Rescue Dog

Rescue Dog

A Story by jlhaessly

A young boy's family moves from California to Wisconsin, where he spots a beagle dog. He sets about catching it, but in the end it may be the dog who does the rescuing.


Rescue Dog

J. Lynn Haessly

Chapter One


            It was suppose to be the best summer of my life. The summer before starting high school. The summer I was to turn 14. Beach parties, trips to the mall, endless hours of video games with the guys, and best of all time spent with Lacey. I had known her for years now. Four to be exact. Actually she had gotten on my nerves a lot those first couple of years. But somehow she had grown on me. And since she lived only next door, this summer was to end with her being my “girl”.

            That was how it was suppose to go, the summer of 2012. But then my folks hit me with a bombshell. We were moving to Wisconsin. Wisconsin the middle of no where. I mean I knew my mom was from Wisconsin. That was where my folks met up at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. I had heard all the lame stories about how they fell in love and got married. Yuck. But my mom had been sane enough to bail outa that place and move to San Diego with my dad. Now all there was of Wisconsin in our lives, up to this point, were phone calls and post cards. Oh, and of course Green Bay Packers games during football season. I was okay with that stuff, but moving there was absolutely out of the question. And I told them so.

            That’s when my old man sat me down and filled me in on it. Turns out things weren’t so great for us in San Diego anymore. The economy. Yeah, I heard them talking about it on the news. It was hitting everyone hard, but I had no idea that everyone meant me. I knew my dad had been “laid off” awhile ago, but when he mentioned that it had been over a year ago, it hadn’t seemed that long. I guess I was too busy with my life to have noticed. I mean things seemed the same to me. But now as he filled me in, I guess they just didn’t want me to worry.

            My Nanner, what we all called my mother’s mom, had fallen a few weeks before and broke her hip. And seeing as our house was going up for a “short sale” and my Nanner needed someone to look after her, my parents had agreed it would be best for everybody if we moved to the tiny town of Rudolph, Wisconsin to look after her. At least for the time being. Cause it seems with this economic thing Business Planning Lawyers aren’t too big in demand.

            So that’s how I found myself living out in the middle of no where, with absolutely nothing to do, and no one to do anything with anyways. To make matters worse, once again my parents are fighting. They call it “discussing”, but it’s fighting. They have been doing that a lot lately. In the three weeks we have been in Rudolph living in my Nanner’s old run down, which my mom calls quaint, house they have had more fights than I can remember. Fights over money, fights over my dad flying back to Cali to look for work, fights over fighting so much.

            My mother ends this round by telling my dad that she has to take my Nan her lunch. He says fine and gets up and walks out the back door just as I was about to ask him if we could do something together. I’m just not used to all this. My mom gathers up the tray with the lunch and leans over to kiss me on the head as she leaves the room.

            I end up sitting on the couch in the living room watching television. Something I have been doing a lot of lately. When we lived in California my parents would never allow me to watch this much tv in a million years. I had brought my Playstation, but was bored out of my mind with the games I had and knew better than to ask for some new ones. So I once again was flipping the channels looking for something to watch on the very limited amount of stations available out in the forest.

            Game shows, soap operas, old reruns of some black and white thing, cartoons for little kids, and then finally something I could get into a zombie movie. After a few minutes it was broken into by an emergency announcement. Dang I just couldn’t get a break. Over the screen a picture of a little girl flashed with the words Amber Alert. Seems this little girl by the name of Nellie Warwas, seven years old was missing and they were asking the public for help. Her mother and grandmother came on the screen being interviewed. They were in tears. Begging for help to find her. This went on for awhile and then came a picture of a man. Turns out he is the kid’s dad and his whereabouts are unknown and if anyone knows anything about where they can find him please contact the police.       Yeah, it was most likely the dad. Whenever a kid goes missing and the parents are split up it’s the dad. I just hoped my picture wouldn’t end up on the television with the way things were going around here.

            I told myself I was being silly, but then as I thought about it I started to get really upset. The thought really hadn’t occurred to me that things could get that bad between my parents, but as I watched Brandi Feltz crying about her missing daughter and saying that she knows it was Adam who took her I got even more upset. I turned off the tv and decided it was time to get outta the house. Maybe I would wonder off into the woods and get myself lost. Then my parents would be so glad when they found me that they would realize how much we all needed each other.

            Out the door I went, calling to my mom as I did. There was a large barn behind the house. When my mom was a kid the family raised all sorts of animals, but now it mostly stood empty. They also grew corn on the nine acres out back which were now being rented out to a neighbor as a source of income for my grandmother. My mom had told me to stay out of the corn so I headed out front and across the street out into a large open field. A few minutes later I was across the field and into an area filled with trees. San Diego had always been green and filled with vegetation being by the ocean and all, but nothing like this. The trees were tall and close together as if the had been there forever. For a moment I hesitated thinking I might really get lost then headed right on in between the trees.

