Dog Gone

MacKenzie, well aware of who was leading this adventure, was occupying her usual travelling throne, with one front paw on Bonnie’s armrest, the other firmly planted on mine. Her body stretched into the back and was anchored on the rear seat by her sturdy six inch hind legs. At least the arm rests were ours when MacKenzie wasn’t in the vehicle. When she was, they no longer belonged to us. They of course, belonged to MacKenzie, as did every other thing we possessed. Our bed was hers; our food – hers; my favourite chair ; Bonnie’s pillow, my socks, – ditto – you got it, all were Mackenzie’s. Being gracious and kind, she would allow us to use her possessions but only on a temporary basis and only if we were good.

The arrangement was something we finally, like all Scottie families, had come to terms with, shortly after joining her Majesty. We knew our place and she knew hers. Stopped by a red light, I glanced sideways at her regal pose, erect ears, neck stretched out, head still and slightly higher than mine, eyes staring straight ahead, nose twitching. She knew where she was going and I am convinced, how to get there. Sometimes I would day dream and consider making a wrong turn just to test her, but I never did.

Within a few minutes, we were on Highway 2 heading north, slowed only by the construction zones, sheriffs and good judgement. Ninety minutes later we were pulling into the gates of the resort. MacKenzie still in her throne position, only now she was wiggling with excitement. As we pulled into our driveway, I received a lick on the ear, presumably for having found my way without any mistakes.

Turning off the motor, our routine for arrival kicked in. Bonnie would unlock our trailer and open the windows, etc. while I would turn on the water and begin to haul in whatever supplies we carried. MacKenzie would supervise, christen the lawn and then check for golfers, rabbits and robins.

On my third trip (thank god we were only staying 2 days), I noticed something was missing – it was MacKenzie. Calling to Bonnie through the open window, I asked if Mac was with her. A No, was the immediate and worried response. Instantly, like a well oiled machine, we went into action, Bonnie rechecking inside, while I tore around the back scanning the golf course, expecting to see a small black dot disappearing down the fairway. To say that Mackenzie liked to run away was an understatement – she had made more blitz outs than Steve McQueen did in the Great Escape. I checked the golf course again – no luck. Thinking she might have gone to visit the German Shepherd next door, I cut through the back and into the neighbour’s yard. – struck out again.

Returning to the front, I stood on the driveway looking up and down the street – nothing. By now, 3 or 4 minutes had gone by and I knew we were in trouble . I knew how far that little brat could run in that much time. Just as I was wondering where to look next, I heard Bonnie laugh through the open window. Take a look in the golf cart, she said, chuckling – I looked and there seated in the drivers side was Mac, staring at me, just waiting for a ride.

MacKenzie loved riding in the golf cart but her favourite part was when we went to the General Store, She knew that the couple that ran it had a soft spot for dogs and would on a hot day, and special occasion, pack ice cream into a tiny cone, just for dogs.

Looking at Mackenzie, I called to Bonnie to come and bring the golf cart keys. As she came around the corner, smiling, she said, I thought you wanted to cut the lawn, first thing? Laughing, I said, Get in the cart, let’s go to the store. I can cut the lawn later.”

As we backed out of the driveway, I thought how fortunate we were, to be in this place, where rush hour traffic is two golf carts at the same stop sign, where everyone waves, whether they know you or not, and store owners give free ice cream cones to dogs.

Looking at MacKenzie in the seat between us, ears erect, neck stretched out, head still and slightly higher than mine, staring straight ahead, nose twitching. I could swear that dog was smiling!!!