What a heart-rending weekend…
After work on Friday I took Queen, our German-Shepherd-with-a-bit-of-Husky, for our customary walk to get the mail, then to the park at the end of the street. The plan, as usual, to walk once around the park then home.
The park is at the end of our quiet, dead end street where everyone knows everyone. Queen is well behaved and I seldom use a leash for this little jaunt. (I know, I know - or at least I know better now).
This time, however, a thunderstorm developed just as we were on our way back home. Queen is a fierce looking dog with an intimidating bark (all for show - she’s really a love bundle). For all of her tough appearance, she’s transforms into a puddle of fear in response to thunder. During storms we find her tucked behind the couch or some cubby hole in the basement. This is the first time she’s been outside during a crack of thunder.
With no couch or cubby hole in sight, she bolted. The park is fenced but there is an ungated opening in the back. There were times Queen has chased a rabbit through that opening, but she always returned when I called her. Not this time. She kept running and running, crossed the train tracks, entered the backyard in the next neighbourhood, got onto the street (she’s now officially the furthest she’s been from home on her own) and kept running.
When I emerged onto that street, having long lost sight of Queen, I overheard a couple of kids delivering flyers say to each other words to the effect of “Was that a coyote? Wow was it fast!” When they saw me all three of them pointed in unison along the street, “Your dog turned left up ahead.”
After talking to a few others who saw her, it was raining quite hard by now. I ran home to get the car and continue the search. After a fruitless search, I returned home hoping she’d find her way home. We stayed up until 4am before exhaustion won.
Next day (Saturday) we plastered both our neighbourhood and the one where she was last seen with posters, as well as convenience store and grocery store bulletin boards. As an afterthought later in the day we put one up at Blockbuster. Phone calls, searches, hand-wringing and nightmares.
All day Sunday we just couldn’t function. Everytime the phone rang (heart racing run down the hall) was a well meaning friend asking if we’d found her yet.
Finally, though, 6:30 Sunday evening (after over 48 hours!) we received the call. Someone had picked up their own dog at a kennel Sunday morning. Later that evening they went to Blockbuster, saw our poster. “Hey, didn’t we see that dog at the kennel?”
Fortunately, when we called the kennel, the owner was still there and sure enough he’d found Queen the night before (miles from where we were looking)! In a daze of relief and emotion, Mrs. Call and I bounced into each other as we fumbled to find the keys, the leash, etc. found the kennel and were reunited with our dog!
Queen’s now resting happily at home. After work today I’ll take her to the vet. Her pads are damaged, one foot quite badly (it’s now iodined, gauzed, and bootied) but she’s otherwise just fine.
We’re still… what’s the word, shaken? not, but certainly affected.