One evening about two weeks ago we arrived home a day early after a needed few days’ rest at Edisto Island. I heard a dog yelping in the distance and thought that a neighbor probably had an unhappy dog tied to a tree, but the dog kept barking so I decided to go see where it was. I picked a few peonies and went in the direction of the mournful barking. To my horror, at the base of the embankment I found the source. There in the mucky silt pond, submerged to the top of his body, was the largest white wolf-like dog I had ever seen. The poor dog was stuck so deeply in the muck after a week of rain he couldn’t get out. I ran to grab my waders, knowing this was going to be a mess, and it was. After 10 minutes digging in the stinky cement-like muck, I couldn’t get him out. My neighbor came over and we spent the next hour digging by hand, pulling with all our might but we couldn’t free the dog, who just looked at us, knowing we were doing everything we could to help. It was exhausting. We were up to our knees in muck, sweating, pulling and digging so hard we were afraid we would injure the dog. Finally the two of us were able to pull the dog out on top of the muck but it couldn’t stand or use its hind legs.
We were slick with slime and knew we couldn’t lift him up the embankment so we called for help. Five firemen from Fairview arrived and using old blankets, four men carried the giant formerly white dog up onto the grass. Not once did this sweet animal whimper, bark or growl. We hosed as much of the caked muck off as possible, dried him and wrapped him in dry blankets, gave him lots of water and canned chicken which he wolfed down. We then spoke to a vet and animal control officer who planned to come out the next morning. I checked animal postings and Craigslist but found nothing.
I fed our white wolf again, then woke up before dawn and gave him water and food but he still couldn’t use his rear legs. The only time he whined was when I left him; he wanted to follow but couldn’t. We really wanted to find the owner and wouldn’t allow this sweet animal to be put down. A good friend called who has what we call
second sight; she said she could see a poster of this animal somewhere in Fairview. I went to the post office and lo and behold, here was a huge photo of a 110-pound white Samoyed playing in the snow — 13 year old Drake, missing in Fairview. I tore home and cancelled animal control after speaking with JP, the ecstatic owner. Drake had wandered off 3 days earlier. All our neighbors gathered around, petting Drake and lifting him into JP’s truck. He looked much more perky but was still unable to use his legs. We checked on Drake early in the week. JP said he could not walk for two days but that when they put some chicken on the grill, good ol’ Drake caught a whiff, jumped up and trotted over to the grill and promptly received two large chicken breasts! What a grace that we came home a day early and how fortunate to have great neighbors and a terrific volunteer fire department all ready and willing to help.