It has happened before...I step outside to take the critters for our walk, and they've started without me! But this morning I was surprised to find Charly gone - he isn't moving very far from his bed these days unless we say "walk"...several times...loudly.
But nonetheless, both beds were empty, so I started calling their names. Max came bounding up from the direction of the pond within seconds, but there was no sign of Charly. I continued calling his name and headed off in the direction Max had come from, asking him to lead me to Charly. And he did. I spotted him plodding along, following the trail that leads beside the creek...following the trail we've traveled hundreds of times over the years. I just followed his lead, letting him wander where he wanted (praying he didn't get so close to the water that he fell in - I would have to go in after him and I knew that water was cold!) He ventured down one steep bank, but managed to work his way back to the top without my help.Thank goodness I didn't have to carry him this time!
Eventually we made our way back to the road, down to the bend and headed back home...over an hour had passed since I'd stepped outside. I couldn't help wondering if this was Charly's last walk...but dang if he doesn't keep surprising me, that old dog. I'm not placing any bets on this one...just taking it day by day and grateful for every extra minute I get with him, sweet old thing...as long as he's not in pain, that is.