Monday, November 17, 2008
If you know me at all, then you know that I absolutely LOVE dogs. Especially my dogs. I have three - Juneau, Casey, and Riley. They all have a special significance to me, each with their own story. Jer bought Riley for me to keep me company while I lived alone in Lubbock. Jer had already graduated and moved back to Amarillo, so I needed a companion. Jer bought Casey for me when he proposed. I had always wanted a Keeshond and couldn't find one. He found a breeder in Louisiana and arranged to meet her in Dallas to pick Casey up before driving back to Lubbock to propose to me. We got Juneau from a shelter after our honeymoon in Alaska. She looked like the sweetest dog and having the name Juneau felt like a sign. With that being said, you can understand my horror when we returned home on Saturday night at 11:00pm to find our back gate wide open. Riley was still in the backyard, but the other two were missing. We had been gone for about 3 hours, so there's no telling what time they got out and how far they had gotten. Jer and I jumped back in the car and set out looking for them. We drove around for 2 hours with no luck. We had doubled back to the house a couple of times to see if they had returned or if someone else had returned them, but neither had occurred. I was getting really worried because all the dogs have tags with our address and phone number on them. No one had tried to contact us. I had tried to block the thought that something bad had happened to them, but after time kept passing, I just couldn't ignore it anymore. At around 1:30am, I had given up hope. I was bawling and every empty street we turned down made me more and more upset, and more and more hopeless. We had been searching for more than two hours, and it's possible they had escaped even a couple hours before that. Who knows how much ground they could've covered in that amount of time? The other thing that really bothered me is that Casey hadn't returned on her own....she has dug out of our backyards over the years many times, and always returned through the same hole, or sat on our front porch and waited for us to come home. I went back home and decided we'd sleep in the living room in case they returned, so we could hear them scratching at either door. I figured we'd start our search again in the morning when it was light outside. Jer had other ideas....he went to the closet and grabbed his heavy coat and gloves and told me he was going to set out on foot and he wouldn't stop searching until he found them. Wow. It was like out of a movie or something. I'm the one who is madly in love with our dogs, and I'm curled up on the couch crying about their fate...while Jer (who is less than fond of having 3 dogs) sets out on a mission in the freezing weather. I couldn't believe it. While he was gone, I sat there on the couch with my eyes glued to the door. I never heard any scratches. Finally at 2:30am I got a call from Jer that he had found the dogs. It was incredible. Casey was soaking wet, from what we do not know, and Juneau was very disoriented. They were more than a mile away from our house, across a busy street, but still together. I drove over there and picked them all up and thanked my hero Jeremiah about a thousand times. I don't know what would've happened to those dogs if Jer had just gone to bed and stopped searching. I doubt they could've found their way home. I also don't know how I would've handled losing both of them. That possibility seemed way too real to me on Saturday night and I hope I don't have to think about it again for a very, very long time.