Sam does barn chores with me, always has. He runs up and down the aisles as I fill buckets, throw hay, and he’ll explore the manure pile out back and the compost pile and check out the dove house and have stand offs with the barn cats (which he always loses). We have our routine. When I get done with chores, I whistle for him and we head to the house.
Except this morning. I whistled when I was done and his furry little fox face didn’t appear as usual. I walked back through both barns calling his name, whistling, no signs of Sam. I walked to the fields, I walked back to the dog yard, I walked the road (where he never ever goes), I scanned the pond (yikes), I went back to the barn and glanced inside every stall, I went in the hay barn where he likes to jump up and down on stacked bales, looking for a bale avalanche he might be trapped under, or a hole he couldn’t climb out of. Nothing.
I took our old corgi Dylan with me to search the barns again and heard a little faint scratching inside Marlee’s stall, which I had just glanced in 10 minutes before. Marlee was peacefully eating hay. Sam was standing with his feet up against the door as if asking what took me so long. He must have scooted in when I filled up her water bucket, and I closed the door not knowing he was inside, and it was dark enough that I didn’t see him when I checked. He and Marlee kept it their secret.
Not a whimper or a bark when I called for him, walking past that stall at least 10 times looking for him– just waiting patiently for me to open the door and set him free.
It’s a Good Friday. The lost is found even when he never felt lost to begin with. But he was lost to me. And that is what matters.
He was just waiting for a closed door to be opened. Today that door has been thrown wide open.