            Not only were there trees, but all kinds of interesting plants and vegetation that I had never seen before. Small animals like squirrels and bunnies scampered as I walked along. I came to a small creek after awhile and found it covered with insects and bugs. I took a twig from the side of the creek and ran it in the water causing the flying insects to take off. I decided to follow the creek to see where it went. After what seemed to be a long time I noticed a path on the other side of the creek and walked across it. After only a short time I noticed an old bike on the side of the path.

            I took a closer look and could see that the chain was rusted and it had come off. The bike also appeared to have a flat tire. I figured it must have been there for a long time and seeing as no one was around to claim it, decided to take it home. Maybe my father and I would be able to fix it up. That at least would give me something to do. I took a look at my watch and realized I had been gone from the house for well over an hour. I turned around to look back at the creek and hoped I would be able to make my way home after all. Luckily for me by following the creek back I was able to find my way.



            My dad was crouched down in front of it looking at the messed up chain, “So you say you found this thing out in the woods?”

            We talked about it for awhile and agreed it would be okay for me to keep it. I was almost afraid to ask for the money for the repairs. However, in the end we came to a compromise. I would pay for the new inner tube and he would pay for the new chain. He told me that my mom could take me into town that evening to get them and we would work on it later. I asked him if he would come along but he shook his head and said he had things to do.

            I took the bike around back to put it in the garage. And as I came around the corner I was startled by a dog standing in the yard. It was a small dog. Dark brown, light brown, black, and white. It had a short coat of fur, and a thin tail. It was sitting down but when it saw me it stood up and raised its nose in the air and let out the craziest bark I had ever heard. It was more like a howl or a wail. As it howled the tail went back and forth really fast. I had never seen a dog like it before. I called to it and it came forward a few steps, but then turned around and trotted off around the corner of the house. I stood still for a moment and as I went to follow it the dog came back around. Once again the nose went into the air and it howled and then disappeared around the corner. This time I followed it right away, and the dog lead me across the street into the field. It kept looking back as if to see if I was there. I finally decided to call for it to come to me and it began making it’s was over when a car turned onto the road. I looked up at the car and when I looked back the dog was gone. I called out for awhile, but when it didn’t return I headed back to the house to put the bike away.

            When I went into the house, my mom told me it would be about a half an hour before she was ready to go into town. I decided to pass the time by looking up what kind of dog that was. I was at least happy that we had a computer. My father needed it to job hunt, which is what he seemed to do most of them time. This meant there was little time for me to use it but at the moment my dad wasn’t on it. It took me only a few minutes to realize the little dog I had seen was a Beagle. And that the “howl” it had made was typical for hound dogs often used for hunting. I knew that hunting was a big thing in the area, and wondered which neighbor the Beagle belonged to. I also wondered if I would see it again. I had always wanted a dog.


            It had been the first time we had been out of the house for more than a run to the store since moving to Wisconsin. Nanner was asleep and father was at home should she wake up and need anything. Mom and me drove to Steven’s Point which was about 25 minutes from the house. Even though I hated to admit it, the drive into town was really cool. We drove over old bridges that passed above the Wisconsin River which ran full with more water than any river I had ever seen. My mom pointed out places she had gone to as a child and fished. I asked her if she could take me some time and she told me as soon as my grandmother was doing better.

            We came to the downtown area. The shops were all very old looking brick buildings. This was nothing like the mall back in San Diego where I was used to running to when we needed something. After purchasing the items for the bike, we made our way over to a pizza parlor close by that my mom had gone to back when she was a teenager. They had all types of crazy pizza combinations. One had fried potatoes and scrambled eggs on it. Another had spaghetti piled high on top. I selected one that had macaroni and cheese, and my mother had a slice with spinach on it of all things. Next door was a tattoo shop and I commented to my mom that I would get one when I turned 18. Mostly it was to shock her, but to my surprise she just smile and told me to choose wisely cause I would have it there for a long time. We walked around the other shops for awhile before returning to the house.

            That evening my dad and I repaired the bike and I took it out into the neighborhood until dark.


Chapter 2


            The following morning my dad came into the room I was sleeping in to have a talk. He had never come into the room before then so I know something was up. He began asking me questions about the bike and how I was liking living in Wisconsin and how I would be making new friends soon, but I knew that wasn’t his real reason for coming in the room. Finally he sat down on the bed and got to it.

            He asked me for my cell phone back. I had gotten it the previous year for my birthday. He told me he was sorry to do it, that I had done nothing wrong.

            “It’s that just until I get a new position son, we can’t afford the bill,” he told me as I handed it over.

            I knew it was hard for him to ask so I told him, “Don’t worry about it pop, none of my buddies are really calling me anymore anyways. I guess they are too busy down at the beach. Besides I got lousy reception out here.”

