So, we have a hiking trail near our house that we visit everyday. It’s a great way for Sean and me to connect and talk about our day while also giving our pups a little exercise. Here are our pups:
On this particular day, Sean really didn’t want to go because I got home late from work and it was throwing off our whole routine, but I encouraged him to go, saying we could just take a quick walk. I even put on flip-flops instead of my sneakers to show him just how quick a walk I was planning.
Off we went. Once we get to the hiking trail, we always let our dogs go off leash because it’s better exercise for them, and it gives us an opportunity to actually enjoy the walk without having to worry about a dog pulling on their leash. It isn’t uncommon for our dogs to run off after some sound for a little bit, and then come back after whatever animal (usually a deer) they were chasing gets away. But this time once they were gone for about 10 minutes, we started to worry. After 45 minutes I was frantic. Sean and I took off on different paths to try to cover more ground while we whistled and yelled their names, but we didn’t see them anywhere. Each time I heard him whistle, my heart sunk because I knew it meant that he wasn’t having any luck finding them either. Then it started to thunder and there was lightning and we were in the midst of a forest. It had been about an hour with no dogs in sight.
Sean suggested that he run home to see if maybe by chance they’d gone home once they realized they couldn’t find us. As he was leaving, he passed another hiker and the guy mentioned that he’d seen Molly, but not Belle up near the exit. Sean ran home and when he got there Molly was in our backyard.
While he was gone, I had no idea if he’d found them, but I continued to run around the trail like a crazy woman screaming both dogs’ names. Another hiker saw me and asked me if Molly and Belle were kids or dogs. I guess because I was screaming their names with such urgency, he thought I might be missing children.
When Sean got back, he told me the good news about Molly, but at this point it had started to pour and we were still missing Belle. Sean said we should get in the car and drive for a bit to see if she too was trying to find her way home. I reluctantly agreed because I really didn’t think Belle would be smart enough to make her way home, and I didn’t think she would leave the trail without us. But, we got in the car to start looking for her. As we were driving around, we had to roll down the windows because it was raining so hard that it made it difficult to see. After several trips around the neighborhood, I told Sean we needed to go back to the trails. He suggested I go home, probably because I was a crying mess, and he would go back to the trails in the pouring rain, lightning and thunder to look for our little Belle.
I kept wondering how Molly got in our backyard because the gate is always closed, but when I got home I found out how she got there. My neighbors’ little boys left a sweet note in little boy handwriting about how they saw Molly running down the street and put her in our backyard. It was precious. But Belle was still missing. I didn’t care that it was raining, I stood outside in the rain, crying just waiting for Sean to come back feeling totally helpless and just unsure what I should do. I kept glancing at my phone, hoping that someone had found her and would call us, but my phone was silent.
Shortly afterward I saw Sean turn the corner with a little red leash in hand. Both he and Belle were soaking wet, but I couldn’t help but smile and run to them. I was SO relieved and happy! Sean was so wonderful through this whole thing. I kept being all doom and gloom saying that we would never find them, and he kept reassuring me that we would. Once they were safe and sound, I asked him if he really thought that they would be ok all along. He said that he really wasn’t sure, but he didn’t want me to worry anymore than I already was. Now that’s a good husband. 🙂
Oh, and if you’re wondering, yes I did thank the kids. I went over to their house with cookies and chocolate covered strawberries to say thank you. I am so grateful. And the dogs? Now they are on their leashes at the trails. I am not going to relive that day ever.