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Reunited and it feeels soo good . . . Edie is home safe again, depleted, but sound

2/25/19 If ever I have known tears of joy, if ever I have known God's grace, if ever I have known the solace and blessing of friends and friendship, if ever despite the evil in the world I have known the greater, prevailing element of human goodness, if ever I have known that dogs are the olive branch among all peoples, politics, societal divisions, and religions, it is now. Edie was recovered by live trap yesterday, on the fifteenth day, depleted in weight, but otherwise unharmed.

This nightmare of all nightmares is at end.

As an humble and impossibly sufficient way to thank from the bottom of our hearts all the many people, near and far, who have offered counsel, thoughts and prayers for this divine outcome, and as a possible aid to others who, God forbid, may someday find themselves in similar predicament, I will try to relate the foremost details of this horrific, but ultimately triumphant saga. As I sit down to do so, I realize that its elements, major and minor, even related basically, are more than can be reasonably done in one sitting. There are aspects which are amazing, others that are mystical and will ever remain so. So I will do it as a series, starting today by setting the background for its happening:

We live, as many central North Carolinians today, in what can best be described as a semi-rural setting, 30 miles north and proximal to Raleigh and Durham. The immediate physical area of our domicile, kennel, and grounds is roughly twenty acres. There are large blocks of woods and croplands on our every side, divided by several well-traveled state roads, and bordered some 4-5 miles north and south by major highways.

Now 76, the outdoors has been the cathedral of my religion since childhood. I have traveled most of the world hunting, fishing and writing, always happiest when there was a dog in it. When Eve soiled the humanly plan in Eden, God gave us dogs to show what we might have been. Loretta and I have been married 54 years, have had and raised many dogs over the years, mostly sporting breeds, Edie one of the most recent, our 24/7 house guardian and beloved companion ( despite all, you cannot help but have favorites) who, like a few others before her, have brought daily joy and filled that certain void of our souls as only dogs can.

Make no mistake, despite her cushy daily accession to us, Edie is all JR! From the kennel of one of the most outstanding and knowledgeable breeders in the country, by blood, from many champions, she hails from the very heart of old core bloodlines carrying back domestically and across the Waters to some of the most well made, courageous and grittiest forebears of her breed.

In the 15 day length of her absence, she did what she had to, to survive, fundamentally revert to wild.

The weather has been, and was during the period of her absence the coldest, wettest, and nastiest on record, which has prevailed chronically over the past year, upending NC meteorological history.

In addition to the vehicular dangers (Edie has never had reason to be streetwise), our surroundings are more than usually infested with coyotes, many drawn to the semi-captive others that are tentatively confined in a roughly 750 acre coyote pen, one section of which lies immediately across the road.

Shortly before Edie was lost, The NC Wildlife Resources issued a warning to pet owners to keep their dogs close, as for the next few weeks it was breeding season for coyotes.

Our benevolent and caring neighbors opened land access to me, otherwise adamantly controlled, even though farm passage was the rottenest (muddiest, most vulnerable to damage) it has ever been in century history, with the words "do whatever you need to do." That, alone, was priceless.

I have a good Chevy 4-whl drive truck.

I have dear old friends who reminded me once again of why I love them.

Edie, to our knowledge, never ranged more than three miles from home, ultimately establishing a rough area of speculative survival habitation.

I think we had one tentative window of opportunity, beyond that I felt we would not get her home.

All these elements and more, plus what can only be termed divine intervention, played critically in the quest and the outcome of bringing Edie home.

TOMORROW: How she was lost???

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