Thursday, August 28, 2014

Reflections from My Trail

By Charlie Pottenger

A Good Man From Weippe Helped Charlie!

Sometimes my reflections don’t stretch back too far. This one happened on Aug. 22, 2014.

Last year in July I lost my longtime canine companion, a Dachshund named Beau, when I failed to restrain him as he opened the truck window and slipped into Heaven. To this day I can’t stop counting the number of trips I made past the spot where I lost Beau. Yesterday marked trip number 307!

I had mourned the loss for a few months when my Son and Daughter-in Law presented me with a nine month old Dachshund puppy, Jerry, last November. To even imply that Jerry has taken Beau’s place would be a Presidential quality lie, but Jerry has opened a whole new chapter of an on-going canine love story.

Jerry was basically a “diamond in the rough” with no trained skills and a heart winning way of taking a piece of my soul even when he has committed grievous and unpardonable sins. After ten months in my care it is safe to say that if he arrived as a dog with obedience problems and tons of charm, he remains as he arrived. Safe to say, that I am failing as a trainer, in all categories, with Jerry.

One of his greatest failings, or perhaps my greatest failing, is that Jerry is faster than a bolt of lightning and can bolt through the smallest door crack when the objective was to keep him in or out. This includes problems when I enter or exit the car.

Last Friday, Aug. 22, I stopped for fuel at the Nez Perce Express. I now travel mostly in an older Subaru with a gas door lock. I carefully caught Jerry, held him until I was out, then went to the pump, ran my credit card and then discovered I hadn’t pulled the fuel door unlock lever. I, wallet in hand, opened the door and pulled the lever and the chocolate brown blur that was Jerry streaked out the door!

I put my wallet on the roof and proceeded to catch Jerry before he was run over by cars and trucks as they moved about the busy place. With Jerry safely back in the car, I finished fueling and drove off to Orofino.

About thirty minutes after arriving in Orofino I received a call from the Clearwater Tribune office advising that a man from Weippe, who hadn’t left his name, had dropped off my wallet because it had my Clearwater Tribune Reporter/Photographer business card. He had found it on Highway 12 and it still contained all of my important cards except one. My insurance cards, Drivers license, Pilots License, Costco Card and Hunting/Fishing licenses were all there. The missing card was my credit card which I rapidly cancelled.

In spite of my Jerry, I will get a new credit card and I will always remember a man from Pierce that took the time to help me after I had made a mistake. I would like to meet him anytime and thank him personally and would recommend his friendship to all who are lucky enough to be close to him. Thank you!

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