It wasn’t long after witnessing the suicide attempt that we moved again. Another loaded up U-haul, and off we took. This time, we were moving back into the house on Scatterfoot, where ‘Rumble’ took place. I believe the house was pretty much just my uncle, and cousin at the time, as my older brother and grandparents were living in the trailer over in Shiloh. So at least that would be good, not as much commotion this time. Less people meant less personalities, and less opinions, and less fighting. So that was good.
We had a dog. A chocolate Lab, named Fudge. He was my buddy.
One regular ol day, I was hanging out, probably watching cartoons when out of no where Mom started freaking out! She was rushing all through the house, screaming, crying, and panicked. It took me a little bit to fully understand what was taking place, but when I did, I too was very concerned. My little brother had somehow gotten out of everyone’s sight, and presumably slipped outside without anyone knowing. I think he was in like first grade maybe. Just a little guy. Now, this would’t have been such a big deal if he had just gone out the back slider and into the fenced in back yard to play. He had not. I could tell by all the commotion and excitement, that extensive efforts had been made to locate him all over the property, and all throughout the house. He was no where to be found. Dad took off in the car and was driving all over the neighborhood looking for him. Very loud screams for “LUCAAASSSSSS” could be heard all the way back at the house as he drove all over searching and screaming for his return. Nothing. It wasn’t too terribly long until the police got involved. Lots of them. I was terrified. Officers coming and going, writing stuff down. I was in actual shock. What had happened to my little brother? How did he slip off so easily? Why didn’t he tell me he was going outside? I was scared. I was worried sick about my little brother and there was basically nothing I could do about the situation. I remember feeling really helpless, but also wanting to offer any kind of advice and support that I could. But what could I possibly offer that would be of use?
Time dragged on. The police searched and searched. Nothing. No sign of him. It had to have been at least a couple hours since my dad took off looking for him and the cops arrived. And still no sign of him. Relatives had arrived, aiding in the efforts. Mom was hysterical. People are crying and hysterical. And there was nothing I could do. I sat on the couch in the living room as my mother bawled her eyes out. I remember very vividly kind of locking eyes with Fudge and having this “moment”. Maybe it was my imagination, or child like wonder, but, something came over me. I knew what my idea was going to be.
“Mom, let Fudge out, He will find Lukie. I know He will.” I could tell that Mom thought this was both sweet and ridiculous. Minutes went by, the telephone would ring, someone would answer, “No, nothing yet.” And hang up. Mom would cry. Cops were driving to and from our house with no news. This was bad. So I just took it upon myself. I nonchalantly slipped off the couch, holding Fudge’s collar and walked him toward the front door. I remember Him looking up at me and then back out the front door. I quietly pushed the screen door open, and yelled “Okay, Fudge, go get him boy! Go find Lukle!” And my mom was absolutely pissed off! Not only was luke missing and this one of the most stressful experiences of her life, but now the dog was on the loose and probably gone forever. He absolutely Bolted down the hill and around the corner and out of sight.
“I’m Sorry mom, but if anyone is gonna find him it’s fudge. I just know it.”
I was now in big trouble as soon as all this was over. But I mean, I had to try something. Mom picked me up and sat me down on the couch and resumed whatever it was that I had been watching on the TV. More phone calls. More coming and going. More cops knocking on the door. More commotion. No news. Minutes dragged on like hours I am sure, although to me it was all one big blur. It all seemed to have happened at all once. I was so overwhelmed by it all. It was one of the scariest days of my family’s lives I have no doubt. This was becoming more and more serious by the minute. Everyone was absolutely beside themselves.
I remember that it had been about 3 or 4 hours since dad took off and the cops came. Night was fast approaching and everyone was worried about being able to find him in the dark, when headlights panned the back wall, indicating that a car was pulling up the driveway. It was a police car, and when Mom saw it, I could tell she was thinking and fearing the worst. You could just sense it ya know? The cop car slowed to a stop right before the garage, at the top of the hill and a uniformed man got out. He turned toward the back of the car and opened the back door. Out poured Fudge, and Luke. I cannot make this shit up. Fudge came running right up to the door and inside, and Luke followed him. We still to this day do not know where Fudge found him, but the officer spotted the two walking up a golf cart path, between two houses, heading back toward home. It had actually worked. Fudge went out and did what none of the humans could do. He found my little brother, and had brought him safely home. I could not believe it, but at the same time, I had no doubt. Something was telling me to let him go look. And I am glad I listened. This was probably my proudest moment in life up until that point. Looking back, it is one of the coolest experiences I have ever had. That dog literally saved my brother’s life.