Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The night adventure of an old dog

I've had my dog since before moving to Austin fourteen years ago. He's been a part of the important times of my life. Chato has experienced the lonely life and the family life. So, it was a bit stressful when my dog went missing one night.

While I grill outside, I usually leave the back door open. I also unintentionally left the fence gate open too, so my dog decided to exit the gate and take a stroll. This usually doesn't worry me because my dog does walk around the block but returns within 30 minutes.

It was starting to get dark, however, and I began to worry about my old dog strolling around the neighborhood; especially with his cataract.  Plus, last time I found him walking the far end of the block across our street.

While driving around the neighborhood, I realized that my white dog was wearing a blue shirt, which makes it that more challenging to see him in the dark.  I drove for about an hour looking for him, and finally decided that perhaps he was picked up by a neighbor--actually, I was hoping he was. 

We left the porch light on all night, and I slept downstairs in case he returned. I thought about the many scenerios that might have occured.

Was he picked up by a neighbor? Was it the kids on the other block? Is he being treated nicely? Is Chato behaving? I hope he doesn't bit anyone. He doesn't have his shots! The county has a law about dogs that bit and its a death sentence. 

I finally fell asleep but woke up at 4:00 after dreaming about my various thoughts. While waiting for the first sight of sunrise, I posted an ad on Craigslist and the neighborhood message board and emailing the pound.

I began to think the worse. Something bad happened. He got runned over. A hawk picked him up. A coyote.

After getting ready for the day, I made my way out the door with a plastic bag, just in case, to continue my search.  Again, I drove around the neighborhood but found nothing. I drove along the major streets, and thankfully found no evidence of roadkill. 

Later that morning, I received a message that a description of my dog matched that of a dog that was found outside a children's daycare center. The daycare is located on the other side of a major five lane road and over half a mile from the house. FIVE LANES! WITH CATARACTS! IN THE DARK!

When I went to pick him up, he was pacing nervously in a fenced in area, while toddlers ran along the opposite side the fence "playing" with him. Chato searched excitedly when he heard me call his name, and he grabbed me tight with his claws when I picked him up. I think he was happy to see me.

I could only imagine the adventure Chato experienced that night. The good thing is that he is back and safe at home.

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