Owen and Spenser (the Wonder Dogs) and I went picking wild black raspberries today.
We went to the hay field first that has raspberries growing around it, but the Japanese beetles had decimated those vines. I gathered up the Wonder Dogs (Spenser couldn’t believe we were leaving so soon, he practically defined “hang dog” coming back to the truck). But little did Spenser know we were heading for the woods at the home farm.
I parked on the north side of the woods and we worked our way around the north side and then down the east side. There’s a swamp on the east side and around it the raspberries were plentiful.
I was picking and Spenser was getting his hound on, running through the woods and howling as he tracked various woodland creatures. Owen was following me, but when we got to the swamp he turned aside and I heard him getting a drink in the swamp.
I kept picking and Spenser kept running and howling and I didn’t hear anything from Owen. That wasn’t unusual. He tends to loll in the shade as much as possible.
A half hour or so later it was getting on towards lunchtime and I had enough berries. Spenser was coming around in one of his howling passes near me so I captured his attention and said, “Let’s get Owen and head home.” And then I looked around and Owen was nowhere to be seen.
Now Owen is a little dog (or at least short) and the grass is tall, so I didn’t think much of it. “Ohh-En” I called… Nothing…
“Well, bleep,” I said. I started slogging around the swamp. Owen’s stubby and I imagined him bogged down somewhere. I fought all the way around the swamp through muck and brambles and fallen trees. No Owen.
“Maybe he went back to the truck,” I thought. So I stumbled across the northeast corner of the woods to the truck, still calling “Ohhh-En” thinking that if he had cut through the woods heading for the truck I might find him in the woods. I get through the woods to my truck and… no Owen. I went back around the outside of the woods to the swamp, thinking he might be hunkered down in the shade along the edge of the woods. Still no Owen.
“Spenser,” I said, “go find Owen.” He dutifully ran off into the woods howling while I made another lap around the swamp.
I was about to call Debbie and ask her to come over help me comb the woods for the Prodigal Corgi when I thought, “surely he wouldn’t have gone back up to the barn?” It’s a hard half mile from the woods to the barn, through brush and trees and up and down hills. But before I called Debbie and admitted I’d lost Owen I figured I’d check.
I thrashed across the woods yet again, got in my truck and drove up to the barn. And there was Owen.
He looked at me with an expression like, “what are you doing here?” I boosted him up into the truck and we went back to the woods to get Spenser. Spenser had realized he’d been left and was heading up the lane pell-mell. He’d run so much I thought I was going have to boost him into the truck too, but after only a couple tries he got in himself.
And now we’re all enjoying the fruits of our labors.
The Wonder Dogs are sacked out.
And Debbie and I are enjoying delicious wild raspberry pie.
(Through enormous self restraint I got a picture of the pie before devouring the last slice.)