I heard her crying at midnight and she wouldn't stop. So I went downstairs and let her outside. She started crying again at three in the morning, and I got up and shushed her. As Shane was getting ready to go, he commented, "What's that smell? It smells like poop."
"The dog!" I said, and ran into the living room and turned on the lights to find she had the runs. All over her bed, and a few little surprises squirted ON THE WALL.
"Ugh!" Shane said. "Sorry to leave you with that. Gotta go."
He laughed and I grabbed the Clorox wipes and let the dog out. Little did I know I wouldn't see her for the next TWELVE HOURS.
Yeah, once her bed was all cleaned up and Erin went to feed her, I noticed the yard was eerily still. I called. I whistled. And then I heard her howls in the woods. The kids and I booted up, I found a leash, grabbed my phone and we went off woods walking.
We called the dog. She howled back. She was over the river. She was through the pine forest. She was at the high crest. I offered her a meatball, and she thought it was a great game and KEPT RUNNING. Down the next steep hill. With two kids in tow, in the rain, I couldn't do it. I sat down in defeat and prayed.
And wouldn't you know, God called that dog back and she walked right up to me. I leashed her and we made our way back home. When we got to the gate, she gave a strong tug to resist, and THE LEASH AND THE COLLAR SNAPPED. She was gone AGAIN.
A neighbor saw it all go down. He came out with another leash. The kids went up to the house. He and I walked down to the water's edge and called. She howled. I called. She howled. She was on the other side of the river and ran past me without even a glance, howling and hounding out of sight.
All day long, I called her, she howled. We could hear her from one end of the woods to the other.
It was a long, rainy search. Another neighbor gave me rides around the area to all out to her. And then as we were giving up for the day, I got a call from a guy who lives across the street from me telling me he had her. I ran down the street from where we were to find my miserable looking pup and we took her home and gave her a bath. It's nearly 5 p.m., not a stitch of work done for my day tomorrow. But thankful for her safe return, for caring neighbors, and for leftovers in the fridge so I don't have to do anything but heat it up.
Erin just sighed and said, "This day has been so long."