            I slinked downstairs after I was dressed for breakfast and he was no where to be seen. My mother was busy on the phone talking to my grandmother’s doctor about changes to her medication so she asked me to take up her tray of food. I slowly made my way up the stairs doing my best not to spill anything. I hated to admit it but I was a bit fearful of going into her room. I hadn’t really seen that much of her in the past few weeks and had never been alone with her.

            I knocked lightly on her door and hoped she was asleep so I could just leave the tray on her nightstand, but she wasn’t. She called for me to come in. She had a big smile on her face as I entered and told me she was beginning to feel much better. To my amazement we spent the next hour or so talking about all sorts of things. We ended our conversation with me fetching her purse so she could give me five dollars to go down to the gas station and get a treat with the promise that I would bring her back some chocolate.

            I hopped on my biked and by following her directions came upon a gas station with a small market a couple of miles from the house. Behind the store was a yellow mobile home with laundry hanging outside it. Sitting on the porch out front was a girl about my age with long red hair wearing a baseball cap. As I walked towards the store she got up from her seat and began walking over.

            I went inside and selected two candy bars and a can of root beer. After paying I made my way back out to my bike. There standing next to the bike was the girl.

            “You must be Mrs. Sakasky’s Grandson. My dad said your family was coming to stay with her for awhile while she was healing from her surgery. He says you all are from San Diego out in California. Nice to meet you I’m Sarah Engelson. My folks own the gas station and shop. I take it your Kai,” she actually held out her hand to me and then shook mine when I stuck it out.

            She then went right on talking, “My dad says your 13 and starting high school in the fall in Wisconsin Rapids just like me. Although I am 14 already. Guess we will be taking the bus together. Say do you like to fish? This weekend we all are going fishing and you could come along if you like.”

            As I watched her talk, I noticed that she had bright blue eyes and pink lip gloss on her lips. Her long red hair was tied back in a braid. Besides the baseball cap with a large G for the Green Bay Packers, she wore denim shorts and a t-shirt with butterflies on it. In her pocket she had a sling shot which she told me she used for target practice on old soda bottles out in the woods. She was perfect. Pretty and smart and yet you could fish and hang out with her too. It was possible that I wouldn’t mind living here after all.

            I was just getting around to doing some talking myself, when this guy with long stringy brown hair wearing a t-shirt that read “red neck and what of it?” rode up on of all things this really huge spotted horse. I had seen plenty of horses since arriving but none this close up.

            “Hey Sarah,” He called out, “whose that?”

            “Hey Travis,” Sarah called back as he rode even closer, “This here is Kai, just moved here from California.”

            Travis began drilling me about what it was like in California. Why we had moved to Wisconsin. He was also trying to make it really clear that he and Sarah were “good” friends to which she responded that might be pushing it. As we talked another kids rode up on a dirt bike. I was introduced to Travis’ side kick Kurt who seemed to do whatever Travis told him to do. Including turning off his damn bike before it scared the horse.

            It was Sarah who then brought up the news reports of the little girl. I think it was to get Travis off the subject of my “odd” name. I stood by and listened to the three of them talk about Nellie Warwas whose mom Brandi worked at the cheese factory in Rudolph with Kurt’s dad Eugene. Sarah shook her head as she agreed with the news reports about her dad taking her. She told me that her father said that man was “no good”.

            Kurt, however, stated that he wasn’t so sure about the dad theory. Sarah took the bait and asked him if it wasn’t the dad then where did she go? That is when I got introduced to the legend of The Beast of Bray Road. A legendary half bear, half big foot animal that terrorizes the people of Wisconsin. I told him that I didn’t believe in such things, but he told me it was real and that I could look it up on the computer if I liked. Sarah confirmed the “supposed” existence of the beast but said it was spotted way over in Elkhorn almost 200 miles away from Rudolph.

            Then Travis, not to be outdone by the likes of Kurt, said he thought it must be the ghost of old Ed Gein from Plainfield not 25 miles away. Sarah said he was being dumb. I wanted to know who the heck he was so Travis explained he was some crazy guy that went around snatching women and doing not so nice things to them. Sarah agreed that part of the story was true. However, she would not even consider the possibility of a cannibal ghost lurking around since the late 50s waiting to snatch up little seven year old Nellie. Nope she was sure it was the dad.

            Travis then asked Kurt, “Hey isn’t your mom related to the Geins?”

            Kurt got the nerve up to tell Travis to shut the heck up and just as Travis looked as if he was gonna be the one shutting Kurt up,  Sarah’s mom called her into the house. And not wanting to hang out with Travis and Kurt, I took off. I hoped to see Sarah again real soon, but the other two I could do without.

