Search This Blog

VLog Introduction to my Blogs

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Black Lab, My Son, and the Day They Disappeared into the Woods

One sizzling hot day back in the summer of 1988, a stray black lab mix dog came wondering into our yard. Little did I know that was a day I would never forget! My son was only four years old, when the black lab showed up in our yard. The lab had seemed to have grown attached to my son and had been around for several days. Then one day, my son was happily playing out in the yard while I was sitting on the porch swing. Then the phone rang, that's when everything changed. I had only gone inside for a couple of minutes to answer the phone, but a couple of minutes was all it took for my son to disappear. I went back outside expecting my son to still be happily playing outside in the front yard and the black lab at his side, like the case had been the past few days. Only he wasn't there. I thought maybe he had gone around back of the house, so I hollered for him, but nothing. So I went around back, but didn't see him anywhere in site. As I stood there, everything seemed eerily silent. You see, I lived out in the country at that time, on a dirt road, and surrounded by nothing but land and trees and mountains.

At that moment I began to frantically call out my son's name over and over, but still nothing. I had so much going through my mind at that point, I was upset and worried, panicked, but trying to stay calm all at the same time. I ran back into the house and called both my mother and my sister, they immediately came over, but not before also calling the police. So next thing I knew my entire family, my boyfriends family, the police along with the search dog, my neighbors. Everyone was there to help me find my son.

Everyone was there, and ready to search, but it had now been over 1/2 hour, almost an hour even. The police had brought in the search dog, it was a beautiful huge German Shepard. They told me to find something my son had worn recently and bring it to them for the search dog. So I did. The search dog eagerly sniffed out my son's clothes and immediately headed towards the woods at the back of the house. All I could think was how could my son take off around back of the house into the woods and disappear that quick? How could he not have heard me calling out for him? I had not been inside on the phone more than two or three minutes at the most. At any rate, apparently he had gone off into the woods at the back of my house. All I could do was sit and waiting patiently while the police, the search dog and some neighbors went off into the woods in search of my son. Another hour had passed, it had now been two hours since my son went missing. He went missing around 3 pm in the afternoon it was then about 5 pm and still nothing, then another hour went by and another hour.

Finally around 7 pm the search dog came out of the woods on the other side of the hill or mountain I should say, down to the road in a community called "Broad Holler". Then they had lost the trail. I was devastated. So at that time, me and my boyfriends sister went to Broad Holler to the point where they had lost the trail, and as we were walking up a dirt road, at the foot of the other side of the hill...the woods my son had come out of, I saw a small orange car with an elderly man and woman came up the road. The first thing I noticed was a little boy's heading excitingly popping up in the back of the window, with a big black lab sitting right by his side. It was my son! So me and my boyfriends sister went chasing behind the car yelling and waving like crazy women. They stopped and out came Brandon and the black lab right along side with him. So come to find out the man and lady had seen my son coming down out of the woods with the black lab right beside him, actually leading him out of the woods and my son was upset and crying, so they stopped. They had been riding around trying to figure out where he had come from, where he lived. Needless to say, I ran up to my son and hugged him the biggest tightest hug ever, one he would never forget. I covered him with loving kisses, and told him how much he scared me, how much I loved him, and asked if he was okay.

Of course he wasn't quite okay. His clothes were torn and ripped from the briar's and he had both wet and soiled his shorts, he had cuts and scratches all over his little body, and he was sunburned from head to toe. His lips were dry and parched because he was so thirsty. And bless his little heart he had streaks down his face where he had cried so hard and so much. All I could think of was getting him home and getting him fed and giving him Lot's of water, along with a nice cool bath and tend to his scratches and cuts.

Days had passed since the incident and I still had the burning question, how could he have not heard me calling for him, how could he disappear in a few short moments. So I had to ask him. His answer, "mommy the dog wouldn't play anymore, he walked into the woods and kept walking. I heard you calling me, but the dog wouldn't stop. I kept telling him to stop, but he wouldn't, he just kept walking so I followed him and then I didn't know how to get back so I stayed with him. He led me out of the woods.

My son had said the dog stayed with him the entire time, that he had never left my son's side, and he had led Brandon safely out of the woods. I don't blame the dog. That day, he had just decided it was time to go back home, but my son decided to follow him, the dog didn't make him. I am only thankful the dog stayed with him, and never left his side and in fact led him safely out of those woods. Turns out the dog belonged to the man and woman in the little orange car. They had been riding around looking for him. What a coincidence. One I am very thankful for. I could look at it that if it wasn't for the black lab, my son may have not gone into those woods, but I choose to look at the miracle of it. If it wasn't for the black lab, my son may have never made it out of those woods. And if it wasn't for the man and woman looking for their dog, they may never have found my son.  Today, my son is 26 years old and while he remembers that day, he doesn't remember details like I do.  He does still remember that black lab fondly though.  Obviously it never affected Brandon.  Because of his experience when he was just four years old, it could had turned out differently. But thankfully it's the opposite. 

Today, Brandon loves nothing more than to go into the wilderness and take pictures. That is his love, his passion.  He also loves to hike different trails, as well as do things like camping and fishing.  So I am very thankful he loves and embraces the great outdoors!


Honey said...

As a mother, I would have been terrified if my child was missing. I am so glad that your story has a happy ending.


~Kimberly Andrews said...

I was terrified Honey, it was a mixture of being terrified and being a blood hound b/c I was determined to get my son back. That story will forever stick in my mind like it was yesterday.