It’s dark and raining as I scan the backyard. She’s gone. I call for her and then head to the front door. I throw on my boots and coat, grab my keys and leave. How am I going to find a black dog on a night like tonight?
I drive around the neighbourhood eyes darting from one side of the street to the other hoping for a glimpse of my girl. I’m willing her to appear. Praying. Please God, let her find a safe place. She’s so old. I give up and go home.
I drag her crate out to the front porch in case she comes home during the night. I leave my window open a crack so I can hear her if… I go to bed fearing for her safety and her health. It’s raining and coyotes live in the area.
I awake during the night with a start certain I heard her on the porch. I check hoping to find her. No luck.
I wake in the morning, get dressed and head out for a walk with her siblings: Pumpkin, Teddy, and Missy. Missy is a beagle mix so I hope she might pick up a scent and miraculously find her. We expand our usual route and I call for Lady. Nothing.
My mind starts going to dark places. Am I going to find her torn apart by coyotes? Will she die under a bush somewhere and I will never know what happened to her? She has fewer days ahead of her than behind her but I don’t want it to end like this. Not like this.
I give myself a mental shake. I need to focus. I’ll call the SPCA but they aren’t open yet. I need to buy ink so I can print up flyers. I take the car and drive around the neighbourhood again. It’s futile.
When I get home I remember a Facebook group for lost and found pets in my region. I quickly create a post with her picture, where she was lost, and my contact info. I press enter and wait for my post to be approved.
Waiting for approval is torture. Thankfully, I don’t have to wait long. My post is approved and an admin sends me a message to say that Lady has been found. I’m confused. Did she just tell me that Lady is not my dog? I’m frantically trying to message the administrator and the person who supposedly has my dog.
My thoughts are jumbled and I can’t type. I keep misspelling my words. I finally calm down enough to discover that Lady is with someone just around the corner. She asks me where I live and says that she’ll bring Lady to me.
I pace in front of my house, leash in hand, heart pounding. And suddenly there she is coming around the corner in the care of Michelle and her son. I break down. I don’t have to hold it together anymore. Lady is home.