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What If January Challenge

I have had a dog all my life, in fact I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have a dog. Apart from now that is, yes at 60 I found myself alone, no wife and no dog. My dear, dear Sandy died last year and my darling wife Emily died a year before. But I am not one to moan and I know I have a good life, I have a lovely home. Two brilliant kids and five amazing grandkids, they always keep me on my toes. Also I have Rex, who is in fact one of Sandy’s litters, now that was story in itself. We got Sandy from a sheltered dogs home, she was only four and unbeknown to me (or my wife for that fact) pregnant. At the time I was forty and my kids were seventeen and eighteen, Jack was at uni and Emma was still at home with us. Needless to say they were so excited about this fact and mithered and mithered for us to keep one, we tried to make out it wouldn’t be a good idea and told Jack we would keep one for him when he has finished uni. This worked in everyone’s favour as Jack made it his mission to keep good grades at uni because we told him if he didn’t we would have to find another home for the puppy, and it did us a favour as it gave Emily something else to mother apart from Emma who was growing up far too fast for us.

So there we were with Sandy, Rex and two grown-up kids whom soon flew the nest and got lives of their own. Jack took Rex as we promised and now he has a house of his own with a wife and three kids, Emma has a boyfriend to kids. We are all still extremely close and Jack, knowing I miss my long walks in the Moors with Sandy, lets Me be the official dog walker of Rex at least five times a week. We go everywhere together all through the villages and up on the moors, he absolutely loves it and of course being the Border collie that he is he loves to run everywhere chasing things.

This is when the adventures began, because he was on one of the mad runs off his lead one day and decided to chase the lambs in a nearby farm. It was my own fault really, I knew what he was like around the animals but sometimes I just love to see him using his instinctive nature. But today he left the lambs alone and decided to investigate inside the garage at the side of the farmhouse, I wondered where he had gone at first as the door was only open a crack, I followed him in to see what he was growling at. Inside was pretty dark, I could see an outline of a large vehicle which Rex was presently crouching down and growling at. ‘What you growling that boy, it’s only stupid old tractor.’ I whispered as I reached in to pull him away, but as I managed to get hold of his collar a deep rumble started to happen. At this point I was kind of stuck, my body was feeling the cold from the outside winter frost but my head and arm were inside the musty old garage where the rumble was. Rex started barking and in my panic to get myself out of this sticky situation I somehow managed to fall backwards tripping over my own feet and landed in a nearby pile of animal dung. As I regained my composure I  realised I had also flung open the garage door wide, revealing not an old tractor as I had first thought but a huge metal dome with flashing lights and four legs holding it up, Rex was sitting excitedly in front of the roaring machine wagging his tail at my astonished face. I stood up and walked towards him feeling a little frightened of the thing before me, wanting to get Rex and myself away from the gaze of the bright red lights beaming at us. ‘C-c-come on boy, let’s go.’ I stutter reaching down once again for his collar as I keep my eyes fixed on the dome, but as I do Rex trots towards the side of it and stares at the door which I had not seen before. I am still stuck there dumbfounded when Rex looks between me and the door growling and pawing at it, i inch myself forward trying to wave him away but persistent as ever he continues in his quest. In our sudden case of panic I suddenly feel a need to be the protector and stand in between Rex and the door, as I do so he stands on his back legs and pushes his paws into me making me stumble slightly onto the machine. Whatever I fell onto did exactly what Rex wanted it to do as all of a sudden the door lifts open with a suction sound like when you open a freezer door. Before I even have time to realise what is happening Rex jumps in and sits patiently on the far seat wagging his tail, I jump in after him and as I do so he leans forward and with his nose presses a big purple button which closes the door firmly beside me.

I sit staring around me in this black space with lots of buttons and lights which are flickering and bright, this is really weird. Rex is staring at me waiting for me to perform an action which I am not sure what, he looks in between us and I notice a stick. I look at it trying to register where I am and what exactly I am doing here, my mind starts racing with thoughts of logic and reasoning, but let’s face it logic and reasoning is not going to help me here. I am sat in what can only be described as a huge UFO with my son’s dog and no escape route to be seen, that’s it. Its official, I have gone stark raving mad! As this revelation dawns on me Rex gives me a little growl of encouragement to proceed with doing whatever action is needed with this stick before me, well in for a penny, in for a pound. I’m going crazy anyway so I may as well enjoy the ride, I think to myself as I leaned down and wiggle the stick until it clicks into a recognisable position (recognizable to Rex anyway) as Rex perks his head up. All of sudden a big screen slides up in front of us revealing a white picture the size of a dashboard, there is strange creature staring back at us, he is a big, fat balding man sat in a chair, he is just staring at me without saying a word. There is a dog with him, a little Scottie dog, I look at them both and try to think what to say until I hear. ‘Welcome home sir’ but the man’s lips were not moving. My eyes glance at the little Scottie dog who was staring directly at Rex before he proceeded to bow his head, I couldn’t work any of this out and before I had a chance to open my mouth some writing appeared on the screen ‘ENJOY THE RIDE!’

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