The Three-Legged Dog, a Postscript

Two years ago I wrote a post about a three-legged dog I’d seen.  Here’s what I wrote. 

September, 2011
I was just thinking, is there any animal that occurs naturally, three-legged?  What got me thinking along these lines was a brief occurrence last Thursday.  I was out on the morning 40, humping on down Russell’s Chapel Road, when I saw a good-size, all-black, long-haired dog up ahead limping, kind of hobbling in the road.  I was worried because he was out in the traffic and occasionally a car would go by and swerve around him.  When I got up on him I saw that he wasn’t injured, but that he only had three legs, one of the front ones just totally not there, poor guy.
I was concerned about him, so when I got to the cafe and saw Jim there who I knew lived up on Russell’s Chapel, I mentioned it to him.   He said, “Oh yeah, that’s just old Harry, belongs to the Jeffrey, and he must be out wanderin.”  The guy across from him said that, “…yeah, that’s how he lost the leg in the first place.  Jeffrey and his wife took him in as a charity case a few years back, but it’s hard to confine him.”
After I left the cafe and on the return leg home, sure enough, I spotted him again a good two miles north of where I’d seen him last, galumping along, but at a pretty good pace in the grass (thankfully) along side the road.  I shook my head, and for the rest of the way home thought about the lessons of the three-legged dog:
1.  There’s nothing like a second chance, if someone’ll just give it to ya.
2.  Even with less than God gave most, one can get pretty far.
3.  It doesn’t matter if you’re not perfect.  Perfection’s boring.  Have you ever seen the sun rise when there are no clouds.  Throw a few clouds in though, and it’s stunning.
4.  Learn from your mistakes, dammit; stay out of the road!

October, 2013
Today, just like two years ago, I was biking down Russell’s Chapel Rd in Chatham County, got to the intersection with Old Graham Rd and saw a sign:  “Lost Dog 3-Legged 548-0068.” I took this photo with my phone.


Might heart just sank when I saw that sign, and I thought about it for the rest of my ride.  When I got home I called the phone number on the sign and talked to the dog’s owner, Jeffrey.  I told Jeffrey that I had not seen Harry recently, but had seen him on previous occasions and just wanted him to know that I was sorry to find out that Harry was lost.  Jeffrey explained that Harry had lost a leg six years ago to a car accident and his wife had brought him home, a rescue from Animal Control.  Jeffrey’s wife died 4 years ago, and Harry tends to wander while Jeffrey is off at work.  Harry was wearing his collar and tag when he went missing.  A gas crew was working along the road about the time Harry went missing, so Jeffrey is trying to work that angle in hopes of getting a lead on Harry.  Harry is very sociable and would stop for anyone, even climb happily into an unknown vehicle.

Before hanging-up I told Jeffrey that I hoped Harry would turn up and that I’d keep my eyes open as I rode out in his neighborhood.  I’d ask others down in Chatham to do the same and call Jeffrey with any news.
Harry, here’s hoping you add yet another “lesson,” to my list:
Seek, explore, wander, but in the end, don’t forget to wander home.

Thanks for reading and please, keep your eyes open for Harry.


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