Several months prior to February, 1986, Kat-the-Dog had managed to get away from us during a dangerous time. She was in heat. When DH found her, she and a neighbor German Shepherd were locked in a doggie embrace. The neighbor dog took off with Kat unwillingly in tow. They awkwardly ran down the hill until they came to a tree. One went right and the other left. When Kat came limping back to the house, she had blood on her hindquarters. We took her to the vet to be examined. On finding out the blood didn’t belong to her, DH said, “Ouch!” The result of the meeting was she was expecting. When the one lone pup was born, she was the image of Kat. DD begged to keep her and named her “Samantha”. I told her she’d have to clean up after her and it was no problem—at first. By and by, the little nuggets became big piles and they weren’t cute any more. Samantha had turned into a mix that was more German Shepherd than Rottweiler.
Kat was very territorial and having an offspring made her even more so. I had to shut her and Samantha up in the greenhouse if we went anywhere to keep her from going to guard the borders of what she perceived to be our property.
After DH left for who knows where, I started playing a waiting game. I didn’t know which way to turn. I went to the Only One I knew with my questions. I didn’t get any audible answers to my prayers but I did have enough peace that I could make it through the long days and the even longer nights. DD wanted to sleep in the room with me. We set up a cot my mother-in-law had given us. It was right by my bed and it made both of us feel better.
Finally, a phone call came from one of DH’s associates. I was to meet him at a certain place at a certain time. It had been raining and the driveway was treacherous. On the way out, the car slid off to the right and I couldn’t stop it. We were stuck. We got out and walked back to the house. We’d have to take DH’s Jeep. It wasn’t a good wintertime vehicle. Hurrying, we went inside and pulled on some warmer clothes. I put the Jeep in four wheel drive and we took off through the woods. I didn’t trust my driving enough to make it down the driveway without damaging my car.
Poor DD was huddled in her seat not knowing what was going on. She had to trust me to take care of her and I was having a hard time taking care of myself. We got to the appointed place a little late and were put into a car with two men I was acquainted with. They took us to a place where we could see DH all too briefly. We had time to talk and I presented a novel idea. Why didn’t he turn himself in and throw himself on the mercy of the court? Even if he had to serve a sentence, he would get out and be able to resume a normal existence. In the end, he said he’d tasted jail and he couldn’t do it again. I knew it was his life and his decision to make. He assured me DD and I would be cared for. We had prayer, the three of us. There were hugs, kisses and tears and we were taken back to the Jeep. I drove home on auto-pilot.
I tried my best to get the car back onto the driveway. The only thing I did was make it worse. There was no solution other than calling a wrecker to come pull it out. I’d never had to do that before. DH was always there to rescue me with the Jeep but I couldn’t drive the car and the Jeep both at the same time. There wasn’t much money in the bank and I hated to spend it that way but I needed the car. In a small town, there aren’t many choices when it comes to who to call. I phoned the company that had an ad in the Yellow Pages and walked down the hill to wait.
The wrecker came up the hill to the car and two men got out and surveyed my problem. One was dressed in a strange outfit for such dirty work. He had me stand outside while he got in the driver’s seat. From where I was standing, I could see him hurriedly looking for something. He pulled the cover for the gearshift up (it never would go back into place the way it was supposed to after that) then looked in the glove box. The car had a sunroof and he ended up putting a small object into the cavity. With that, he got out. I knew he wasn’t an employee and he looked odd in a baseball cap.
His part was done and the driver took over and got the car back where it was supposed to be. The driveway was dried out enough I was able to take the car to the bottom of the hill, turn it around and get it back to the house. I paid the bill and they left.
Kat and Samantha were getting low on food. I was getting low on cash. It was a settled fact they had to eat and we’d have to go stock up. Whatever the man had put in the sunroof rattled around as I drove. I picked out a cheaper than usual brand of dog food and we started back home. It was no problem getting up the driveway but when we got to the house, all was not as we’d left it. There were two police cars and the back door was open. An officer came over to the car. I was livid. I asked what was going on and he “explained” that when they got there, no one was home so they broke the lock on the door and let themselves in. I wanted to see the search warrant but he said it had been taken back to the office. The dam broke. I yelled that they had violated my space and they had no right. I wanted to know who was going to replace the lock and was told it would be my responsibility. I don’t remember all I said but when I saw the look on DD’s face, I had to calm myself. Later on, she told me she was afraid the police would take me to jail. It was something no seven year old should have to experience.
They left and we went into the house. Kat was beside herself. She’d been unable to get to the intruders as they went about their dirty work. They’d ransacked the place and left stuff pulled out and scattered over the house. They took DH’s map of the world off the office wall and took the one FM radio we’d always kept at home. The tape was gone out of the answering machine with the last message from DH.
I was crying when I called the pastor’s wife. She told me to pack our things and come to their place. I contacted our neighbor and asked her to feed the animals. A friend came to replace the lock on the door and we were gone.
I had to force myself to eat. I had trouble sleeping. DD was having the time of her life. The pastor’s two sons were teaching her to ride her bike. After many days, the smell of veggie burgers frying tempted me and I was able to enjoy a meal for the first time since DH left. I’d turned a corner and it was time to go back home.