Numchucks: The Legend Ch. 04byMy Erotic Tail©
Chapter Four: Berry Popular
Dogs enjoy their snouts in the wind, out the side of a truck fender, out a car window or at the nose of a boat whipping across the water. Gives them a thrill that's equivalent to our encounters with the Ferris Wheel or the Spinning Tea Pots at the county fair. I have had many dogs in my time and they all seem to enjoy the thrill of a "G force" of fifty-five miles an hour with their eyes squinting and gums flapping wildly in the wind.
I worked for a local delivery company that did deliveries for banks, lawyers and equipment. I did most of these deliveries in my own vehicle for a larger percentage. Which allowed Numchucks daily rides across Texas in the back of a truck. It also offered more hunting since most routine pickups were at 10:00 am or later.
An early morning outing into the jungle, or the flooded flats of Robs Lake became routine. The green, 14 foot, john boat with a 25 hsp Johnson motor became our morning transport. The truck, a baby blue, F 150 Ford, Ranger was our daily wagon across Texas's vast miles to deliver various things. But we were together 24/7 for the most part.
He started to fill out and his "Runt puppy" look soon disappeared. He was definitely a fine tribute to the Black Lab breed. Big soft brown eyes and a plastered smile or pant, its hard to tell them apart. His soft coat and wagging tail was a "Pet me" magnet for any one who got close enough to the truck to see that he was gentle and had an affection nature. Some people have a fear of big black dogs just from sheer sight. But the only malice Chucks ever held was directed towards Nutra. (Swamp Rats)
The majority of the drives we made were to Houston, Navasota, Lufkin and of course locally around Huntsville. There was nothing that was routine. Someday's started early and some kept us out late. A few days started with my feet hitting the ground at a dead run and if Chucks wasn't around then he got left behind. But his fan club (places we frequented) certainly let me know they looked forward to seeing him and that he brighten up their day. With a trick or two he won the hearts of many.
One night it was raining really hard, and yes Numchucks was sitting in the passenger seat like a gentleman, we were on our way home from Cleveland, Texas about two in the morning. Thunder and lightening added to the tension of driving through the rain with zero visibility.
The truck's tire caught the edge of the shoulder and the force sent the truck spinning like a top across the highway and through the tall grass. Round and round the truck Hydroplaned across asphalt and turf. I recall looking at Numchucks to see if he was ok while twisting and spinning. He was just looking at me like, "Is this supposed to happen?" Just as calm as any ride he ever took.
The bumper of the truck finally embedded across the bar ditch just perfectly to keep the rear wheels off the ground. Several attempts to push the truck free proved to be futile. The rain pelted the truck in the night while I coaxed Numchucks to the floor board while I sprawled out across the bench seat. The lightening and thunder grew louder as did the rain.
"Looks like were here for the night Chucks. Night night." This particular section of FM 980 wasn't well traveled. I left the emergency flashers on just to ensure that I could be seen in case someone did happen by. Along with counting my blessings I realized the seriousness and the responsibility of traveling with an animal.
The dawn brought a sun shine morning with blue skies and a mist of rising dew. I crawled out of the truck stiffly while Chucks sprang playfully to the nearest tree. Which wasn't far since we were in the middle of the forest. Inspecting my situation I realized I needed a tow. So a foot we went, or feet and paws pounding the pavement towards the nearest phone.
Now Chucks had standing pools of water everywhere to quench his thirst. But I on the other hand wasn't prepared for being stranded and the long, long walk was making me thirsty along with a bit hungry. The Highway was generous with patches of black berries everywhere. I was picking them up as fast as I could eat them. Darting towards every plump berry I saw. I began stowing them in my pocket so I could make better time and still satisfy my hunger.
Dogs know the distinct sound of eating. Like radar they come to investigate what's edible. I offered Chucks a berry and he ate it to my surprise. He observed me picking the berries from the patches of vegetation and hand them to him. The second he realized where these tasty morsels were coming from he began his own harvesting. Quickly learning that the unripe red ones, were bitter. And as fast as cleaning your spectacles, he learned where berries grow and how to pick them, carefully.
I was way up the road and he would be at the last patch of berries we encountered. I would bend down and start picking berries and he would come running. As I filled my pocket and traveled on he would pick his fill till I reached the next clump of pick'able delights. We leap-frogged like this all the way to a phone. My boss came and picked us up and we went and towed the truck out of the bar ditch.
If there was one thing I was sure of, that would be that as long as there were berries or bait fish around, Chucks would never go hungry. His retriever training was over, it was full out Duck season and he went to work with me almost everyday. His adventures were about to begin or should I say more situations.