             Of course the first thing I did when I got home was to look up the Beast of Bray Road and Ed Gein. I didn’t know which story was worse. A monster that lurks or some lunatic dude that did the unspeakable. Wisconsin had some real crazies. When I brought up the subject that night at dinner my mom wanted to know where I had heard about them. I told her about Travis and Kurt, and she told me to steer clear of them. No worries there. Then we talked about Sarah. Seems my mother dated her dad in high school. Yuck. No one wants to hear about their mother dating anyone, let alone the new girl you just met.


            That night I had a dream. I was out on my bike riding around the neighborhood, not that there are many neighbors. It’s night time which is odd my parents never let me ride around after dark. Any ways I come around the corner and the house is just about in sight when out of nowhere The Beast of Bray Road comes out of the trees to chase me! At least it is the Beast of Bray Road of my nightmares. He is a big, tall, hairy think with razor sharp claws of blood dripping from his savage long fangs. He is also wearing a t-shirt that says “red neck so what?” and he is riding on a dirt bike. Go figure. Regardless of the stupid t-shirt I am scared as hell. I begin riding as fast as I can. Lifting up off the seat of the bike and pumping my legs as hard as humanly possible. All the while I can hear the beast calling out my name “Kai. Kai. Kai!” And he is right upon me when I … wake up.

            Still a bit frightened by the dream I lie in this bed in a room that still doesn’t quite feel like mine. For a short while I am tempted to go into the room my parents are in but pride stops me. I am no baby. Instead I roll over on my stomach and pull the blankets over my head. I concentrate on my breathing and after only a couple minutes I am feeling much better. I am beginning to feel sleep is again possible when I hear a now familiar howl from outside.

            I slide out from under the covers and make my way to the bedroom window. The sky is clear and the moon is full so I can make out the form of the little Beagle pretty good. She lifts her head into the night sky and howls again. As she does she shifts her weights from one front leg to another. She is looking directly at me up in the second story window I am standing at. I am wondering what the heck is this strange dog doing out in the night. Surely she must be lost.

            Quickly and as quietly as I can, I slip on shoes and make my way downstairs. Slowly I open the back door and pause as the hinges squeak. I see her still standing in the yard and she lets out another howl. I call for her in a whisper. It is my plan to take her upstairs with me for the night. Then in the morning I can beg and plead until my parents let me keep her. However her plan does not seem to be the same. She seems to want to keep just far enough away from me so that I can’t grab her. I come closer a few feet and talk to her. She tilts her head as if she is listening and thinking about what I have to say. I tell her I’ll get her something yummy to eat when we get in the house. I move forward and just as I reach out for her she begins backing up away again. Darn!

            We move across the front yard until we are at the street. It is here that I make my last ditch attempt to grab her and she bolts. Across the road she runs out into the field. She runs across it out into the trees just as she did before. Her head up in the air, howling as she goes. And oh how I want to follow her but I know better than that. My dad would kill me if he woke up and found me gone. Better luck next time I tell myself as I go back in the house and back up to bed. As I lie in the dark thinking about the dog I make a plan for next time. Next time I’ll bring along a tasty treat for her. She must be hungry. Satisfied with my scheme, I fall back to sleep. In the morning I wasn’t even sure if she hadn’t been just part of another dream.


            Chapter 3


            I offered to take in my Nanner’s tray the next morning. My mother was surprised and happy by the request. I could tell by the smile on her face, and the way she ran her hand threw my hair. She also commented on how tall I was getting and that soon I would be just as tall if not taller than her. It couldn’t be soon enough for me. Not to sound full of myself but I knew the girls thought me to be kinda hot. I could tell by the way the smiled at me and then looked away. Or the way as I passed a group of friends in the hallway they would stop talking until I passed by and then giggle to one another. However I was just a bit on the shorter side. Not the shortest but still no guy wants to be thought of as short. And I was entering high school in a new town with all new kids. I needed all the help I could get. This included not being one of the short guys. My mom was telling me not to worry. “Look and see how tall your dad is” was what she would say. Or “you’ll be hitting that growth spurt any time now”.

            I hoped that any time now would be this summer, I thought as I made my way to the back bedroom with the tray of food.

            Nanner was sitting up in bed. Her hair freshly combed into a bun which my mom told me she had worn since my mom was a kid. She was very pleased with herself as she told me that she was finally able to get up and walk around with the help of a walker. On her lap sat a book. She asked me to come sit on the bed with her cause she had something she wanted to show me. I sat the tray on the dresser and went on over. We spent the next hour going through a very large album of pictures. They were mostly taken when my mom was a kid. As we went through it my Nanner told me about the people in the pictures and what had been happening when they were taken.

            Now had my friends been around I would most likely had rolled my eyes and acted like I wanted to get the heck out of there. But seeing as it was just the two of us I thought it was only polite to show some interest. Then as we continued looking at them and talking about how things were when my mom was growing up I began to realize that I was truly interested. Especially when we came to pictures and stories about my grandfather whom I had only met once when I was a little kid. It was obvious to me that my grandma missed him a lot. I knew my mom did too.

