We have a dog.
I took Lucy for her standard, pre-work walk in the woods behind our house. I’m not a morning person and as usual, my thoughts followed the line of… I’m tired, I haven’t had enough coffee, why can’t they schedule mornings in the afternoon?, why can’t the dog walk herself?… I’m sure Lucy’s thoughts ran more in the line of… I love the woods, I love to walk, I love all the smells, THIS IS THE BEST DAY EVER!
We reached the edge of the swamp that borders our property. When I stopped to turn back, my 75-pound mutt looked at me, looked at the swamp, then looked back at me as if to say, “we could go this way.” I stared her down thinking… We both know who’s boss.
Lucy stared back thinking… Yes, we both know who’s boss.
After I was sure she was thoroughly cowed by my gaze, I turned toward home knowing she would follow. A minute or two later, I glanced back and, to my surprise, saw no dog. I retraced my steps, but she was out of sight. She must have spotted a deer and took off. “Lucy. Lucy! Here girl… LUCY!!!”
Deer, deer, deer… must chase… deer, deer, deer… did someone call my name?… deer, deer, deer…
Unconcerned, I returned to the house. This was not the first time she had taken off. She would return in a couple hours, sore, muddy and extremely happy.
I love the swamp… THIS IS THE BEST DAY EVER!
Two hours came and went and still no dog. Shouldn’t she be tired by now?
I’m sooo tired. I think I’ll lie down for a moment in this nice muddy section of marsh. Ahhh… much better. Wait–is that another scent?
I finally got a little concerned when 3:00 hit. I looked up the pound’s number and called to see if anyone had picked her up. Their message said they closed at 3:00. I checked the clock, 3:03.
This scent is even better… what’s that up ahead… more swamp… must follow… I hear lots of cars… I don’t remember the swamp going through a tunnel… must be a shortcut!
When the sun started to set, our worry increased.
Hmmm… it’s getting dark, I better get home for dinner. Which way is home? I live by the swamp, so if I keep following the swamp, I should find home.
After dinner, we drove through the neighborhoods on both sides of the swamp looking for our dog. We stretched our search coverage to the two-mile mark–surely she wouldn’t have gone further than that. No luck. We went home, hoping the pound had her safe and sound.
Meanwhile, at 9:30 p.m…
What’s this big river doing here? I can’t cross that! Hey, it’s dark; I’m tired; I’m hungry; who’s going to feed me? Wait, I smell a dog! No lights are on, but this house looks inviting. I’ll go to their front door and use my normal “let me in” mannerism of standing silently by the door.
Lucky for Lucy, the homeowners noticed their 8-month-old Lab staring at the door. The homeowner looked out and all she saw was a big nose staring back. Taking pity on the dog, they opened their door and saw a mud-coated fur ball.
Here I am! Feed me now!!
They fed Lucy…
Yum! THIS IS THE BEST DAY EVER.
…and then put her in their outdoor kennel.
They tried to lure her into the plastic igloo-shaped dog house.
I don’t think so… I sleep on a bed!
When she wouldn’t go in, they gave up and left her standing in the kennel by the gate.
Where are Mark and Rose?!? THIS IS THE WORSE DAY EVER!
Back at home, we went to bed wondering… Where is Lucy? THIS IS THE WORSE DAY EVER!
The next day–the minute the pound opened–we called them, but no one answered. We waited a few minutes to let them get settled and tried again… no answer. After a few more unsuccessful calls, Mark went down there in person. No Lucy. We spent the next several hours calling all “our” local vets.
Meanwhile, the owners of Lucy’s B&B took her to visit “their” local vet…
Car ride!!! I love car rides!
We’re here! Wait? This isn’t my house. Smells like a vet. What does “scanning for an identity chip” mean? Maybe it’s a new type of potato chip. That would be tasty.
Back at Lucy’s house, we made laminated missing dog posters and were minutes away from putting them up when the pound called, “Someone may have found Lucy.” We called the good Samaritans and sure enough, they had our dog.
We drove past our 2 mile search radius and kept driving and driving and driving. Lucy had traveled 12 miles away from home. We finally arrived and leapt out of the car. “LUCY!!!”
ROSE!!! MARK!!! THIS IS THE BEST DAY EVER… Can we go home now? I’m tired.
The map below shows Lucy’s possible route in red and our “search” area in green. It’s no wonder we didn’t find her!