Lessons from an old, sick dog's crazy adventure

GUILFORD — On Friday, Sept. 8, many in the area experienced an amazing thunderstorm - possibly one of the most intense lightning strikes that I can ever remember.

We have a very old, very large, disabled dog. Luke generally spends 23 hours a day asleep - he takes an occasional mosey to the brook to lie down in the cool water. He has severe arthritis and diabetes, and is almost blind and likely deaf, but he still likes his food, swims, and ear rubs.

He was lying down in his normal place on the entryway of the house we are building in Guilford. When the chaos after a massive lightning strike was over, Luke was gone.

We hunted every place we could imagine, but since his usual walking radius is under a quarter mile, that was our search range. After about 3.5 hours of searching behind every tree and log, in every ditch, in the pond, and through the construction site, we concluded that he must be dead.

I put that information out to friends and family, but my daughter refused to believe Luke was gone unless she could see his body. She contacted the Humane Society, and they knew where he was!

So, 21 hours after he left the porch, Luke was found after his slog through the woods and bogs - about a mile away from his starting point!

When we picked him up, he actually seemed perfectly normal for an old, sick dog - tail wagging, hangdog look on his face.

We will never understand how a dog who almost never moves in a voluntary way was freaked out enough by the storm that it sent him on his crazy adventure, but I am so grateful that we have him back and he is snoozing away.

I certainly have learned a valuable lesson: No matter how old a dog (or a person?) is, don't assume they are not able to accomplish very surprising feats - especially under duress!

This Voices Letters from readers was submitted to The Commons.

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