I had the complete honor of meeting Jim Aquilani at a craft fair in November and, after a long two days chatting, decided to have him design me a piece of jewelry based on my lovely citrine. You can find that post here.
This post isn’t about jewelry, though Jim is a brilliantly talented artist. No, this post is about Peqo and a tiny soul that refused to stop asking for help.
Here’s Jim’s story about Peqo:
Last November, a day after our first heavy snowfall, I received a call from a good friend of mine. I could hear the anxiety in his voice and knew something was up.
“I may need you and your boat today” he said. Needless to say, my curiosity was aroused.
I said, “Of course I will help,” and asked him what was up. He went on to explain the situation. He had been hearing the cries of a dog coming from the woods across the river from his house. This had been going on for two days. Try as he might, he could not spot the dog from his deck, even with a pair of binoculars. He was getting worried sick and after the second evening of hearing the intermittent crying and decided to set out at first light and find the poor dog.
As luck would have it, that night, the temperature took a dive and it snowed and snowed. The next morning, he found a break in the trees on the opposite bank of the river and started his search. He spent several hours that day, post-holing thru the waist deep drifts and cold, wet and completely exhausted, he arrived at the spot he had heard the cries coming from. Nothing. No prints and not a whine, not a single sign of a dog. Convinced that the poor creature had expired, or (hopefully) found a way to safety, he headed home feeling helpless.
Later that day, as the sun began to set, he heard the faintest whine from across the river and watched helplessly as the Eagles came to sit in the trees and start their vigil. He was devastated.
The morning I got the call, he said there was not a peep from across the way but that the Eagles were still keeping watch. As soon as he finished his story, I agreed that time was of the essence and began to collect my oars and such.
We transported and launched my punt and rowed across the river. When we beached the boat, we immediately split up and began our search in earnest. He took the shore and I headed up hill and in to the trees. It was bitterly cold, the snow was deep and there was absolutely no sign of a dog.
After searching for over an hour to no avail, we could once again hear one another and agreed to meet at the boat. I started towards the shore, but took a different route. Half way back to shore I saw coyote tracks, LOTS of them, too many in fact. Not a good sign. As I followed the tracks, not sure I wanted to see where they led, I heard the most heart breaking whimper imaginable. My pulse raced and I picked up the pace all the while speaking softly as I closed the distance to the source of the sound.
And then, there he was! The smallest, saddest looking, skinniest little bag of bones puppy I never hope to see again. My heart broke and leapt in my chest at the same time!
As he stood there, shivering to beat the band and shifting from paw to paw to try to keep warm, he did not even flinch when I plucked him from the snow and stuck him under my jacket. His cold nose in the palm of my hand brought tears to my eyes and his cold paws against my chest made goose bumps run down my spine.
He immediately wolfed down two bags of dry food my wife had sent with me, ”Just in case!”(the woman thinks of EVERYTHING!) And we made ready to shove off for home.
When I arrived back at my house, my wife came running out the door, anticipation written all over her face.
“Did you find anything?” she asked.
With a straight face, I rolled down the window and said, ”No.” Her face dropped. Then I stepped out of the truck and pulled the little fellow out from under my jacket. She choked back a sob when she saw him and the condition he was in.
We named him Peqo (a play on the Spanish for small-Pequeno) and once we cleaned the mites out of his ears and rid him of the incredible amount of fleas he was host to, we started fatten him up.
Peqo lived with us for six awesome weeks. During that time, we fattened him up, took him to the vet for shots, to the beach for fun, taught him the basics of obedience, and loved him like crazy. Peqo was now happy, healthy and afraid of NOTHING! Unfortunately, we were unable to keep him and so we put the word out in hopes of finding a good home for this lucky little dog.
Thanks to social media, specifically Facebook, we found a family for Peqo! What a bitter sweet day that was watching Peqo leave with his new parents.
We are forever in debt to his new parents and the updates we get on his new “life of leisure” are priceless.
We may never know how little Peqo ended up alone in the woods, far from the nearest house, hunted by Coyotes and frozen half to death, but none of that matters now. Peqo is a very lucky dog and we feel just as lucky to have been a part of his life.
Thank you so much for sharing this story with us, Jim! It makes my heart so joyful to know Peqo survived—and has a wonderful home thanks to you.
On that lovely note, gang—Happy Tuesday!