The Amazing Adventures of Danny D.

Danny D. | Cocker Spaniel

Meet Danny D. – our crazy cocker spaniel. Danny D. has been a part of our household since he was a puppy. I brought him home as a surprise for my wife while I was away at a Doctor of Ministry residency. He is a high-spirited, energetic, goofy, affectionate furball of fun. When I picked him out of the litter back in 2002, his tail was wagging faster than a jackhammer, and he wouldn’t stop licking my hand. Six years later his tail is still wagging, and he hasn’t stopped licking. We sometimes call him “the tongue with fur.”

On Tuesday Danny escaped from our backyard. Old man winter had worn down one of the pickets in the fence. Danny found the opening and made good his escape. He was not wearing his collar, and so he had no identification. He has escaped a couple times before but always came back. This time, however, the afternoon wore on, and he did not return. We walked the neighborhood for hours calling his name to no avail. Night came, and Danny had still not returned. We have three boys in the house who love Danny D. to pieces. Needless to say, we all went to bed very sad and concerned.

There were only three reasons we could think Danny hadn’t returned. Either he was lost and couldn’t find his way back, he was hurt and couldn’t come back, or someone had picked him up. I called animal control in the morning as soon as they opened. They had not received any reports of a missing dog. Thankfully, they also had no reports of a dog being hit by a car overnight.

I took the morning off from work and made up 250 “Have you seen our dog?” flyers. I walked around the surrounding neighborhoods and left a flyer in every door. It was cold, wet and raining. Meanwhile, my wife posted a flyer at the local Stop ‘N Shop. I came home for lunch and then headed back to work. Still no word on Danny D.

About 3:00 in the afternoon I finally got a call. The woman on the other end said she had our dog and that he was safe. I asked her where he was, and she said, “Chicopee.” I was flabbergasted. Chicopee is twelve miles away from our home. It is on the other side of the Connecticut River and on the other side of Route I-91, a major highway. How in the world could Danny be in Chicopee?

She explained that she and her friend saw Danny running around a main road and stopped, concerned that he might get hit. They called him over, “Here boy!” and Danny, ever the friendly dog, came bounding over and jumped right into their car. They looked for identification but couldn’t find any.

As it turns out, Danny was not even a thousand feet from our doorstep, but they had no way of knowing whether he was close to home or wandering far away. Rather than put him back out on the street, they very kindly brought him home to Chicopee and took care of him for the night. The next day they checked the bulletin board at the local Stop ‘N Shop to see if someone had left any information. Sure enough, they saw our flyer there and called me on my cell.

I immediately drove to Chicopee to pick up Danny D. I thanked them so much for taking care of Danny and also for contacting us. A dishonest person might have kept the dog for themselves. She explained that she had just lost a dog of fifteen years the month before, and she couldn’t imagine not getting the dog back to his rightful owner.

Danny D. and I hopped into the van and drove back home where we had a joyful reunion with the rest of the family. In the meantime, I patched up the hole in the fence and put his collar back on. One adventure at a time is plenty for me – and hopefully for Danny D. as well!

Click here for the follow-up post: Parable of the Prodigal Puppy


  1. Rachael says:

    I was wondering if this story would find its way to the blog! 🙂
    I’m so glad you guys found Danny!!


    P.S. by the way, the first time my mom saw Danny she thought he was a sheep! 🙂

  2. Ray Fowler says:

    Hmmm, sometimes we think of him as the black sheep, yes. But we still love him!

  3. Jeff says:


    An old song popped into my head when I read this. Perhaps you have heard it.

    Danny…..Danny……Danny…….Danny……..Danny, Danny, Danny, Danny Danny Danny Danny Danny etc. etc. etc.

  4. Ray Fowler says:

    Jeff – Ahh yes, the “Danny Song.” I haven’t heard that one in a while. If enough people ask me for it, I just may post it on the blog.

  5. brad wright says:

    I think that it’s time you outfitted Danny with a GPS unit! Tracking his adventures on Google map might be pretty interesting….

  6. Ray Fowler says:

    Brad – A GPS on Danny would be really cool – assuming Google Maps could keep up with him!

  7. Bethany says:

    Well, here’s another vote for the Danny song on the blog. And there’s also a great song I heard about Barack Obama…

  8. Sharon Gamble says:

    I assume the D. in Danny D. stands for Danny??? (I can’t remember although I am sure you have told me…)

  9. Ray Fowler says:

    Bethany – Okay, I will have to see what I can do about getting the Danny song up one of these days.

    Sharon – Actually, the “D” is purposely ambiguous and keeps changing according to the situation. Sometimes it is Danny Dog, sometimes it is Danny Dear, sometimes it is Danny Dumb, and many times it is Danny Don’t!

  10. Barrie says:

    Gee Ray, it was good to visit with the “Danny” family yesterday. I still wish that Danny could talk to give his impression of his great escapade.

  11. Ray Fowler says:

    Barrie – It was great visiting with you all. Thanks for making the trip up here. And you know what? Sometimes dogs can talk … stay tuned to the blog later this week and you’ll see what I mean. 🙂

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Parable of the Prodigal Puppy at Ray Fowler .org
  2. Danny D. Gets a Haircut at Ray Fowler .org

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