Monday, July 20, 2009

Mabou dog

One day, while driving around near a place called Mabou on Cape Breton Island, we ended up on a gravelly road. It was raining off and on and we were driving slowly over the muck hidden pot holes. As we rounded a corner, a dog came out of the bushes from ahead on the road and started walking towards us. It wasn't just walking along the road or trying to cross the road. It was actually walking diagonally across the road right at us.

I slowed down, not wanting to hit the dog. It walked up beside my door and looked like it was going to walk right into the car so I stopped. It just stood there, outside my door and looked at me like it knew me or something. I opened the door and for a second it looked like it was going to jump in and for a second I probably would've let it except that it was way too dirty to let into the brand new rental car. Instead, I got out.


Other than being exceptionally dirty, it looked healthy and well fed. It was the back country but there were a few houses around and I suspected the dog was a farm dog out on a stroll from one of those places nearby. Still, it just stood there looking at me, waiting for something. I wasn't about to give it food since I didn't want to reinforce any habit of it running out into the middle of the road for handouts so I tried to coax it away from the car but it just stood there.

I turn away from it and walked a few steps away from the car and when I turned around, it was gone. I checked in front of the car and on the other side and then behind the car to make sure it wasn't there.

It wasn't there. And I didn't hear go into the woods. Funny thing.

Anyway, I got back into the car and slowly drove off, keeping an eye out for it, in case it suddenly reappeared, half hoping it would, if only to prove we weren't seeing things.

And then it did, in the side view mirror and again it was following way too close by the rear tire and so again I stopped the car and got out.

The dog just stood there waiting for something.


I started walking away from the car but then remembered to turn around in case it decided to disappear again but too late. It had disappeared again. I yelled out to Elizabeth to look out her window to see if she could see the dog but nothing. And the dog wasn't in front of the car and it wasn't behind.

I walked around the car and then walked all around again, looking out all over and saw nothing. And just before I was about to give up again, I saw a tip of red swish by my feet and bent down and this is what I saw:


And I almost freaked thinking how I could have so easily run it over that first time it must have ducked under the car.

I tried to tempt it out but it wouldn't budge. I went into the car and brought out a bag of pretzels and broke some up and put it by its nose but it only sniffed it and then wasn't interested. I backed up from the car and threw some more pretzels on the ground but that wasn't any more successful than the first bunch I threw down.

I walked back a bit further and called out to the dog and that brought the dog out. It came out for me and not for the food. It trotted over, happy to finally be acknowledged and then when it got close with its big happy grin, I deked around it, ran back to the car, slammed the door shut and sped off before it could crawl back underneath.

In the rear view mirror, I saw the dog running after us, then it slowed down to a trot, then finally stopped as it realized we were speeding away. It got smaller and smaller in the rear view, standing there, wet and abandoned.

We drove out a bit farther, right to the end of Mabou where it looked out onto the Northumberland Strait. The clouds broke and the sun shone down and I saw this house ...


... and wished I could live there for the solitude, the view and the Mabou dog.

8 comments:

raina said...

I think that may be the house of my dreams :)

redstarcafe said...

What imagery! The solitude, the view and the Mabou dog. You can leave the places behind eventually, but not the animals you meet.

House of the Discarded said...

I agree with redstarcafe! I always remember the animals I meet and talk about them long after the trip is over :)

redstarcafe said...

I have two dogs now because I met Nanook, a husky in Bloomfield, Prince Edward County, Ontario. He was tied out and blowing coat like crazy and crazy for attention. This lovely boy had been adopted as a puppy but, as he grew older, was too big and strong for the children, so he was rehomed.

A week or two later, I'd nearly picked up a husky pup driving through Wiarton. A beautiful pup with one blue eye and a brown eye and a mask.

That pretty much pushed me over the edge. I'd never had a dog before, only cats. Ended up with a shiba inu puppy in icy, rainy late November. With a mask like Nanook and the Wiarton puppy.

I can still see them both clearly.

I will also never forget the little puppy, crying in a box at the Peterborough farmer's market, that was being sold at a discount because it would not live long due to a genetic defect.

Lynda said...

Wow. That's also my dream house. And cool dog!

Anonymous said...

Thats my dog.. her name is Daisy

Fred said...

Well, Daisy is a most excellent dog. Hope she's doing well.

Anonymous said...

Daisy is my neighbour's dog and often goes for walks with me along the road. Daisy has a habit of checking to see who is in the car to see if she knows them, which is often the case when it's fishing season. She is a very friendly dog and I'm glad you met her.