d been no new sightings). I hoped that perhaps someone had picked her up and taken her home, but calls to the shelter and searches on Craigslist didn’t reveal any news.

Because a man on the trail mentioned that dogs sometimes head to the lake (a couple miles away), we decided to try that before giving up our search and heading home. Sure enough, a couple miles from the parking lot, there was Missy in the middle of that busy road, heading in our direction back toward Turkey Creek.

I am grateful to the angels I was silently asking to help find Missy, and I know that Caitlin was offering her own prayers as well. How wonderful to be reminded that prayers are indeed answered.

Here on the eve of 2012, I wish you and yours happy endings. The ups and downs along the way may appear stressful and scary at times, but don’t give up hope. There just might be a happy ending ahead, right around the bend.

©Maria K. Benning, M.Ed.

Licensed Pastoral Therapist

Sliding Scale Sessions $75-150

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