When Riggy went missing Thursday morning, my first instinct was to call a Christian Science practitioner. She assured me she would take up the work and asked me to keep her updated.
In between calls, Ron and I took the appropriate human footsteps: talking with neighbors; putting up posters; contacting Rig’s microchip company; posting online; calling vets; checking shelters; and even taking Songdog out for walks all over the neighborhood so Rig would have a familiar scent to follow if he’d simply lost his way.
I woke up this morning thinking of a few lines from one of Mrs. Eddy’s hymns:
Shepherd, show me how to go
O’er the hillside steep …
I will listen for thy voice,
Lest my footsteps stray.
I will follow and rejoice
All the rugged way.
When I called the practitioner this morning, she mentioned that hymn — and seemed delighted to learn I’d been humming it all morning.
Rig is coming home, I thought.
When we walked Song this afternoon, I felt drawn to an industrial area surrounded by vacant, overgrown land. To human sense, it might seem dull and empty, but to a hungry little dog who was bred to hunt rodents, it would look like a game preserve.
As we walked, Ron took note of the thick vegetation and commented that our bees probably foraged there.
It clicked: Our bees have seen Riggy. I took comfort from the realization that if he were within two miles of the house, at least a few of our 200,000 honeybees would encounter him in their daily travels. He wasn’t lost. Our girls knew where he was.
I turned that thought over and over as we walked home. I’d been awfully angry earlier this summer, when the city ordered us to move our hives. My anger was a function of fear: Conventional wisdom says if you move a hive more than two feet but less than two miles, the bees won’t realize they’ve moved, and they’ll get lost trying to find their way home the next day.
We moved the hives a week ago. The girls are fine.
I thought about that. I thought about bees. And I thought about the fact that thousands of tiny creatures manage to explore the entire neighborhood and find their way back to our yard every single day.
Is anyone really surprised that when Song came in from his evening constitutional, Riggy came sauntering in with him, as if nothing had happened?