I told Rose the story so far. I had made so much progress and now I was up against a wall. This was whanau business, and I am not whanau.
I thought I was at an impasse. But I had forgotten Rose. And that she IS whanau.
I took a nap, and while I slept the chicken I was roasting burnt down to a crisp. The oven timer rang unheard. I cleaned up the mess, salvaged a few scraps of meat from the very middle of the carcass and was about to sit down with a can of Coke Zero when Rose arrived. “Get in, we are going to fetch Jack. I think I know where he is.” We collected Carl who was reeling a little from a lucky win of a few bucks at the Feddy, and headed to a house in Claude Street. Coincidence. The very house that I found Jack at the first time I thought I had lost him. No wonder he had wandered there, he knew them. However he was not there now. The young man who answered the door denied knowing anything about him at first, but let on more than he should have under questioning. He knew about the car keys and about Jack, and let slip that Jack was with people he knew, here in Katanning.
So my 800 k expended travelling to Dumbleyung at least had been a waste, although the Kojonup lead had got us to where we were now.
Rose knew a number of possible places, and so we checked them out. The third led directly to the last, and there he was. Jack. He was cheerful, but not overly demonstrative or enthusiastic to see me, he had obviously been quite happy to be with the two other dogs there.
I met the cranky old sod who wanted his car keys. It seems that he had got Jack’s owner to register the car in her name for some reason, and then after a falling out, she had confiscated the keys. No doubt she had good reason to do so. Be that as it may. Not my business. It was to me she had entrusted the dog. Jack was my only concern. He was not a pawn in a tribal squabble. I was taking him.
Now I have Jack back with me. There are locks on my gates and he is not going anywhere without me.
He does not seem overly fussed about the whole thing, and is now laying beside me tapping his tail on the floor when I look down at him.
I cannot thank Rose enough.