Hi, folks. Indy here.
Today, my tail is tucked between my legs. I just learned that Flare, an energetic, reddish-colored golden retriever, disappeared on January 17th. I had to share this sad story with you.
Vicky’s fur baby, Flare, stood on his hind legs and wrapped his paws around his mom’s neck. Then he bounded out the front door and leapt into the back of her car. Flare probably counted all of his personal items, piled beside him in the back seat—dog food, his favorite treats, chew toys, a tattered blanket, a towel, and his leash. His tail wagged, whacking the back of the seat. How could it not? After all, he was off to doggie camp for a week while his mom vacationed in Florida. He couldn’t wait to visit his biological mother and sister, who waited for him at his auntie’s house.
The first two days were fun. Flare rolled in the snow, chased his tail, and nipped at his sister’s ears.
On the third day, Flare and his doggie mom and sister scouted the yard, sniffed, and then dropped land mines. His mom and sister returned home, but Flare didn’t. He just disappeared.
Family, friends, police, animal control service people, pet store owners, church members, taxi drivers, and even virtual strangers scoured the neighborhood. My pal, Terrol, set-up a Finding Flare Facebook page. Many people even spent their own money to print posters. Then they drove around, stopping at poles and stapling flyers that read:
Have You Seen My Dog, Flare?
I’m Vicky—Flare’s mom. My granddaughter and I are broken-hearted. Flare is five-years-old. When he’s on all fours, his head reaches about the height of our kitchen table. Flare wears a green collar. Flare’s veterinarian’s phone number is on his tag. Please help reunite us with our best friend.
Hours turned into days. Days turned into weeks. But Flare’s mom held out hope.
Even Vicky’s granddaughter toddled to the window and cupped her hands. “Come home, FlareBear. I wuv you.”
Was it possible someone had found Vicky’s fur baby? Had someone taken Flare in to shelter him from the burry cold?
Three weeks later, a message on Flare’s Facebook page flashed across the screen:
I am a train conductor and…I am writing this as a man with a guilty conscience! Unfortunately, I’m the one ultimately responsible for your dog’s passing.
I’d spotted a dog a-quarter-mile down the track. I blew the whistle and turned off the headlights, but there was nothing I could do. I contacted our dispatcher about the incident and informed him of the location.
The engineer and I were deeply saddened by the turn of events. We spent a quiet cab ride back.
I know this communication won’t ease the pain of losing a very fine looking pet, but I just had to let you know. I have friends with the same breed. They are such intelligent animals. I’ve also been a dog owner who lost my dog unexpectedly.
If you have any questions or comments for me, I will do my best to answer them! Once again, I am so sorry for your loss!
Garth N. Baker
Boy, Mr. Baker is one cool man. He didn’t have to confess. And imagine—posting this on Flare’s Facebook page for the whole world to read. He certainly didn’t have to sign his name, but he did.
I’m sure Flare is wagging his tail at you, Mr. Baker—a train conductor who loved a special fur baby too.
Would you have fessed up? Have you ever confessed to ease a guilty conscience despite possible consequences for doing so?
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