            Towards the end of the album there was a picture of my grandma wearing a silly hat sitting next to of all things a Beagle! She told me it had been her favorite dog. His name had been Jack Henry and he had lived to the ripe old age of 16. As she told me about Jack Henry I took the opportunity to tell her about the Beagle that had been coming around the past few days and how I was trying to catch her. I told her I was hoping that my parents would let me keep her as I always wanted a dog. Nanner got this big smile on her face and told me that if I caught her, and if we didn’t find out who she belonged to, well then she would make sure they let me keep it. I was finding myself liking my grandmother more and more.  

            Armed with the promise from my grandmother I was determined to find that dog. I mean she was my mom’s mother so my mom had to do what she said and let me keep it. I yelled out that I was riding down to the gas station store as I headed out the back door. I got on my new bike and began searching the neighborhood. I spent the next hour and a half but there was no sign of the beagle anywhere. A couple of times a heard a dog bark and for a moment was hopeful but would then realize it couldn’t be my dog cause it was a plain old bark and not a beagle howl.

            I began to get discouraged and started peddling towards the gas station for real. It was getting kinda hot and it is much more humid in Wisconsin then in California. I had never known what humid was before moving out here. My mom told me the word one day when I ask how come I felt so yucky and sticky all the time even though it wasn’t much warmer than it was in San Diego. At any rate, I thought that maybe I would stop in and get a soda. Maybe Sarah would be around and we could talk some more. I was hoping she would bring up the subject of going fishing again. My mom had mentioned the night before at dinner that she was sure there would be some fishing gear outside in the barn.

            I rode up to the store and dropped my bike off by the side, when who did I see coming out the front doors but Sarah herself. She was carrying empty boxes and as she smiled at me she dropped several of them. I bent over and picked them up offering to help her.

            “Thanks,” she told me, “my dad asked me to take these out to the dumpster.” I began following her around to the back of the store. Once we had thrown them away she invited me up to the house to meet her mom. I mentioned that I hadn’t told my mother that I would be gone to long, and she told me I could use her phone to call home. When I told my mom where I was she mentioned I should say hi to Sarah’s dad, yuck, and that could I please call before I headed back.

            Sarah gave me a tour of her house which included a quick peek in her room. We didn’t stay because he parents did not allow her to have boys in her room without permission, which must be some weird Wisconsin type rule. We ended up out front sitting on her porch swing talking and drinking lemonade her mother had served us. It turned out she was as talkative as the first time we met and I just let her talk as much as she wanted to. She told me about growing up in Wisconsin, her friends at school, going fishing, the music she liked, and lots of other things. Once in awhile she would ask me a question and I would quickly answer it and she would go on talking. Which was fine with me cause I really liked the sound of her voice.

            Finally she hit me with the question, “So what ya been up to today?”

            So I told her the story about the dog and how I wanted to find her. I asked her if she knew if anyone around had a beagle dog that might be missing.

            “Nope,” she told me, “I don’t anyone around here with that kinda dog.”

            She got up off the swing and held her hand out to me and then pulled me up too.

            “Well lets go,” She pulled me by the hand.

            “Where?” I asked her.

            “Why to find your dog of course, silly” She smiled at me.

            I was liking her more and more. She got her bike from the garage and the two of us rode off to find “my” dog. We headed back to my house to start from there cause Sarah said that is where I saw her. Then we headed across the street, rode through the field and dropped our bikes at the edge of the trees. We walked in among them and over to the creek.

            Sarah put her fingers to her mouth and let out the loudest whistle I had ever heard. We listened for awhile but nothing. We began walking up and down the creek in both directions and Sarah would whistle every so often and then we would stand real still and listen but never heard a thing. So we finally gave up and headed on back to my house. We were half way across the field to the road when we both finally heard what we had been listening for. The howl of a beagle. She sounded real far off. We both looked at one another and headed as fast as we could back towards the creek. We only heard it one more time and then nothing. Sadly with no more to go on we eventually gave up again and left.

            As Sarah got on her bike to head home she told me, “Well at least we know she is still out there. Don’t worry she will show up again. You’ll catch her next time. I know carry around some cookies in your pocket for when you see her.”

            And with that Sarah rode off calling out over her shoulder, “See you soon!”

            I hoped I would.


Chapter 4


            The next morning was an absolute mess. Nothing went right. My parents ended breakfast with yet another fight. My dad stormed out of the house, got in his car, and drove off. Something he was doing more and more. My mom went into the bathroom and I could hear her crying. I didn’t know what to do. I thought I would at least help out by taking my Nan’s tray up to her.

            As I was making my way to her room a heard a loud thud, and then my grandma calling out for my mom. I yelled to my mother in the bathroom and she came out quick and passed me up on her way to the bedroom. I came in a moment later to my Nanner lying on the floor and my mom in a panic. In an instant I was on the phone dialing 911.

