This is the third installment of the ordeal of our neighbors in the Colorado River, click here if you would like to read the previous articles.
After the conversation with the Deputy and the gruesome indication our neighbors had been lost in the river …… nothing was left for us but to try and put this terrible tragedy behind us.
Why did the helicopter leave the search, was it true our neighbors had not survived their terrible ordeal in the dark cold waters of the Colorado river.
We called it a night and headed to our rigs.
What was next, would the Deputies wait for the rescue boat to bring the victims to shore? Was the rescue boat even in the water yet?
I opened the door to our trailer, Lynda was sitting on the couch reading with Buddy in his usual spot, head on her lap. This was his favorite position when his mummy was sitting watching the tube, reading, needle work or whatever, he didn’t much care he just needed to be close…….. such a suck.
You see we had not had a dog for most of our married life. Lynda didn’t want one, she thought it was not fair to leave an animal alone all day while we worked. She was also allergic to their dander.
I had been raised with animals and my own dog. I explained to her some breeds of dogs are hypoallergenic, meaning they do not cause allergic reactions. We made a pact that once our working life was over we would get a dog.
That day came and I began looking for the perfect dog for ME. It needed to be hypoallergenic for Lynda and small enough to travel easily. I checked out the puppy mills in our area and not one little guy struck a cord. A pause in my search, until one weekend we traveled back to our home town and while Lynda was meeting with friends I checked out another puppy store.
After explaining to the clerk what I was up to she indicated I should take a look at the 100 something puppies barking and playing in the various kennels. Many cute and cuddly specimens, but again none made an impression.
As I was just about to call it quits and give up trying for today, to find the perfect pet for myself, the clerk approached and asked how it was going, I shrugged, with this she apologized with disappointment on her face and turned to leave me….then she stopped and turned back to me.
We have one puppy you haven‘t seen yet, she explained, as I followed her to the rear of the store, he had been quarantined from the other puppies. He wouldn’t eat after being removed from his mom and needed to be put on intravenous.
We reached the rear of the store, she asked me to wait as she entered the back room. After a moment she emerged with a little ball of white fluff so small she cradled it in her small hands.
She handed me the fluff, as she did the cutest big brown eyes emerged from the fluff and looked into mine, that was it, I was smitten. I had my little Buddy……I thought.
I am not sure why, maybe because he was taken from his mom too soon or maybe because I was still working part time and was not there for him, but Buddy bonded with Lynda more than me. My dog was not mine.
I took it like a man and didn’t cry like a little girl, I was happy to have a dog in the house after so many years. As I am writing this Buddy is laying on the couch licking his crotch.
Back to the story
Lynda looked up from her book and asked how our neighbors were doing. I briefed her on the conversation with the deputy, as I did a cloud of concern crossed her face. This was not good.
We agreed nothing could be done in the dark, the discussion ended. Neither of us brought up the idea of going to bed, we probably would not sleep anyway. We sat in silence, Lynda went back to her book and I stared out the window into the darkness wondering what had become of our neighbors.
It was almost mid-night, I was warming up from our trek through the night to speak to the Deputy. I was sitting contemplating a warm bed when I heard a drone of an engine in the distance.
I perked up, was it the rescue boat or was it a night time flyer? I sat for a moment listening as the engine’s noise seemed to be coming closer. I grabbed my flashlight and darted out the trailer door into the night.
‘R’ and ‘H’ had not gone to bed either and were already outside, the engine noise had also brought them out. They stood in front of the rigs looking toward the black waters of Squaw Lake. The engine was much louder now, but nothing could be seen through the darkness.
We walked to the edge of the water and focused toward the sound. A light in the distance shone through the tall grasses bordering the entrance to Squaw Lake. The light rounded the corner into the lake, it was a boat, was it the rescue boat?
It was almost at the boat launch across the small bay from the campground before we could make out the large letters “Rescue” on the side. It was a large Zodiac type boat with inflatable sides.
We could make out several shapes with reflective stripes illuminated from the head light of the Deputies vehicles. We quickly walked around the small bay to the boat launch. The rescue boat had already docked beside the boat launch.
One of the rescuers was tying the boat to the dock while another was still at the helm. We counted 5 people in all, although we could not make out if all were crew or not.
As we got closer it appeared a couple of the people in the boat were wrapped in blankets even their heads were covered. They had been found, a feeling of relief and happiness filled my chest.
The Deputies motioned for us to stay away from the dock. We stood and watched, as a distant siren caught our attention, the ambulance we assumed. The two blanketed figures were helped out of the boat, along the dock and to the ambulance that had just arrived.
We could now make out the people, a tall man with graying hair and a younger looking woman, definitely our neighbors. The ambulance attendants were quick to start evaluating the survivors inside the ambulance. After a couple of minutes the doors were closed and the ambulance drove off with the couple inside.
‘R’, ‘H’ and I high fived and laughed with relief and joy, our neighbors were safe from the dark waters.
The rescue boat was already moving away from the dock as the Deputies started their cars to follow the ambulance up the narrow entrance road.
A small crowd of campers gathered on the campground side of the bay. They began to disperse as ‘R’, ‘H’, and I walked back along the shore to our rigs.
The night air seemed warmer now, but it probably wasn’t, maybe the warm fuzzy feeling made everything seem warmer.
A brief thought of the couple’s dog in their rig crossed my mind, what could we do. It was not likely the dog would let is into his house, even if we could get the door open. This new issue will wait till the morning.
A small celebration was probably in order, but by this time it was well past midnight so we all headed to our rigs and to bed. Everyone was openly thankful and relieved, a situation that could have easily turned fatal was averted.
Watching the couple walk from the rescue boat and climb into the ambulance indicated to us three that no obvious injuries were evident and maybe they just needed a check up and warm up to make sure all was well.
I am sure everyone in the campground was wondering when they would return and what a tale they would tell.
It was lights out, the warm bed was a pleasure for my weary body, apparently I was cold as ice and no cuddling was allowed. The night was finally quiet except for Buddy’s snoring. I warmed up quickly and drifted off to a contented slumber.
It seemed my eyes had just closed when a door slammed, and a dog barked causing Buddy to bark. The noises were close, just outside our trailer. I yelled at Buddy to be quiet as I got out of bed and headed to the window.
I was just in time to see our neighbors arrive, unlock the door to their motor home and enjoy the greetings of their very happy pooch. They tried to be quiet, but couldn’t contain their excitement. I smiled to myself as I closed the curtain and returned to bed, tomorrow we will get the rest of the story.
Thanks for visiting.