At 9:30 this morning - while at work - I see my phone light up with a phone call. I don't know the number, so I let it ring. Two minutes later it lights up again with the same number. Again, I didn't answer it, then I saw that I had two voice messages.
My dogs were out walking around the trail.
Fifteen minutes later I was out the door of my building and on my way to the car to drive the half hour back home. -- With my supervisor's blessing.
This was after I had called my mom who works at home to see if she happened to have any breaks in her morning appointments. -- No answer. Twice.
This was after I had called my neighbor to see if she, by any chance, was home and had time to drive around looking for my dogs. -- She answered (my phone call woke her up), but she had to be out the door in an hour. I told her not to worry about it.
This was after I had called my dad, who also works half an hour away from home but in the opposite direction, to see if he had any ideas on what else to do. -- No answer.
My neighbor sends a text message right as I'm leaving and I call her back. She says she can go look for them after she's gotten ready, but that she'd have to leave by 11 even if she hadn't found the dogs. I appreciated the offer, but told her I was on my way home to look for them.
I called the lady who had left the two messages earlier, asked if she had seen them again (she hadn't) and asked if she would call me again if she did.
My dad called, suggested I call my grandpa who lives next door and let him know in case the dogs decided to come wondering back home. I did.
The lady called when I was two minutes away from the trailhead by the park and said that she had just seen them and she tried to get them to stay with her but they were headed in the opposite direction and wouldn't come. They were headed home.
I looped around to where the trail breaks to cross a street, parked my car, and whistled for them. Nothing.
I drove home, grabbed their leashes, and started walking toward the trailhead where I knew they were last seen. I walk to that same break in the trail where it crosses the road. Nothing. Along the way I ask people if they've seen two rogue dogs. I get a few affirmatives, 'Yeah. A big white dog, and another one in a coat?' 'Yep.' They tell me when and where they saw them (unfortunately nothing more recent than 15 minutes) and I feel good about the direction I'm heading. At the break in the trail I see a lady on the street. I ask her the question, she gives me the same answer. But points in the opposite direction saying she saw them down there about 15 minutes prior.
During this information gathering stage, I hear from a couple of people that there's also a coyote out somewhere along the trail. Dingo kind of looks like a coyote, but I think the coat domesticates him a little bit. I also run into a lady who's looking for her mom's cocker spaniel. I get her number so I can call her if I see her dog. I never did.
By this point I'm wondering how the devil can the dogs be on one side of the trail 15 minutes earlier, and then 5 minutes later I ask someone else who saw them on the other side of the trail 15 minutes earlier.
I start to feel like I'm playing a real live version of 'Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego.'
I don't like it.
When I'm almost back to my house I call my grandpa again who announces, 'They're here. They walked up to me outside about 3 minutes ago.'
Relieved, tired, frustrated, and with the beginnings of a headache, I go talk to my grandpa who said that after he got my call he went outside and saw that his gate had been pushed open by two rotten dogs (my words, not his). He fixed the gate then got in his car and drove around looking for them. After getting home he was standing outside for a minute and they came running up the street toward him. - Dingo sans coat.
While I do appreciate that they stay together (it was hard enough
- and I was unsuccessful - at finding one moving target, it'd be that
much harder to find two), I hate that they get out and take themselves
on a walk. I'm also really, really grateful for people who call to let
me know that the dogs are out. That's why I got the ID tags. And I try
to do the same when I see a dog running around. Good karma and all that.
And that's my story.
...I'm back at work.
With a headache.