How a microchip & registration saved my new best friend
I have been a long haul trucker for more than ten years. Being a long haul driver can get a little tense at times. When you don’t have any kids, the wife can travel with you once in a while, but when the kids come, you’re basically on your own.
I decided that a canine companion might be the ticket. I had my eye on a Jack Russell Terrier from a breeder I knew in Kansas. I thought the Jack Russell breed would be perfect for me. You see, when I’m not driving truck, I like to do a little hunting on the side. Plus I know these breeds are extremely loyal. This little guy was the cutest little thing I ever saw and he seemed to bond with me right away. I said to her, “That’s the one I want. Save him for me.” She did.
A few years ago, when I was making a run down that way, I picked him up. He was nervous as ever to leave his mom and his brothers and sisters but I calmed him down as best I could. I decided to name him Butler. He just looked like a little Butler to me. I showed him his new bed in the back of my cab and gave him a few treats. “You be a good dog, now. There’ll be more where that came from. You just settle down.” Butler and I said our good-byes and headed back east.
Most of the trip went fairly well. I made sure I stopped often to give him a bit of exercise, some water and fresh air. It was about 4:00 a.m. and we were just inside the Georgia border when I smelled something was wrong. I looked back and sure enough, my new little buddy had vomited all over in the back of my cab. Whew!!! That was a smell to behold! Well, I couldn’t stop right then but I knew I would have to clean that up as soon as I could.
I drove into Marietta and pulled into the truck stop. I was totally unprepared for what happened next! As soon as I opened the door, Butler bolted! I tried to chase him but he was too fast for me. My heart sank to my stomach and I feared the worst. I ran, I whistled, and called for Butler for just about an hour. Where in the world did that dog go? I had a full load. I stayed as long as I dared. I had to go. It’s possibly the worst feeling I have ever had. Before I left, I gave my name and number to the people working the truck stop in hopes that if Butler returned, they would keep him safe for me.
I had dropped off my load in Atlanta. I thought I would catch a few Zzzz’s before heading north. I was really tired, but I kept thinking about Butler. I was sure hoping that he was safe.
It was around 10:30 a.m. that I received a call. “Is this Jason?” the caller inquired. It was the manager from the truck stop in Marietta. “I’ve got some good news and bad news.” My heart went to my throat. “I caught your dog and actually had him for a while,” the man explained, “but the little bugger took off again.” I guess the good news was that Butler was alive and well.
It was at that moment that I truly thought I would never see Butler again. As a last ditch effort, I called the breeder in Kansas and made sure she had my cell phone number. I was praying for a miracle.
A whole day passed and no word. I was miles away now and pretty much gave up hope, and then the phone rang. “Hello,” I said. The woman said in a quiet voice, “I have your puppy.” I couldn’t believe my ears! “Oh my gosh! Are you serious? Where did you find him? I thought he was gone forever!”
Marjorie told me her story about driving to her mom’s and seeing this little dog on the highway. She was sure the dog must have been lost or abandoned. “I just couldn’t leave him there,” she explained. “He was so scared.” It took hours but she finally coaxed Butler to come close enough to pick him up. She brought him to the nearest shelter and that’s where they read the microchip. They got the breeder’s name and number from the chip. The breeder knew Butler had to be my dog.
Marjorie and her son met me in Nashville as that was the most convenient place for both of us to meet. I waited for nearly 5 1/2 hours. Marjorie had some trouble leaving her mom’s at the designated time, but Butler and I were finally reunited. I felt the tears welling in my eyes. It was a miracle! I couldn’t thank Marjorie enough for all that she did. She definitely went out of her way. “You don’t know my mom,” her son said. “She would have died first than to leave him there.”
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