Lost Child

I lost my puppy today.

No worries, though - he's back safe, now, and sleeping soundly in his beloved crate (his "house"). I know people think crating is horrible, but had we not been at it for over a year and he not retreat there EVERY time he's tired or in trouble, I would have definitely reconsidered.

He's been such a good boy, since we've moved. It's weird. He's a changed dog. I actually think he likes it here. He gets to go outside and play in the backyard (and, apparently, the crawl space) whenever he gets antsy. I wasn't sure how he'd take to backyarding it, but he's done really well.

Until today.

I actually left work about ten minutes early, with a HORRIBLE stomach ache, drove home exhausted and completely ready to fall apart, once I reached my bedroom. I came in, threw my crap on the bed, and dropped onto the mattress. Booboo came in to greet me, and looked up at me and meowed.
"That's weird. She NEVER talks, unless something's up."
That's when I realized that I couldn't hear Jack. I got up, walked into the kitchen (where said "house" is), and saw his crate empty. Mark was gone, and Ryan was at work, and I immediately got FURIOUS with Mark, for leaving him out, when he had left the house. Not a smart move in a city with a high crime rate, especially for stealing nice, pretty doggies who are fun to play with. I looked out the window to the backyard, but didn't see him. He likes to stay in this weird area next to the house, that still has fence around it, so I figured he was there. I walked outside, called his name.......nothing.

I went to the side of the house, peered into the brush and couldn't see him. I TRIED not to freak, so I came inside to call Mark, to see if maybe he took Jack to the dog park and forgot to tell me. Mark's phone went to voicemail...like, five times. I texted him. Then, I Facebooked him. Then, I started worrying. He texted me back and said, "he's in the backyard."

At that moment, I went off the charts. It was that whole "I thought he was with you" statement, that makes your heart fall into your feet and you hear that screaming in your head, only to realize that the sound is actually issuing from your mouth.

I called Mark and simultaneously tore outside, screaming Jack's name. The elementary school across the street was letting out, so I thought for sure he'd be over at the playground, with the kids. He's a TOTAL social butterfly like that - way more than his mom will ever be. Mark was telling me how he'd left him in the backyard and checked on him before he left, and I tried not to curse too much, since I was kind of phasing in and out on what he was saying and concentrating more on finding Jack. I ran back through the alleyway, next to the house, and broke through to the other street. There was a lady loading things into her car, and she obviously heard my frantic screaming (and saw my frantic hair), and said, "Hey, did you lose a dog? He's over here! He's been hanging out with me for about 30 minutes!" I started crying when she first said that, and I said, "a big, brown one???," and she said, "Oh! No....he's little and white, with black spots..." I described him to her, told him he was wearing all his ID (his driver's license, as we call it) and to call the phone number on the tag, if she saw him. Then, I took off towards the car.

I jumped in the car and literally drove up and down every, single street in the Glen Iris area. I was on the phone with Bryan at the time, and I was screaming his name like a crazy person. I circled the school several times (places with people), I drove back to our old apartment (places we lived), I looked in the pool (places he wouldn't be able to get out of), I drove back to the dog park (places he loved) - I even got out of the car and waded through the creek that circles the dog park, shrieking like a banshee. I know people thought I was insane. I went back to our old house and circled the block, where we would walk every afternoon, when he was a baby. Nothing. I drove to Dreamland (places that smelled good), I went back to Vickie's (places he'd remembered), I visited the house of every, single dog we'd ever played with in that area, but he was nowhere. I sat at the light on Green Springs, took my seatbelt off, climbed halfway out the window and SCREAMED his name over the roar of the traffic. Everywhere I went, I kept expecting to see him come bounding through the bushes or down the hill or from behind someone's house, with that juicy, pink tongue in tow. And, it seemed that everywhere I went, EVERYONE had seen a dog...but it was that same little white dog...and he wasn't mine.

I was frantic. I came home, after about an hour of searching and posted a desperate message on Facebook. My friend Mindy was online (thank God) and sprung into action. She reposted his picture, my message and a note, requesting people to share and keep a look out. I left the house, again. Mark had called, saying when he went to pick Ryan up from work, they ran out of gas in Southside, so they were walking back. I'm pretty sure I just hung up on him - I was distressed, distracted, and livid. The last thing I cared about was them (sorry). I started casing Glen Iris again, moving a little closer to Five Points. Still nothing.



Everywhere I went, absolutely nothing.

Finally, about 20 minutes or so, after I got off the phone with Mark, he called me back. (Bryan had been calling intermittently, to check to see if I'd had any luck.) All I heard was, "Hey! I found him!" The person behind me almost rear-ended me, when I slammed on my brakes (I'm sorry, person). I yelled back at Mark, "WHERE WAS HE???? WHERE ARE YOU????," and he simply said, "Home!"

I was way over towards the police station, and I tore into someone's driveway, backed out, and ended up back at what I SWEAR was the longest light in the history of the universe and got behind the SLOWEST person ever. All my windows were all the way down, and I screamed at the top of my lungs, "CAN YOU DRIVE ANY F*%&ING SLOWER??!?!?!??"

I wheeled around the "Do Not Enter" sign they had put on the street next to the school (yes, I was watching for kids - don't prosecute me) and tore sideways into the driveway. I jumped out of the car, fell out of my shoes coming on to the porch, and slid inside. There he stood, at his water bowl, sucking up water like it was going out of style. He looked and wagged when he heard me, but turned around and resumed his water funneling. I grabbed him and hugged him and cried and hugged his heinie while he drank water and grabbed him up again and fussed and cried some more...it was a very emotional time for me. &=\

Mark said he'd been at the house the whole time. When he and Ryan got home, Mark checked the backyard and went into that weird place next to the house - I can't explain it, except that it's about as wide as one of us, extends almost the length of the house and is COMPLETELY overgrown with weeds, brush, vines and cockleburs, or whatever those tiny, brown things are that get stuck on your clothes. We waded all the way the end, and almost at the end is a SECOND crawl space, big enough for maybe a small ten-year-old to fit through. Mark said he'd come all the way down, to see if he had dug his way out (he doesn't dig, and I'm not entirely sure he knows how - he's a very sheltered dog), or if there was a break in the fence, and when he looked down, he saw his tiny, light brown face, peering out of the hole of the crawl space, making no noise at all. Mark said Jack was wedged in there, and he literally had to PULL him out from between the concrete blocks. We'd had no idea how he'd managed to get in there in the first place.

I stood there and hugged Mark and cried forever, wailing, "THANK YOU FOR FINDING MY DOG!!!!!!!"

So, happy ending for once, to my day.

We have no idea what's under the crawl space, why it's making the band room smell like dead bodies, or why it keeps eating my pets (Booboo was it's first victim), but we're going to find out tomorrow...when one of us finds a working flashlight.

Until then, everyone's home and safe and sleeping, which is the way I want to keep it.

Aside from that, Jack's been eerily quiet, since Mark pulled him out. He laid with his head in my lap for about 15 minutes, which is unusually placid for him. And, during the band's practice and Joseph coming by to check on him, Mark said he didn't make a peep, which is ALSO very strange. After practice, and after Bryan came and went, Jack laid in the floor and seemed to just stare off in the distance. We kept making jokes about what he must have been going through under there and what had he seen that seemed to have traumatize him so? I'm sure he was probably just exhausted from being stuck under the hot house for two hours, listening to me scream his name around the neighborhood (he NEVER barks unless he's bored, so I'm sure he didn't know how to respond), being rescued, and then band practice (he functions as the audience or peanut gallery, now)....but it's still weird.

Jack, what IS under the house?