Curiosity Nearly Killed the Dog

April 27, 2010
By , Glen Ellyn, IL
Dogs are known to have good senses and instincts. They can tell when it’s going to storm before anyone else can and their instincts can help them find their way home if they’re lost. After this encounter, I believe every one of these things and you are going to see why.

It all started one snowy night. It was just me, my mom, and my brother at our house. My mom and I were sitting in our family room and my brother was up in his bedroom. The mild snow storm that was reported in the news was roaring up into one, gigantic blizzard that blocked out the last of the fading light. As we were listening to the TV, hoping to hear more on the weather, my mom suddenly said, “Did it just get colder in here?”

This brought me back to my senses, and I also started to feel a draft coming in. We knew that it was really cold outside, but it was still too cold for just a draft near the front hall. There must be a window open in the house. We were both puzzled on the matter. Then, as if we could read each other’s thoughts, it dawned on us: Where are the dogs? Our dogs always cause trouble, especially Rocky, the older dog, but this was different. Could they be the cause of the mysterious draft? My mom sent me to investigate. As I stepped out of the room, my nose suddenly got colder, followed by the rest of my body. Once I got into the main hallway of our house, I was freezing. Then, as if I could hear that eerie music in horror movies playing in my head, I looked to my left and found the reason for the mysterious draft - the front door of our house was wide open. Thoughts were racing on an imaginary track in my mind as I stood there in a catatonic state. I thought came to a pit stop in my head: investigate. As I walked to the open door, something caught my eye in the snow in the front porch area. When I leaned to get a closer look, I saw what I desperately hoped wasn’t so: two sets of paw prints leading into the snowy wasteland that used to be our front yard. I looked out across the yard, hoping to get a glimpse of something moving that’s bigger that a squirrel, but the snow was as thick as clam chowder and made it impossible to see anything outside the front steps. I turned around and dashed back into the family room.

“Mom!” I burst out as I got into the room. “The front door is wide open and I can’t find the dogs! They must’ve escaped!”

“What makes you think the dogs escaped?” she questioned as she sat up in my dad’s recliner.

“I found two different sets of paw prints, one larger than the other, leading out into the walkway.”

“Are you sure they’re from the dogs? They could just be from some other animal.”

“Mom, what other animal would make tracks that start at the front door and head down the walkway?” I pleaded.
This must’ve convinced her because she sprang up from the chair and headed out towards the front door. I followed close behind. Once we got to the door, we could see the paw prints, but they were fading fast. My mom called up to Spencer, my brother, who up to now has been completely oblivious to this whole affair, to come down. Once he came down, my mom filled him in on the situation and told him to go out the back door to see if he could catch them while she and I stayed near the front door to see if they come back. My mom and I started to fear the worst. No animal can survive long in this kind of weather, especially dogs as small as they are. Rocky can be easily spotted, due to his brown fur, but Baxter, my other dog, has solid white fur, making him the hardest to spot since he can blend in easily with the snowy landscape.

Jus t as these very thoughts were going through my mind, Spencer calls out from the back, “I found them!”

We quickly went to the back and, sure enough, there they were, with the most pitiful, what-were-we-thinking looks I’ve ever seen. Wrapped underneath my brother’s arms, we could see they were really shivering. My brother told us the story.

“Just as I went out back, they started to come up the driveway. I guess they didn’t want to stay out there long.”

We soon wrapped them up in cold blankets and brushed off the snow stuck in their fur. After this little incident, I’ve learned to always know where your dogs are and to make sure that all doors and windows that are easily accessible by the dogs are closed during a snow storm, but I don’t think I have to worry. I think my dogs also learned a very important lesson that day: never go out into a blizzard without a coat.

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