Diana came to live with me in late August, 2005, when I drove to southwestern Missouri to pick her up, along with four, three-month old collie pups from a breeder. The pups were for Colorado Collie Rescue. Diana would be a year-old in a few days, on September 9th. The kennel called her Ms Ross, but I changed it to Diana; surely you’ve heard of Diana Ross & The Supremes.
Diana would never take Melody’s place. Over the years, however, I felt confident that she would create her own special place in my heart; in fact, she had already begun the process.
(That was in 2005. It is now 2009, and I can attest
On with the story . . .
On the evening of Thursday, September 8th, while sitting at my computer, finalizing a few last minute details related to recent workshop reservations, I swiveled my chair around to pick up a document from a nearby table. In the process, I managed to knock a potted cactus from the windowsill on the opposite side of the chair from where Diana lay. I immediately began picking up the debris and removing cactus needles from my leg . . . not an easy task.
Realizing that Diana had become frightened and was gone from her usual spot next to me, I got up to look for her. She was nowhere to be found. Being somewhat warm that night, I had left the back door open.
Diana had disappeared into the night.
For the next 9 days I searched, placing posters not only in Allenspark, where I live, but also in the surrounding communities of Estes Park, Longmont, and Lyons, to say nothing of going door-to-door and passing out over 100 flyers containing Diana’s picture. Reports were filed with the humane societies of Boulder, Longmont, and Fort Collins, as well as the Estes Park Police Dispatch. I even contact three different pet physics. Newspaper ads? You bet . . . in four different towns.
As each day began, I was filled with hope, believing that ‘today’ would be the day when she and I would be reunited, only to be discouraged when I returned home each evening . . . empty handed.
On Friday evening, 9 days later, I received a call from Park Headquarters in Rocky Mountain National Park informing me that Diana had been found on the Bear Lake Road near Storm Pass Trailhead. Needless to say, I made the trip to Estes Park in record time.
It’s impossible to know exactly how far Diana traveled or, for that matter, which route she took. Given, however, there were no sightings until the day she was eventually located, she most likely trekked through vast wilderness areas, eluding coyotes, bear, and even mountain lions along the way.
The most likely scenario took her northward from Wild Basin, where I lived, along Highway 7, to the Longs Peak Trailhead. There, she would have followed the Longs Peak and Storm Pass Trails across mountains and along streams until eventually winding up on the Bear Lake Road, where she was finally picked up. The entire journey would have taken her some 15 miles across some of the most rugged areas in the entire Rocky Mountains. In addition to wild animals, she would have experienced thunder, lightening, rain, and even snow at higher elevations with nighttime temperatures hovering near the freezing mark.
If only she could talk and share her adventure, what a tale it would be. It would make The Incredible Journey seem like a fantasy.
Although she lost a few pounds, she was in remarkably good shape following her adventure.Nowadays, she’s much calmer and either sleeps or eats when not tending her duties as office manager of Rocky Mountain Photo Adventures.
You have to EXPERIENCE IT . . .
to BELIEVE IT!