A Thanksgiving Story from the Beckers
A remarkable, amazing and perfect Thanksgiving story has unfolded in the Becker family…we may be a few days beyond Thanksgiving, but it is never too late for a good story filled with thanks and giving. But first, a little background.
The story starts with my granddaughter, Blair on August 4, 2017. She was driving from her home in Ohio to our bakery in Illinois, a trip she makes regularly to work with her dad at Dr. Becker’s Bites.
On this particular day, she had only two hours left of her six hour drive when she saw the cars ahead of her braking. Then she saw the blur of white hair, a creature dashing for his life, darting in and out of traffic, running frantically down the major highway…in heavy traffic…not good!
She was grateful for the care and concern the other drivers were showing this lost and confused dog, but none of them could coax him into their cars nor get him off the highway.
She prayed, then said to herself, “I have to get him, he has to come to me!” She drove about 150 feet ahead of where he was, pulled off the highway and flung open her door. She got out of her car, dropped to her knees and opened up her arms. He was on the opposite side of the highway, looking at her when she yelled to him, “This is your one shot buddy! Come here! I won’t hurt you! Come on Bud!” He ran across the highway right into her arms. Thank goodness there was no passing traffic.
She called her dad to tell him he had just become a foster dad to a dog she had picked up on the highway. He believed her when he saw a strange, but beautiful dog in her backseat.
They took him home and cleaned him up. They knew someone had to be missing their pet…he was a purebred, German short-haired pointer, handsome and gentle. They introduced him to the rest of John’s pack, who immediately accepted him. John lives on 20 wooded acres in the middle of nowhere with about an acre of his backyard fenced. This dog made use of every square foot running around John’s yard.
Blair and John tried several months to locate his owners through social media, lost-dog websites and local shelters in Indiana. Ultimately they got him on a waiting list for a breed specific rescue that didn’t currently have room for him.
Mary, John’s youngest daughter, named him Charlie. When the call came a few months later that the rescue could take him, John replied, “Sorry, he’s become a member of our family.” To quote John, “Charlie had the gentlest, kindest and most loving spirit I’d ever seen in a dog.”
Now for the rest of the story: Charlie is a digger and twice had escaped from John’s yard by digging under the fence and bolting off. But Charlie had returned home both times; and John hadn’t caught him digging in more than a year.
One week ago, John needed to make a quick run to the bakery, and he left Charlie outside, believing that his digging days were over. When he returned home, Charlie the Digger was gone. John and Mary, who was home from college on Thanksgiving break, spent the following three days looking for him, to no avail. They also posted him as “lost” on several social media sites.
Mary was heartbroken. She posted a last “goodbye” to Charlie on her own personal Facebook page. Within minutes, she received a message from one of her friends with a link to the county animal shelter and a picture of Charlie sitting in a kennel. John and Mary were overjoyed and relieved that Charlie had been found and was safe.
Then John read the comments under the picture. One, from a woman in Indiana, said this looked like her dog that went missing in August of 2017. She also posted a picture of her dog, “Ruger”.
This was too much for mere coincidence, and John reached out to her. She lived just a few miles from where Blair had found him. Ruger had been their family’s beloved pet. She and her family had not given up looking for him, even two years later. She was beyond happy, to the point of tears, that Ruger had been found.
As hard as it was for John and his family, they knew what needed to be done. Charlie was part of their family, they loved him dearly, but so did his first family in Indiana. Mary and John drove to the shelter that afternoon. Ruger’s family also drove to the shelter that afternoon, all the way from Indiana. The employees at the shelter already knew the story and they were in tears…so were both of Charlie/Ruger’s families. There was only one right thing to do…
Having a pet go missing is heartbreaking. Giving up a beloved pet that you’ve rescued and cared for is equally heartbreaking. However, heartbreak over doing the right thing is never a bad thing. My family chose the right thing…this mama’s heart is smiling. Blair, John and Mary, you did your part exceedingly well! Ruger went home with his first family!