We had a bit of a scare at our house last evening. At dinnertime, when I let Barley out the front door, a Black Snake slithered in. I screamed bloody murder, and Don came running. He trapped the snake with his boot while I went after the loppers; then I retreated, shaken, to the kitchen as he dispatched the snake. It was a mature Black Snake, not huge, but a good 2 feet long.
The calamity averted, we looked for Barley. Since coming to us last December, except when we've taken him places, he's never been out of sight of the house. He spends most of his time in the house with us, but sometimes we call him our driveway dog, because when we walk in the woods, he always runs home ahead of us, as if drawn to the house with a large magnet, and waits in the driveway. But last night, we didn't see him anywhere. Nor did he respond to our calling. Alarmed, Don noticed that the deer were still grazing on the north side of the house, so we knew he hadn't gone that way.
Don got the pickup, and I joined him, and we headed for the road. At the highway, we saw where Barley had dropped his favorite stick. We thought he could be headed for Don's brother's place, a mile away, but Barley is not savvy about cars, and anything could happen. Across the highway and up the hill on the county road opposite ours, we found him, 1/4 mile from home, looking lost and lonely at the side of the road. With great relief, I got out of the truck and wrapped him in my arms, then he willingly jumped in the back seat, and rode with us back home. Once there, he sniffed the front door with great interest, then settled back into his routine, seemingly as relieved to be back home as we were to have him.
We trembled when we thought of the other possible outcomes for Barley. But it's comforting to know that the God who watches over us doesn't confine His interest to people, He sees every bird that falls, He cares about every creature He has made, and He certainly cares about Barley.
In His hand is the life of every creature,
and the breath of every human being.
First posted on 8/17/10