There have been so many good dogs in our life. I'm sure many of you feel that way too. Today I'm writing about a dog we once belonged to, a miracle dog, a Welsh corgi named Tex. There were three puppies left in his litter in 1989 and by golly, he was the big boy of the litter and the cutest. He made it clear from the beginning that we four were his new family.
He was the result of our love of the corgis in Tasha Tudor's illustrations. It was only later that we learned that Queen Elizabeth loved them too. We were after a corgi from The Corgiville Fair. And we got him. Tex loved each member of our family but he was my personal shadow.
A few years later a little corgi sister joined him. Her name was Dallas and she adored her big brother.
Tex was not thrilled but he was very much a Gentleman Welsh corgi and accepted that she was his responsibility, as was a yellow cat named Jake.
On February 13, 1993 R.H. and I left Tex, Dallas and Jake at home while we drove to Chattanooga, Tennessee for Zack's basketball tournament. Defee went too, of course, and we asked our oldest son to come over to let the corgis go potty. We arrived home that night, went in the house. Only Dallas and Jake were waiting for us. We searched the house and I frantically phoned Gurn to learn that when he went out to bring the corgis back inside that Tex was gone. He drove up and down the road but could not find him. We searched the whole valley with flashlights and then R.H. and I drove to all the neighbors up and down the street. Some had seen him in their yards but didn't know who he belonged to. We did not have an identification tag on him.
After a sleepless night of crying and praying, we were up early on St. Valentine's Day digging through photographs so that R.H. could go get copies made while I made up posters for a lost corgi. We plastered the area with them and stopped along the way to leave pictures and our business card. The next day I called every veterinarian in the county, leaving our number and description of Tex. I called in ads for the newspapers. The dog pound and shelters were closed due to President's Day.
It snowed and I thought constantly of my Tex who, although he loved snow, always slept in our bed and had never been left out at night. Now, was he outside somewhere in the cold snow, all alone? Was he even alive? On Tuesday Gurn and I expanded the area, leaving more posters. We went miles away to grocery stores and gas stations and schools that Tex's short little legs could never have walked to. Gurn, devastated that I was brokenhearted, drove me for hours until I said, "Let's go home." We were all numb the whole week as we mailed out pictures to veterinarian clinics, visited the dog pound daily, drove up and down streets following the few leads that were phoned in to us. Through the whole week, R.H. had unshakable faith that God would bring Tex home to our family.
Late Friday afternoon I got a phone call from a woman who said, "I have your dog!" I was almost speechless. She said she saw our poster at the Piggly-Wiggly and they had him. The Saturday before, they had been at the gas station 3 1/2 miles from us and he was in the parking lot and almost got run over. They opened the door and called him and he jumped in the car. Tex was always ready to go for a ride and the route he walked to this gas station, at a busy intersection, was the route we took every weekday to drive our sons to school, Tex along for the ride most of the time.
We arranged to meet her at that same gas station. They pulled up in a Chevy Lumina, three children in the back seat. The woman got out of the car and I ran to the open door and saw a white stripe running between the eyes of the corgi in the front floorboard. I fell to my knees on the pavement, leaning across the driver's seat. Tex jumped into my arms. R.H. picked him up to carry him to the car. I hugged the lady, gave her a small reward, and thanked her over and over. I explained how Tex got out. She said they had taken good care of him, calling him Joe, going outside with him to go potty where he wouldn't get lost again.
Now, here is the spine tingling part of this story. The woman's younger sister, speech and hearing impaired, came in that very day from out of town for a visit and went with her to the Piggly-Wiggly. As they walked in the door, in a hurry to buy groceries for the weekend, her sister grabbed her arm and pointed to the poster of Tex. They took down the poster and when they got home they called him Tex. His ears perked up and he ran to them.
R.H. drove us home, Tex going back and forth between Defee and me in the back seat, kissing us. When we let Dallas out of the house Tex began jumping around excitedly, so happy to see his sister.
We spent an hour loving on him and thanking God for bringing him home to us and calling Gurn and our daughter with the good news. Then we left to go pick up Zack at his basketball game, a coat over Tex to hide him. When Zack got in the car he saw the coat move and then saw Tex. In a quiet, stunned voice he said, "You've got Tex." What a happy reunion we all had! Once again Tex slept in bed with us and the next day R.H. bought an engraved identification tag with our phone number on it. God brought Tex back to us and he used a special young lady to bring it about.
Tex lived to be 12 years old. For six months after his hind legs failed him, we carried him outside in a little red wagon to take care of his business. The last few years of his life, after his little sister Dallas died unexpectedly, he shared his home with a little red dachshund named Penelope. A Gentleman Welsh corgi to the very last, he was good to her.
Tex was a good dog.