Beauregard Boone shook his head sending slobber left and right as he sauntered down the ramp of the Garden City Search and Rescue van. His bearing spoke loudly of his many awards, pedigrees and certification degrees plastering the walls at home.
Beauregard lived to trail scent; that's what Bloodhounds do best. It's purely a selfish desire on his part for he was in it to please his own curiosity, to satisfy his own drive to follow the scent until the object associated with it was in his grasp. That's not mentioned to take away the value of his genius, God-given, miraculous olfactory organ. No, it's just to set the record straight. His trailing was purely professional.
Louie rushed over to get a closer look. Something bad was amiss and he was on a mission to find out what.
“Outta my way, Mutt! I got work to do. Keep back! If anyone can find her, it's me.” Beauregard growled at Louie and took a deep sniff of a piece of clothing handed to him by his handler.
“What's wrong? Who's missing? That's Fern's coat! I've seen her wear it plenty times when we roll in the leaves. Ooh...no. Fern's missing!” Louie ran around in circles barking at anyone and everyone standing outside 477 Maple Lane, the home of his neighbors and his best friend, four-year-old Fern.
“Stand back! Get outta here! You lousy, mixed-breed! I've got the best nose in the state, you...well you've got the nose of a Poodle... as well as the ears of a Beagle and the tail of a Collie.” Beauregard scoffed as he put “nose on the ground” and took off towards the deep woods behind the house pulling his handler at full speed.
Beauregard was more than trailing certified; he was also air-scent certified. He could pick up on scent that was drifting in the air as well as scents of the tracts of the person. He was trained to look for a cone of scent where it was most concentrated. The rescuers were hoping that would be where they would find Fern.
Fern would never wander off into the forest. She's afraid of the tall trees and the dark shade. Fern loves to go pick wild flowers in the edge of the field. Louie was so afraid. No one would think to follow him when Beauregard Boone was tracking. He didn't have the talent or experience of the famed Bloodhound. But, no one knew Fern like he did. How many times had he pushed her back into her yard from her curious escapes? Why hadn't he been watching her today?
Louie pushed open the gate and ran fast as his short legs would carry him in the direction of the meadows. It would soon be dark and Fern would be so afraid. He must get to her and save her. She needed him. Beauregard Boone may know scents, but he knew and loved Fern.
The wind had picked up and the temperature was dropping fast as the sun settled behind the hills. Louie ran and ran across the meadows and through Little Thickety Creek, looking in every direction as he went. Where could she be? Who am I to think I know better than Beauregard Boone? He's a professional. I'm...a mutt, a nobody. I've let Fern down.
Louie stopped to listen. Someone was crying. Fern! There she was sopping wet sitting on a big rock about ten feet from the edge of Miller's Pond. How had she gotten out there without drowning?
Slowly, Louie crawled toward her. He had to get her to trust him and she was panicked, cold and wet.
“Wooie! Wooie! “ Fern reached out to grab Louie. He took her shirt in his mouth and swam for all his might dragging her along sputtering and crying.
Once on dry ground, Louie licked and licked her red face. She stopped crying and started giggling. “Wooie tickles Fern.”
Louie stayed close to Fern and led the way back, one slow step at a time. Fern was so tired she had trouble staying up with Louie, but he never let her stop. He pushed, pulled and willed her along the path to safety.
Louie got Fern home before dark. Beauregard Boone was still off chasing scents in the wind. No one would question Beauregard's miraculous nose. But, Louie used another organ best...his heart. Love wins every time.
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