When we got back to Grandjean after days in the wilderness, a soda pop at the Grandjean Lodge was a real treat.
Then there was the business of unloading the horses and mule. They were glad to be home, free from the weight of being beasts of burden.
Our dog Flip was scurrying about, excited as ever, and happened behind the mule as it was being unpacked. For whatever reason, the mule chose that moment to get spooked and let out a good kick. Flip was so startled he ran back up the trail from whence we had come.
We called and called. And called some more.
We waited and called.
Flip was not coming back.
Dad had to be at work the next day, so, reluctantly, we packed up the car, waited some more, and drove the hundred slow, winding miles to Boise.
Four days later we got a call from the Lodge saying they had Flip.
They had seen him three times before that. He would get as far as the edge of the lodge property and look around, then head back up the trail. Each time he was a little slower to run away when the folks at Grandjean started to approach.
Finally Flip was so tired and torn up and famished he let the folks at Grandjean get hold of him. He had been kept in the lodge ever since. He was eating but he was broken hearted.
The folks at Grandjean figured Flip had run back and fourth four times, covering the entire trail we had been camping on for days, in a desperate effort to find us.
So he laid in the lodge at Grandjean, without the energy or will to move. But they were keeping him inside just to make sure he didn’t head up the trail once again.
Two days after the call, Flip was languid on the floor when an ear perked up. In seconds his head was off the floor, aiming for a better listen. And suddenly he was on his feet, barking and whining and dancing and jumping and wild with joy.
It was another ten minutes before the humans could hear the deep throaty V-8 engine of my Dad’s Cadillac driving up the road. But they knew it was coming.
When the green car was well in sight, they let Flip out the door. As he tore past them and out the gate and onto the road his tail was wagging so hard his back legs had trouble continuing to hit the dirt.
Our dad had trouble getting the car door open and then trouble getting out of the car because he was being so jumped on and face-licked by the world’s most joyful soul.