Wednesday night N & I got home from the shop close to 10pm. She took Bud, our chihuahua/terrier mutt inside & took his collar off, thinking he was in for the night and would soon be crated for sleep. I set up on the back porch with some tools to affix my new license plate to the scooter, then came inside to the kitchen where N was baking. I was only coming in for a moment, so I lazily left the back door open.
Once in the kitchen, I became distracted by our cute little rats and a spill that happened as I walked in. Ten or more minutes later N walks out to the livingroom and notices the back door open--and Bud gone. We walked all over the neighborhood calling and whistling for him to no avail. N made "Missing Dog" posters and I called the emergency number on Bud's microchip tag to update our contact info, then realized there was nothing more to do that night. He was gone.
Thursday morning he had not returned, so I asked my students for help. They were eager to assist and many volunteered to put up flyers and pass out info sheets for Bud. The outpouring of support on campus was phenomenal--by the end of the day, students I didn't even know were asking me if I had found my dog yet.
Later a colleague from another school in our district called. We had arranged to get together after school and talk shop; when I told him I'd have to cancel so I could put up Bud flyers, he insisted on coming to help. We split up and covered a lot of ground and then had our meeting. Thank you, Charles!
N visited the closest animal shelter Thursday and Friday mornings but no luck. She spoke to our city's animal control officer there and was pleasantly surprised to learn that she had memorized all of Bud's details from the initial report! The officer was making extra patrols in our neighborhood too, but even with that and support from friends, we were feeling low. How could we tell the girls our dog might never come back?
This morning, one of my students came racing into my classroom all out of breath. There had been a sighting the previous afternoon in the neighborhood around our school! I rushed out on my prep period to search. Just after noon, my phone rang. It was the same shelter--someone had just brought Bud in!
There's just nothing like that feeling that everything truly is going to be all right.