It was there one minute, and the next, I looked down and it was missing - a bare ridge on my ring finger the only evidence that it had ever even been there.
I felt sick.
I looked and looked and looked. Days went by, I was glum. I asked everyone I knew and searched everywhere I'd been for that ring. I had just about exhausted all of my resources, a "missing wedding ring" ad placed in the local paper being my one and only hope left. And miraculously, after the end of 2 very long weeks, I got a call from someone claiming to have found my ring. She described it perfectly and with a little back and forth, we determined that it was mine.
I could have died.
Yesterday morning, the boys let Roy out for his usual morning routine of marking the boxwood in the backyard. When he didn't come back to the door and whine like a newborn baby, I grew a little suspicious. I asked the boys to see if he was ready to come back in and their frenzied answers confirmed that yes, someone had left the gate open. Roy had indeed followed his nose towards greener pastures (aka: probably in search of a female or some wild, frisbee dog competition being held somewhere in the vicinity of our neighborhood). Roy, was gone.
I felt sick.
I stuck a baseball hat on my head, not wanting to disturb the lovely Sunday morning bedhead look I had going, grabbed the pyjama'ed (I love making up words) children and we hopped in the car to go look for our dog. We drove high. We drove low. We drove all parts in between. We stuck our heads out the window and whistled and called his name. We squinted and scanned each field, we searched each backyard and side street, we peered through each patch of trees and down each path. No Roy.
We were devastated.
Brett took the boys and decided to attack the situation via bicycle. They were gone a long time and I had hoped that looking this way would bring us that much closer to finding our dog. It didn't. After they returned home, heads hung low, I decided to go on another drive to try and find him. That didn't work either.
At this point, Roy had been gone nearly SEVEN hours. Much too long in our book. Fact is, he's only "escaped" a few times through a gate left ajar, and any amount of time away from us is too long...especially as far as the kids are concerned.
Now I know I complain about the dog hair, and about how weirded out he gets when he can't be with the kids, but he really is a great dog. Just the night before, I was watching as Katie drug him across the living room floor by his paws and placed his head on a pillow. He could care less, he was limp as a noodle and completely under her spell. I noted to myself, right then and there, that here we definitely had a dog who would let the kids do anything to him. If they had wanted to braid his hair and dress him up like Raggedy Ann, he would oblige.
Whatever they want, he would try and do and we were darn lucky to have a dog like him.
And now, he was gone. Gone for SEVEN hours.
I was getting ready to make "Lost Dog" posters when I went upstairs to Wyatt's room to close his window and I peeked through the pane...there he was! In the neighbor's yard, marking their rose bushes like he always does.
Where had he gone?
We all rushed to the front door and screamed for him. I'd say we called him calmly by name, but you know that was not the case. He came, predictably panting, bounding in the house and barking like crazy. I've never heard him bark so much in my life (which isn't really that long, given that he is only approaching his 2nd birthday this June). It was clear that he was happy to be home, hungry and thirsty. Surprisingly, he had not a speck of mud or trace of dirt on him, only a little green on his paws where he'd obviously come in contact with freshly cut grass.
But SEVEN hours?
I'm not going to worry about where he'd gone, I'm just glad he is back home where he belongs. And the next time I take him on a walk and he lifts his leg three hundred times to mark, I won't tell him not to do that, for that may have been how he found his way back to us.
Either that or someone on the next cul-de-sac is running an underground frisbee dog party and he finally got kicked out for showing off.