Thanks for your Concern. . . .But
My Internet service has been down since Friday so I am a little late in writing this.
I appreciate everyone's kind concern and encouraging words over the loss of my lovely dog, Gage.
I did not write that he was missing but that he was gone. I had decided he was not returning.
For several days, I looked everywhere for him. . .not that there are many places to look. I live in a place where there is only one road crossing the property, most of which I own. Gage was not a dog to wander off. He occasionally, would go into the bush across the road but never for long. Mostly he stayed around the house, not even going into the barn yard for he learned the electric fence would bite him. (If only my piglets would learn that lesson. ) Often he would just lie on the verandah or give his little quiet bark which meant he wanted to come in with the people.
I seldom went anywhere without him. When I did I would put him in the house or let him sit in the truck while I was gone. He did not follow vehicles down the road.
The day he disappeared I had put him in the house as I was going with a neighbour to fix the tractor across town. Before I was picked up Dave came out with his two dogs and Gage came too. Instead of putting him in again I firgured he would not follow the truck and would stay with the other dogs and Dave. This figured to be a fatal mistake.
The best explanation as to what had happened to Gage is that a neighbour shot him. He started to follow the truck when I left but did not cross the hill in the road just after a neighbour's gate.
At the time another neighbour was there having just finished unloading some firewood. We waved as is the custom here. He left right behind us with his tractor and wagon. and Gage followed him, probably with encouragement. Certainly, he was not discouraged or send home.
Dave saw the dog follow the tractor. A short time later Dave heard a shot. (Dave does not always get things very clear.)
This neighbour who lives about a mile away has a long history of shooting dogs. I know of half a dozen he has shot near his place. I always worried about my dogs and did everything to discourage them from taking the road toward town.
Why would a person do this when he knows that the dog is a beloved pet? Because he can and can get away with it. Some people just like to exercise their ultimate control over things and see them die. I have know this person for over 30 years and never held him in high regard for a long list of reasons. He is a rural low life.
In the country there are many people that have little regard for animal life. It is one of the things about living in such a backwater rural area that does not recommend it. Particularly, for a person like myself who considers all life sacred and people having a special responsibility toward protecting animals and wild life. Whenever such life is taken, as in hunting or trapping it is best done our of necessity, skillfully and with reverence. I have found professional hunters and trappers, for the most part behave this way.
It would be nice to think that Gage would suddenly appear after being lost in the bush but this will not happen. I have met personally with the dog catcher who has promised to call if he is turned in with the human society as a stray.
My grief will be long with me. My wonderful memory of our short life together will warm my heart and bring a smile to my lips, more so as time passes.
Sometime from now I will look for a gentle giant of a dog who needs a home and a human companion and try again.
Once again, Thanks, for you expression of concern in the comments.