Giving Up Was NOT An Option...

Thursday night, as I was preparing for bed, Robby looked at me and said, "You're depressed, aren't you?"  I couldn't disagree with that assessment.  It had been a very long 24 plus hours looking for my little doxie, Annie.  I was missing her terribly and was not sure what my next steps toward finding her would be the following day.  We ended the evening with him commenting that he wished everything would go right for me, for an entire week.  I stated that if I found Annie the next day, everything would be OK.

Once again, it did not take an alarm clock to wake me Friday morning; I was up a little after 5 am.  After fixing myself a cup of coffee, I began to think about what I would do to attempt to find Annie.  As Robby was leaving for work, I asked him if he would mind driving through the neighborhood again...just to see if he could spot her.  He agreed to this and called me shortly thereafter to tell me that he had not seen her.  At that point, I decided to put a "Lost Dog" ad in the paper and also instructed Robby to call the animal shelter.  The next thing I would plan, would be a complete search of the woods...I was NOT giving up on finding her.  After taking measures that would get me jump started in locating Annie,  I silently prayed "puppy prayers" that God would just either allow her to make it home or allow someone to find her and call me.  I had put my phone numbers on the signs we had hung the day before, as well as the fliers, so I decided to go ahead and go to the gym.  However, before I hit the highway, I would also make a drive through the neighborhood...AND I asked Caitlin to do the same before she headed to town for the day.  I not only drove through the neighborhood, but also down the road a ways to the public boat dock...still no sign of Annie anywhere.  I headed out to the gym.

Upon arriving at the gym, my trainer asked if I had found Annie...because I had cancelled my session with him the day before, while searching for her.  I told him that I had not.  He told me that someone most likely had taken her.  Hmmm...that kind of made me mad.  WHO would just take a little dog that OBVIOUSLY belonged to someone?  I was having none of that negativity.  Just before entering my yoga class, my cell phone went off.  I  quickly answered it to find Caitlin breathless on the other end of the line.  She had spotted Annie running down the road and was about to go get her!  She hung up...I waited...she didn't call back and I couldn't stand it any longer.  I redialed her number and she answered by saying, "I've got her!"  Oh my gosh!!!  I couldn't believe it.  She told me that as she was leaving the neighborhood, she sat at the STOP sign and prayed, "God, please just let Annie run out in front of me somewhere.  We are all so tired and really want to find her."  As she turned to the right of the STOP sign, she spotted Annie running down the road...with a car coming up quickly behind her!  Panicked, Caitlin, ran out in the road to slow the car down, while Annie made it to the safely of her own yard.

Upon bringing her inside, Caitlin informed me that it was obvious that Annie had been wandering in and out of the woods for the past two days.  She was hungry, thirsty and very tired.  As Caitlin left for town, Annie was sleeping.  When I arrived home and opened the door, she bolted toward me, immediately began crying...and peed on the floor; she HAD bee traumatized, after all.  I picked her up and she laid her little head on my shoulder and didn't move.  She felt a little chilly and was sort of dirty, so I decided to give her a nice, warm bath.  Afterwards, I wrapped her in a big, fluffy towel and she and Sissy snuggled up in my lap.  Sissy apparently had missed her more than I thought, because she began grooming her (licking her ears, eyes and face), until Annie fell sound asleep.

Upon examining her, I saw many scratches and a rash on Annie's belly.  She most likely also had a few bruises or was just sore, because when I picked her up, she yelped.  I called the vet, who instructed me to watch her since she might be suffering from a slight case of shock and then he made us an appointment to check her over the next morning.  All afternoon, we sat and rocked.  Annie was tired.  It had been a long two days in the cold darkness of the woods for this little pup...and she was content to be back in the comfort of her owner's lap.  What had I learned from this incident?...for, learning from experiences is what helps us to grow as human beings.  First, I would not allow my doxies to play in the backyard unattended, until I had a chance to properly repair that gate latch.  Second, I would discuss having GPS chips put under the skin of both dogs...just in case.  Third, I am really more attached than I thought to these little darlings.  Oh, I knew I was crazy about them, but the possibility of never getting to see Annie again, made me realize how much they mean to me and how important they are to our family.  Their veterinarian charts and collars both include our family name...that is appropriate, for they ARE members of this motley crew we call a "FAMILY".

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