This is a reposting of an old post from Friday, August 6, 2006, about my deceased son. Miss you Chane.
After the shitty 12 hour shift at work I drove home, downed a cold beer or three while soaking my cares away in a hot bath and crashed across my bed early. Things seemed much better until I sat straight up in bed at midnight, heart pounding and straining to hear what had disturbed some well earned slumber.
I could hear the booms of thunder & lightening, the drum of heavy rain on the roof and a high wind shrieking around the corners of the house loud enough to drown out the comforting whirl of my window air conditioner; it seems that the drought was over. But those familiar sounds weren't what jerked me out of a sound sleep. There was another noise, one that made the hair on my arms stand up and a shiver run down my spine. It sounded like a tortured soul crying from the depths of hell.
I staggered outside in my nightgown, half asleep and wondering what the hell was going on. I was expecting a tornado but what I found was a hysterical Mama Dog frantically trying to drag puppies out from under the deck where a river of water was running across the yard and filling in the den she had excavated for her new family.
She had 2 babies in the dog house on our carport and was running back and forth with soggy little bundles of fur, dropping one and running back for another. Small bodies were scattered all over the yard and in her panic she couldn't decide whether to pick up the ones lying in the rain or go back for the others floating in the runoff under the deck.
My son, Chane, and I stood in the downpour and tried to decide the best way to help. I was all for getting a crowbar and ripping the floorboards off the deck but Chane volunteered to crawl underneath it and carry the puppies out.
Now this deck is 12' wide, only a few feet off the ground and has 2X12s turned on edge as cross braces. The cross braces have only about 4" between them and the ground. Chane made it about half way under and got stuck, unable to move forward or backward and nowhere near close enough to reach the puppies. So in desperation I got my grandson's butterfly net and a square-tipped shovel and passed them under the deck so Chane could rake the babies close enough for him to reach them.
I crouched at the edge of the deck in a foot of Alabama red-clay mud, rain soaking through my nightgown, holding Mama Dog while Chane lay wedged under the crosspiece and pushed icy-cold fur balls back to me. Mama Dog was going crazy with the cries of her babies, but I was afraid that if I turned her loose she would attack Chane while he lay helpless and there would be no way I could get her off of him. In the middle of all this, Chane was swarmed and bitten all over by an army of fire ants. I guess he disturbed a nest when he crawled under there.
We managed to get all the babies out and then I had to grab Chane's legs and help drag him out. I was starting to think I'd have to tear the deck apart to get him out! We're both covered in red mud, dripping wet from the downpour, Chane's swatting fire ants off of him and we're both wandering around the yard until 5AM with a flashlight locating puppies in the dark by their pitiful whimpers and cries.
They're all warm, dry and safe in the dog house now. When I said before that there were 10 puppies, I miscounted. Mama Dog had 13! We saved 12, one poor soul didn't make it but it wasn't for lack of the 3 of us trying.
Yep, my son's a hero.