Before you meet the next member of our little dog pack, I feel you need a little background information. Most of my life I have been able to provide for myself and my family by working as a Programmer/Analyst, specializing in mainframe applications. Due to a corporate takeover of the financial company that I was working for, I found myself laid off on 12/31/2004. After much time spent praying for God's guidance in the matter and considering our options, the Mrs. and I decided we wanted to return to middle Tennessee, where we had both met and spent a large part of our lives. There were two main reasons. First, we both love that part of the state and living in a small country town. Second, it would put us close to much of our family and to our two grandchildren, who we had not gotten to see very often during our years in Florida. We found and got a mortgage on our little home in the holler in January of 2005, and moved in February.
By the summer of that year I had spent many long hours searching for a job, but had only been on one interview and it was for a position for which I was not a very good match, so in order to supplement our resources, I had begun doing yard work for pay. On one particular morning in late spring of 2005, I was driving down one of our local two lane highways on my way to do a customer's yard. I was in my old pickup truck and was hauling a trailer full of lawn care equipment. I noticed as I crested a hill that several cars in front of me were going over into the opposite lane to get around what appeared to be a road kill victim. As I got closer, I could make out that it was a puppy, and about the time I got near it, it suddenly moved it's head a little bit. Realizing that the poor thing was not dead, I put on my four-way flashers, stopped in front of it, blocking the lane, and got out to see if there was anything I could do. As I stood over it, the puppy shifted it's head to be able to see me, but would not move anything other than that. I have seen animals die from being run over before, so I was sure that the poor thing had internal organ damage and was just slowly dying, but I couldn't just leave it there. I carefully lifted it from the road, trying my best to support it and not make any damage worse. I put the puppy on the passenger seat of my truck and took it to the nearest veterinarian I could find.
At the vet's office, the dog would still not move much. When placed on her feet, she would just lay back down. After assuring the vet's receptionist that I would accept financial resposibility (as if I could affort it at the time), she agreed to have the vet check the puppy out and contact me. I left the dog at the vet's and went on to my work, fully expecting to hear later in the day that the poor thing had died of internal organ damage. As I mowed and weeded the yard, all I could think of was that poor puppy and I was upset about the whole thing, so I called my wife and shared the story with her, along with the news that anything I might be earning that day would probably be going toward the vet's bill.
About the time I was blowing the grass clippings off of my customer's driveway and finishing up, I got a call from the vet's office. The veterinary assistant reported that they had checked the puppy over carefully and that it appeared she had been rolled by a car, but had not been run over by the tires and did not have any broken bones or internal organ damage. The puppie's biggest problem was that she had become dehydrated and weak from lying on the hot asphalt. She had probably given up and was just waiting to die when I came upon her. I was so happy when she told me all of this, and had to inquire several times to make sure they had done a good job checking her out and that they were sure she was going to be okay because I just could not believe how good the report was. Then I called my wife to share the good news and we agreed we would both meet at the vet's office when she got off of work so that we could pick the puppy up, pay the bill and decide what to do next (as if I hadn't already decided in my heart that we were going to keep her). God is so good!!! Even as the joy of the good news was still rushing over me as I was loading up all of my yard equipment, a pickup truck pulled up and it turned out to be a guy that wanted to hire me to do a couple yards for him! God gives us sadness and joy, sometimes in rapid succession.
Needless to say, my wife, who loves animals even more than I do, agreed that we should keep the cute little fortunate puppy, and I decided she would henceforth be know as Speedbump to remind us of how we had found her. She was indeed slowing down traffic!
As you can see from the pictures, I made a mistake in the chronology of one of my previous posts. We still had Buddy, who was in worsening shape and would only last a little longer from the time Speedbump joined us. Speedbump, or sometimes just Bump for short, since she likes to bump things with her rear, has since grown into a large and very regal looking dog. We believe she is a golden retriever mix and she has a very long and luxurious coat. She loves cold weather, especially when it includes snow. She will stand outside when the weather is cold and let the north wind blow up her tail, and love every minute of it. She is the exact opposite from Daisy when it comes to bravery. As Daisy stands her ground and barks in warning to any intruding critter or person, Speedbump runs for cover. She is a funny and very sweet dog.