            The ambulance came and took my grandmother to the hospital. And since my dad had left in the car, and no one had a cell phone anymore, my mother went with the ambulance. She told me to stay put and she would call me when she knew what was happening. She also said my dad would most likely be home shortly and to tell him what happened. I told her not to worry I would be fine and I was sure grandma would be fine. I didn’t want her to see just how scared and worried I was. I had never needed to call 911 before.

            Once they drove off with my mother and my grandmother, I found myself alone for the first time in a big, old, creaky, kinda well creepy house. I sat on the couch in the living room and watched television. I thought about getting on the computer again but then began to think of the Beast of Bray Road and all that yucky Ed Gein stuff and became frozen where I was on the couch. Thank heavens it was day time and bright in the room, otherwise I think I would have started to freak out a bit.

            Then I heard a strange noise coming from down the hallway. It was probably just something I hadn’t noticed before but now that I was alone it sounded really odd. Part of me wanted to get up and go look but the other wanted to stay put. The stay put part of me won.

            I decided my best bet was to put the tv on loud. Then I wouldn’t be able to hear any other strange noises in the house. I began to flip through the stations looking for something to keep my mind off my problems. As I was doing this I came across a station that was playing an updated report on the Nellie Warwas case. In spite of acting like I didn’t really care about it I found myself thinking about her from time to time during the day wondering what had really happened to her. They were talking to her mother again and she was crying with her arm around some man begging once again for the return of her daughter. I was wondering who the  guy with her was when across the bottom of the screen I read that the father was located in Colorado and he did not have his daughter and authorities felt he was not involved in her disappearance. It appeared that the man on the screen with Nellie’s mother was in fact the father. He was telling the news crew that he had been hauling a load to Colorado and as soon as he heard his daughter was missing contacted the police and returned to Wisconsin.

            Now that the father wasn’t to blame the police were looking at other suspects in the case. It seemed a neighbor who lived only a couple of blocks away from the grandmother had been interviewed but then released. There on the screen was a phone number where anyone who might have any information could call anonymously. The news reporter came on next and began explaining that while search parties had combed the areas around the home they were now expanding the search areas based on the fact that the father was no longer a suspect. He went on to explain what Nellie was wearing when her grandmother had last seen her. He added that they were about to show pictures of the grandmother’s dog and an older cousin’s bicycle which were also missing from the home.   

            With those words my stomach did a flip flop. I held my breath as they flashed a picture of an old rusty bike and then came a picture of a beagle dog. I knew it before I even saw the red and black collar on its neck. I knew it would be the little beagle dog that had been coming to my grandma’s house because that was the very bike that was now leaning up against the shed out back.

            I thought of her coming to the house for the last few days. No wonder she had tried to get me to follow her. She must know where Nellie is. I bet she was trying to show me and when I wouldn’t follow her to the little girl she would return to Nellie. That meant the little girl must be close by. I thought back to where I had found the bike on the path out in the woods. She had to be somewhere by there.

            For the second time that morning I started over to the phone to call 911. I only hoped I would be able to lead them back to the right area. I hoped after all this time that Nellie Warwas was okay. Something must have happened to keep her from showing up. I bet that she was injured and unable to make it home. I hoped it wasn’t worse than that as I made my way over to the phone. I picked up the receiver and was about to punch in the number when out the window I saw her. The little beagle dog who I now knew was named Candie Mae.

            My hand stopped short of the buttons on the phone. I wasn’t sure what to do. If I called the police would I be able to show them where I had found the bike? Even if I could remember would they be able to find the girl from there? I began to think that maybe the best thing to do was to go out and get the dog. She would be able to lead them to her.

            I put the phone down, stopped by the fridge for some left over chicken, and headed out to catch me a dog.

            She was there. Sitting in the front yard and when I came out the door she raised her nose up in the air and let out a yowl. This was something I had become used to in the last few days and was glad to hear it. As I came towards her, she began to back up towards the road. Once again it seemed she wanted to lead me off towards the creek and, I knew now, Nellie.

            I bent down onto one knee and called to her, “Come on Candie Mae. I have some nice chicken here to give you.”

            I tore off a piece and threw it towards her. The little dog must be hungry I thought to myself. However I was surprised she didn’t give the chicken a second look. She ignored it and continued backing up. I got up again and came towards her walking slowing and making that silly smacking noise with my lips I had seen other people do when calling a dog. She stopped for a few moments and allowed me to get really close to her. The closest she had let me get since seeing her. I was only about two feet from her when I thought I would take my chance. I leapt forward and grabbed for her, but she was too quick and she took off. She did however stop just on the other side of the road. Turning around she sat down and howled once again as if daring me to try it again. Which I of course I did. This went on for some time as she managed to move me further away from the house and closer to the woods and the stream.

