Dog Gone

Most mornings you sleep while I have coffee. Not today, Dwight. This morning, my breakfast went like this. Sip of coffee, bite of cereal, let dog out. Turn the newspaper page, sip of coffee, let dog in. Sip of coffee, bite of cereal, let dog out. I understand Dwight. It’s a beautiful day. The dewy grass shimmers in the morning sun. There’s a slight breeze blowing spring through winter. Perfect for walking. We will Dwight. As soon as I finish my coffee.

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I get clever and leave the door open from the porch to the backyard , allowing you full access to come and go as you please. Great idea. Sip of coffee, bite of cereal, the sound of dog nails clicking on the floor as you wander in and out. My breakfast in peace. Aren’t I smart.

All is well, until I hear my neighbor calling my name. She was walking her dog and became concerned when she saw the wide open door. She came to my side door and knocked, checking on me. This door opens to the driveway, or should I say freedom, Dwight. I opened it to tell her I was fine, but thanks for checking, I was just enjoying my breakfast in peace. Weather chit-chat, pet her dog, ask about each other’s kids…..dog gone. Dwight gone. You scooted out the side door, past me. Past my neighbor, who tried to grab your tail.

Leave breakfast, grab leash and harness, walk the route you usually take. Call your name, ask walkers if they’ve seen you. Return home, open computer, e-mail HomeAgain (the Microchip company), report you missing, post on neighborhood Facebook page, call John at work. Wait. Pray, cry, wait. Why do you keep running away Dwight? Should I have listened to your restlessness, skipped my coffee to walk you this morning?

It’s the nose. The scent. You breathe in smells that wrap around your instincts. The temptation is too much. You gotta run. I get it. I’m like that with chocolate and freshly popped movie theater popcorn. Even if I’m stuffed from dinner, I gotta have it. Well, it’s not instinctual, but it’s all I know to compare, Dwight. I’m trying to understand your running ways.

I check Facebook, pray, wait. Hours go by. You’ve never been gone this long. What if something has happened to you? What if you never come back? Have faith, trust that your instincts will keep you safe, wait.

Phone rings, I don’t recognize the number, I answer with hope and trepidation. “This is Jason with CarMax. I have your dog. He was running through our parking lot.” I let go a sigh and a tear, relax shoulders, grab leash and harness, begin the 3 mile drive to CarMax, call John on the way.

I pull into the service entrance, park, enter the building. I see people kneeling, petting and talking to you through the glass door. You stand, stoic, tail wagging, enjoying the attention. You acknowledge me by leaning into my leg as I don your harness. The CarMax workers welcomed the sweet hound dog distraction. One of the workers approached me.

“I’ll give you $150.00 for your dog, lady. He’s a keeper. I’ve got a couple of hounds.” I don’t hesitate. “He’s not for sale.” I look at the photos of his dogs. We give each other that “I got a hound, I understand” look.

I can’t give you up Dwight. We walk to the car. You stand at the bumper waiting for me to lift your front legs, push and lift your back to accordion your way into the car. I ponder his offer on the drive home. Would you be happier  with a pack of hunting dogs? I decide for you. No. This dog is not for sale. Let’s go home D Man.

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