“How long has it been since we last heard from the doctor?”
“About forty-five minutes,” Brad answered. “And about ten minutes since you last asked. Can I get you some coffee or something? You’re going to wear yourself out. When do you think Dina will be here?”
“No, I don’t want coffee, but thank you,”Steve said. “Dina should be here any minute. I have no idea what to do with her.”
Helen was seated in a chair that was facing the door the doctor would be coming through. “I don’t know what to say to her, either Steve, but I think it’s important to follow Katie’s lead. If she forgives Dina, then we should, too.”
“We can’t put that much pressure on an eight year old. Just think about it,” Brad said. “She’s just a little girl who now knows her mamma is alive and well. In the midst of her incredible pain, she wanted her mother.”
Steve couldn’t help but feel hurt by Brad’s words, but he knew he was right. Children have a huge capacity for love. Just because his daughter loved and was close to him, didn’t mean there wasn’t room in her heart for Dina.
“Here comes Dina now,” Helen said. “I can see her checking in at the nurse’s station. I haven’t seen my daughter for seven years, and now, she’s about to walk through those doors.”
Dina walked directly to where Steve was standing. “Have you heard anything at all, yet?”
“No…nothing, and it’s driving us all crazy. Dina this is Brad Humboldt and of course you know your mother.”
Back at the ranch, Jamie and Arf decided to hurry back inside. A storm was brewing and it wasn’t looking good. The temperature had dropped and the wind was blowing hard.
“I don’t know what to do, Arf,” Jamie was not knowledgeable about how to prepare a ranch for a spring storm. She looked to Miss Bessie who’s eyes were as big as saucers.
“Don’t look at me,” Miss Bessie said. “I can take care of chickens and a milk cow, but horses? Can’t you just see me chasing a herd of horses into the corral. I bet they buck or something and get all riled up when it storms. Especially if there’s loud thunder. They probably even jump fences.”
***I kind of wondered what Miss B was talking about, but I decided someone should take action. I begged to be let out and Jamie opened the door. I ran toward the paddock. I was hoping to find Mark, the hired hand. The horses were still out in the pasture, and I couldn’t see Mark anywhere. I managed to get the gate to the corral open before I ran out into the pasture to try to get as many horses penned up as I could. The sky was so dark it would be hard for a human to see. I couldn’t see that well either, but I used my other senses to find where I needed to go.
I ran as hard as I could first behind the horses on one side and then switched to the back and the other side. I was worried they would trample me so I tried to stay a safe distance behind. Was I a cow dog? I knew I was doing the right thing.
I had about half of the horses through the gate when I saw Mark’s truck coming down the road. He was just in time because I could feel pelting hail on my head and back. The horses could too, and they went wild. I ran to the gate to make sure the horses that were in there didn’t turn around and come back out. Mark drove his truck to herd some more in. We never did get them all.
Mark yelled at me to get into the truck. I was happy to.
“You’re an amazing dog, Arf,” Mark said. “How did you know what to do?”
By the time we got back to the house, Miss Bessie had made enough food to feed an army and I got two big bones. The good kind.
“I’ve only been on the farm one day,” Jamie said. “I’ve already messed up. I was too afraid to drive over there and take care of the chickens and the cow and calf. Will they be okay, Mark?”
“Don’t worry, Jamie,” Mark said. “I could tell the weather was about to turn so I drove over there and took care of them. I miscalculated too. I barely got back in time to help Arf.”
Miss Bessie picked up the phone to call the hospital. She couldn’t wait another minute to hear if there was any news on Katie.
“I can’t get through,” she said. “The lines must be down.”