            In another minute or two I found us in the shade of the trees and we were standing alongside the stream. I began to wonder if I should just give it up and return to the house to call someone when Candie Mae began slowly walking alongside the creek bed back in the direction I found the bike. Dang how I wish I had my cell phone still. I may have been able to get reception here. I watched as she walked along and was torn by what to do. Surely if I went home she would try to come back and get me. But then I began to consider once a bunch of police showed up at the house it might frighten her into taking off for good. Then we might never find Nellie Warwas, or al least not until it was too late.

            Candie looked over her shoulder to see if I was still there. She stayed in the same spot until I started walking in her direction and then she continued on. I was able to get only a few paces behind her but she would not allow me to get any closer. I think she knew I was still hoping to catch her and take her back to the house. It seemed that was not what she had planned. She was going to make me follow her until we found Nellie. I had never in my life imagined that a little dog could be so loyal or so smart for that matter.

            We walked along the creek for awhile. Further than I had remembered walking that first day. We then came to a spot where we crossed the water and walked up a path where the plants we less thick. It was the pathway where I found the bike. Up the path we went along for a bit and then she left it and tromped into an area where the trees grew closer together and the ground was completely covered with plants. It was there that I once again stopped not sure if I should follow. As I thought it over she did her best to let me know I should. She turned round and began hoping back on forth from one front leg to the other.

            I was pretty sure as this point that she knew exactly where she was going. So in after her I went. As I went into the denser part of the woods I was careful to watch where I was walking. I didn’t want to trip and fall or step on anything weird. Not too far in as I saw something bright pink on the ground under the leaves. I reached down and picked up a dog leash. The end that would have connected to the dog’s collar was missing. It had to be Candie Mae’s leash. I held onto the leash as I continued on after the beagle. We walked on for not too much longer when the ground began sloping down. It became more difficult to follow at this point but she would stop every few yards and look back and bark urging me forward.

            The trees were really thick and it was actually kinda dark and hard to see where I was walking. I slowed down a bit as I continued. Holding onto tree trunks as I hiked forward. I lost sight of her for a moment and began to get a bit panicky as I wasn’t sure how to get back when I saw her again as I moved around a tree truck. She was sitting along side a large hole in the ground. I didn’t notice it at first but as I made my way to her I saw it. It was about four or five feet across. I looked into it and it must have been deep. I couldn’t see the bottom. I could only see down a few feet and then there was darkness. Candie Mae was standing at the edge of the hole and looking down into it. She then lifted he nose and howled for a long while before returning her gaze down into the darkness.

            I knew that was it. Nellie had fallen into the hole. I got down on my knees and peered down into it looking for any sign of the little girl but I was no use. I couldn’t see anything. I called out to her using her name so that she would hopefully answer if she heard but. There was no response. I was worried about her. That hole could be only a little deeper that the light would allow me to see or it could be really really deep. If she had fallen down far she might be injured bad.

            I knew I needed to get home and make that call. I stood up and realized I wasn’t exactly sure which direction I had walked in from. All the trees looked the same. I couldn’t see which direction the sun was in. I recalled something from boy scouts about which side the moss grew on trees but not really what that all meant. I looked at Candie Mae.

            She still wouldn’t let me get too close to her. I began talking to her. I told her that she needed to show my how to get home. She turned her head to one side and listened to me. I had no way of knowing if she had any idea what I was saying to her. I continued on telling her that if I didn’t make it home then they would never find Nellie and that I would be lost too.

            She shook her head, got up and began walking back in the direction I hoped we had come from. I counted my steps as we walked along just in case. I came to 476 before we reached the path. There alongside the path into the woods I left Candie’s leash as a marker. After a short while we came to the creek and there I took several rocks and piled them up while Candie watched me. When I finished she quickened her pace as we made our way once again back up the creek towards home. Finally she turned from the creek and in just a short time we stepped out into the sun light, and I could see the house across the field on the other side of the road. I began to hurry now but noticed Candie didn’t follow. Instead she turned round and went back into the woods. I supposed she was returning to wait alongside the hole among the trees keeping watch over the place she knew Nellie was. I called out to here not to worry I’d bring people to come get them both.


            Later that day a detective came to the house. My mother and father were sitting there waiting for word. I had led a group of rescue workers into the woods that morning and together we had found the hole in the ground where Nellie Warwas had fallen into the earth. I had been able to show then by watching for the markers I had made on my way back home.

            I was sure Candie would be there waiting but she was no where to be found. As the men went about working to lower one of them in the hole which turned out to be a long ago well, I called for the little dog but she never showed. I figured she had been scared off by the noise of the large group of people and equipment making their way through the trees. I wanted to stay until they brought Nellie up but one of the firemen noticed a cut on my leg that was bleeding. I was so worried about finding my way back that I hadn’t even noticed it. I had no idea of when I had done it. One of the men insisted upon taking me back to the house to take a look at it.

