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Lost & found on a farm: The life of Chris & Tilly

Chris and Tilly were a match made in heaven. He had found the one-year-old dog at a pet store and fallen in love with him at first sight. His cute face, his energetic presence and his welcoming aura felt like an ointment that soothed Chris’ wounds. The previous year had been exceptionally hard on him. He had lost his job as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and the tension had made him exceptionally cranky. He would drink till late in the night and had started taking several loans to feed his habit. A few months later, his girlfriend Lucy decided that she had suffered enough of his tantrums and broke up with him.

When Tilly came, Chris spent all his waking hours with him. Feeding him, grooming him and loving him – that’s all Chris loved to do. Tilly had even been a lucky charm of sorts for him. A month after his arrival, Chris found a lucrative managerial position at a local factory. His affinity towards drinking alcohol daily too reduced.

In June this year, Chris decided to go on a road trip with Tilly. He cleaned his car, loaded the fuel tank and departed for a spontaneous ride. “Let’s go where the road takes us,” he told Tilly before starting his car’s engine.

Everything after that point was a blur. Within a few kilometers, Chris saw a white trailer truck and in trying to avoid it, banged his car into a tree. He woke up two days later in a hospital bed with a nurse overlooking him. “You’re lucky to be alive,” she told him as soon as he opened his eyes.

A doctor joined the nurse and a police officer was alerted too. Chris’ head was bandaged and his right leg had a plaster on. “Can you remember your name?” the doctor asked him.

“Yes. Chris,” he said.

“What do you do?” the doctor further questioned him.

“I am a manager at a shoe factory,” Chris replied.

“Okay, I am happy. I believe you’ve not lost your memory. I’ll now let Officer White ask you some questions,” the doctor said.

A little while later, a police officer entered Chris’ room and asked him about the accident. Chris said that the white trailer truck was driving way beyond the speed limit and he had no choice but to swerve immediately. “Did you find my dog?” Chris asked the officer.

“What dog?” the officer said.

“I had a dog with me in the car. A two-year-old Border Collie. Did you not find him with me in the crash?” Chris asked in an agitated manner which aggravated his head injury and caused him to wince in pain.

“No, we did not find any dog. Do you have a photograph?” Officer White said.

Chris immediately shared a photograph from his phone and a search operation was launched. A missing poster along with a message was pasted at several places across Idaho. “A two-year old Border Collie weighing around 70 pounds with no tail and a tan-coloured collar has gone missing. Anyone who has spotted the dog may contact the Idaho police department. A decent reward will be given.”

The loss made Chris extremely anxious but he couldn’t do anything. His leg was covered in a plaster and he couldn’t move. Frantically, he made calls but three days passed without any word about Tilly. He cursed his bad luck, he cursed his decision to go on a road trip and he cursed the driver of the white trailer truck. Without Tilly, his life would lose all colour and joy. He found it difficult to eat and the doctor had to give him a sleeping pill to allow him some rest.

On the fourth day, there was finally some good news. Tilly had been found in a farm herding sheep. Fortunately, he had been able to eject himself right before the crash.

A farmer had reported Tilly to the police that morning. Shortly after, he was brought to Chris’ room and he jumped right into his master’s arms. Chris kissed him and thanked the almighty. To be separated from Tilly felt like a serious blow and he couldn’t stop his tears of happiness when he held the adorable animal. “Never again will we get separated,” he told him and asked the nurse to get him some food.

Disclaimer: The following is a work of fiction inspired by true events.

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