Man this sucks. This so very, very much sucks.
Okay, I'll start three years ago almost to the day. Bug was not quite three months old, Bear was two and SugarPlum was six and about to start first grade. The next day, her best friend in the whole wide world was coming to visit for a few days (along with the royal family). Our whole family was playing outside. SugarPlum and SD were in the front yard and Bear was in the back. Something happened out front that made SugarPlum call for us all to come see. So Bear went out the back gate and I took the baby and went out the front door. Several minutes later, I went in the house & noticed that the dogs were not in the backyard. I alerted SD and he began to search for them. Someone eventually called and said that they had found Ivy, our very old little mutt, down the street. But still no sign of Yogi, our Lab-mix rescue or Mayhem, the dog whom we rescued from the pound when she was a tiny little puppy and SugarPlum was only nine months old. The dog who had lived with my parents for three years while we were in England because we couldn't bear to put her or Mischief, or shepherd/husky mix through the six month quarantine.
SD drove around the area for a long time, but he really had no clue where to look. Eventually, I got a call from the Animal Control officer saying that someone had found the dogs, but that Mayhem had been hit. I called SD, who was still out driving around. Next, I called our vet who said that SD could bring Mayhem in. But our sweet May May died shortly after SD arrived at the scene. It was absolutely one of the most tragic days of my entire life. I was so very sad and wanted to wail and gnash my teeth. But I had a six year old who was absolutely devastated. She needed Mommy to be strong. So I waited till later to lose it. I held her all night long, as she would awaken and cry out for MayMay. I swore that nothing like that would ever happen again.
FLASH FORWARD THREE YEARS...
As soon as we closed on this house, SD came over and, with no power, put in a fence along the driveway in the back of the house to keep the dogs in. We also put a carabiner clip in the latch to prevent little boys from opening the gate and letting the dogs out. In addition, our driveway is gated in the front and SD installed a power opener that automatically closes after two minutes as an added line of protection.
Today we spent a great deal of time going back and forth from the backyard to the garage while we tried, unsuccessfully to blow up this giant water toy (sooooo not important). And nobody made sure that the gate latched properly. My fault. I'm the Mommy. That is my job.
Tonight, we got home from Bear's very first soccer practice ever. It was late. It was hot. I needed to get the boys to bed and SP had a friend over to spend the night. The girls went to the window to see the dogs as soon as we got home. And, yes, they were there.
After I got the boys in bed, I noticed that there was a message on my voice-mail. It was a woman who said that she had my dog. I thought, "Surely that was a wrong number. Our dogs are in the yard!"
Only, not so much.
Best I can figure, the dogs got out of the first gate just after the girls went to talk to them. Probably just before the driveway gate automatically closed. Damn.
So those very nice people brought Yogi home. And he immediately ran away again. Dumb-ass dog. He did come back fairly quickly. But Snazzy, the little black lab-ish mix whom we took in a couple of years ago, is still missing. SugarPlum is appropriately disheartened. She is also feeling guilty because she says that she knew that the gate didn't latch properly and she forgot to tell me. But NO. She has no blame in this. She is NINE. I am.....more than nine. I know better. I should always check the gate when we have been using it.
I drove around looking tonight as did a friend of ours while his wife sat here with the kiddos. The only good news is that neither of us found her on the side of the road. I am hoping that someone has her and will call in the morning. Or at least she has found a safe place to sleep.
Please pray for our Snazzy-Jazzy Puppy dog. She is such a sweet, good natured snuggle puppy. We will all be devastated if we lose her, too. And pray for us, as well, if you don't mind. The boys know nothing, yet, but the will be very fweaked out in the morning. And SugarPlum is pretty stressed out. Then again, so is her mommy.
At 6:30 this morning, I was awakened by some barking at our back gate. I leaped out of bed (where Yogi had laid crying all night next to me) and dashed out the door. (So thankful for that door to the backyard in our bedroom!) Lo and behold there sat Miss Snazzy at the gate. I have no idea where she had been. I know that she must have squeezed in between the sides of the driveway gate. She quickly came in the house, pooped on the living room rug (I discovered about an hour ago) and passed out on the bed. Right now she is once again in the back yard - gate locked - and looks to be sleeping soundly. I am just so very appreciative for all of your prayers and words of support.
I am happy to report that all is well once again here in Candyland. All of the SugarBabies and the SugarPuppies are safe and sound and content.
Dontcha just love a happy ending?!!!