            When I was back at the house with a cleaned up cut now freshly bandaged we got the word from the rescue team that they had Nellie up out of the hole and were transporting her to the hospital. I didn’t even get a chance to see her.

She was at least still alive but no one was sure how badly hurt she was at that point.

            My mom was frantic when she arrived home and found a police car parked in the driveway. Her panic turned to shock and then pride as the officer told my mom of my adventure. Especially when he told us both that I was most likely responsible for saving the little girls life. My father arrived a short while later and once again the story was told about how I led the rescue team out to where Nellie Warwas had fallen down a hole. And without me they would have never found her.

            The police officer left and I told my parents it hadn’t been me really. It was then I told my folks about Candie Mae. Up until then I hadn’t had the chance to tell anyone who the real rescue hero was. Things had happen so quickly I didn’t have the chance. I told my dad she must be still out there in the woods. He agreed to help me look for her. We spent the next couple of hours in the woods together searching for the beagle. We called to her but never heard the now familiar howl in return. Reluctantly I returned home with my father but only with the promise that we would return the next day to look again. I hoped that she would come back to the house on her own.

            I had fallen asleep on the couch after a lunch of frozen pizza and chocolate ice cream. Upon awaking the police officer had shown up at our door with news about Nellie’s condition. He told my parents and me that she was going to be alright. She was dehydrated and had a broken arm as well as cuts and bruises but nothing that wouldn’t heal.

            He then asked me how I had known where to find her. I then told her how Candie Mae had led me to her. How she had been showing up at the house for the last few days trying to get me to follow her. I told the cop that I didn’t realize until that morning that she was Nellie’s dog until I saw a picture of her on the news report. And that once again she had shown up in front of the house and that time I knew to follow her. She was the one who really rescued Nellie but that now she was no where to be found. I told him that my dad and I were going to out and look for her. That she deserved to be returned to Nellie after being so loyal and saving the little girl.

            All the while I told my story the cop stood there shaking his head back and forth. I thought it was because he couldn’t believe one little dog could do all that.

            But when I came to the end of the story he told me, “Son that couldn’t have been Nellie’s dog. We found her beagle down in the well with her. I’m very sad to tell you that Nellie seemed to have fallen on top of her in the accident. Candie Mae didn’t make it. The firemen who pulled them both out said the dog’s neck had been broken. She must have died on impact. It’s so sad to think she was down there for days with the dog already dead. I just hope she doesn’t remember it.”


Chapter Five

            My grandmother was released from the hospital the very next day, and I was glad to have her home. News reporters kept coming to the house wanting to interview me but I really didn’t want to talk to anyone about what had happened. I told my grandma my story and how I was sure it was Candie Mae that whole time. How had another beagle shown up I wanted to know. And how could some other Beagle dog know where Nellie was and take me to her. My grandmother took me up onto her bed and into her arms. She told me that there are many things that happen in life that no one can explain. And the love that a dog has for a little girl can sometimes do the impossible. She told me that she didn’t think there was any point in looking for “that dog” because she was certain there would be no way of finding her.

            Nellie Warwas and her parents along with her grandmother came to see me. Her mother hugged me, kissed me on the cheek and thanked me for all that I had done. Her father shook my hand. Her grandmother told me that there had been talk about how I had managed to find Nellie out there in the woods.  I was embarrassed about having to once again tell the story and what they would all think. However she told me that no matter how I found her, they were just very grateful. Then she took out a large box from their car’s back seat. She reached in and took out something from it placing it into my arms. I found myself holding a small, fury, beagle puppy. At first I worried my parents wouldn’t let me keep it, but I realized my grandma would have something to say about that. They told me that Candie Mae had been carefully buried in the back yard under a large oak tree where she and Nellie had loved to play.

            Things worked out for my family in Wisconsin. My dad loved the job he found working at a small attorney’s office in Steven’s Point close by. He didn’t make nearly as much money but we had everything we needed including him home more often. We stayed on living with my grandma and I began to build a relationship with her that was as close at that with my parents. I enjoyed going to high school in Wisconsin Rapids that fall. I made a few good friends including Sarah. However my best friend in my high school years would turn out to be a furry Beagle whom I named Bray because he was “my” little beast. I would often think of Candie Mae in those years especially when Bray would catch a whiff of something and raise his head in the air and yowl.








































© 2012 jlhaessly

Author's Note

may be some slight grammatical errors still. This is intended for a tween age reader.

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Added on October 16, 2012
Last Updated on October 16, 2012
Tags: dog, animals, young adult, paranormal, mystery



Homeland, CA

I enjoy writing novels that reflect my personal interests. I have experienced paranormal occurrences since my early childhood and this influences my writing. I am a teacher in so cal. I am married; my.. more..

Rescue Dog Rescue Dog

A Story by jlhaessly