Friday, March 9, 2012

Anne Banane, WHERE RU?

Thursday morning and I’m out of bed at 5:40 AM to get ready for an 8:30 assignment at Homer High School. Fortunately the hordes of dogs are not coming until later today so I just have my six and one guest, Cheyenne, a lovely Weimaraner that is a regular. By 6:30 I’ve had my shower and am ready to feed the dogs. I make the bowls and pick up Anne’s and RockDog’s to deliver them to their respective crates. They are the two biggest chowhounds in the group, pushing and shoving and whining so they eat first to get them out of my hair – rewarded for bad behavior, I know. They race me to their crate, normally. Well RockDog is ready, but where is Anne?

I can’t believe it, she is nowhere to be seen which only means one thing, she has escaped. I remember the dogs barking when I was in the shower at 6 AM, it must have been when she jumped off the deck and took off. My mind is creating a scenario that soon becomes reality. . . We have tons of snow with a large pile-up by the gate that is the perfect spot for doggies to climb up and jump over. Anne’s been watching the big dogs do this for days. In fact when Forty-West arrived for daycare on Monday he came to the back door and Anne was with him. I was flabbergasted! His owner said Anne had been in the driveway. She had finally figured out she too could jump off the deck anytime she wanted, and I didn’t even know it. After that incident she has only been allowed on the deck alone while connected to a lead.

So now my mind is reeling as to how she possibly escaped? I remember letting Woody and Luce in the front gate, and leaving the sliding glass door ajar when I did so. Okay so Anne must have slipped outside and once we went in the house, she was off and running and that’s probably when the dogs started barking (the fabricated scenario continues). Never mind how she did it, I just need to find her. I take a bowl of food outside and call her while jiggling the kibble in the bottom of a metal dog dish. No response, except from the inside. My hair is wet, I’m in my PJ’s, and it’s dark outside as I put on my boots and coat to go look for her. I walk up the road to all our familiar places, and no Anne. I surmised she is either in someone’s trash and totally distracted, OR she has run off down the hill – heaven forbid! I return to the house and realize that before I can look for her in the VW, I have to thaw it out which will take at least 15 minutes. The windows are frosted over. I start the car and go back inside and get properly dressed for the substitute assignment that I will probably miss.

I call my neighbors (waking everyone up), I call the vet clinic, I call the radio station, I call the police department, I call the animal shelter, and I call the rescue group in California that Anne came from. I call everyone I can think of. I freak out while still reminding myself I need to stay calm. Of course it is 6:45 AM so nothing is open except the police department so I left messages everywhere. I call the administrator at school to tell her I cannot come in because my dog is missing – I don’t have to be there until 8:25 but just in case. I am obviously frantic. How can I possibly sleep without this little wiggle butt on the pillow right next to my head? How can she be gone, and WHERE IS SHE? Normally if she does escape, she stays in the neighborhood.

I get in my car and can only see out of a hole the size of a quarter on the windshield – I have no time to scrape! I’m frantic. I drive the neighborhood with the windows down yelling, “Anne come.” Nothing - not even a trace. I proceed to drive down the hill, across the ridge, through neighboring subdivisions, everywhere I can think of. I beep the horn and call her name – I’m sure anyone watching would think I was a crazed blonde (I was) in a green VW roaming around neighborhoods at this ungodly morning hour.

By 7:45 it is beginning to get light outside. My intuition tells me I am missing something, I need to think about this situation, but how can I focus when I am distraught? I know Anne is fearful of strangers and can’t imagine that anyone could pick her up even if they wanted to. But WHERE IS SHE? In between driving around and making phone calls, I check in at the house to be sure she has not returned home. I say a prayer to the Universe to keep her safe.

If she got out as I predicted she had been gone for over an hour, and it’s cold out here. I can’t imagine where she might have gone. I drive north, I drive south, I drive east, and I drive west - I call her name, I honk the horn. Finally I return to the house to forward my landline to my cell phone just in case someone finds her. I have been driving around for almost two hours by this point but my intuition tells me she is okay. I listen to that inner voice most of the time in between bouts of franticness (is that a word?). I arrive back at the house and as I enter the front door I once again have the feeling I am missing something. Could she be in my upstairs walk-in closet? I doubt it because of course I got my clothes out of it after she went missing, but I checked anyhow. No Anne.

As I return to the downstairs it hits me like a brick, you know the slap on the forehead when the light bulb goes off? I was in the broom closet getting dog kibble this morning and the light in there burned out days ago so I had fumbled in the dark. . . As I approach the closet now I see the yellow part of the dust mop peeking out from under the door – now that is weird. I open the door. . . the bag of dog food has fallen on the door so when I open it, the bag falls toward me. And there in the dark sits my little darling looking at me. OMG, relief and laughter came at once. She had not run off at all. She had merely gone into the closet when I was filling the kibble can and I had shut the door before she got out. And, she didn’t make a sound not even when this frantic woman was running up and down the stairs, putting kibble in a pan and shaking it around while calling her name, running in and out of the house like a lunatic. I wonder if she had made a sound would I have heard it through all the commotion in my own head? I’m sure she just sat there silently wondering why I left her there alone.

So now I have made all these phone calls and have all these people concerned. I called the school and told them I was on my way, called the vet clinic, the police department, the California connection, the animal shelter and the radio station. Of course it is 8:20 AM and everyone is now at work and when I tell them Anne has been found they all ask the obvious question: “where did you find her?” and my response was the same “do you really want to know?” as I proceed to tell them the story and apologize for the early morning drama. And they all laugh! Sure it’s funny now, but at the time. OMG!

I am exhausted and delirious at the same time – that’s what an adrenaline rush will do. Now all I need is a nap and it’s only 8:35 AM! As it turned out I was only 5 minutes late for class. This is the start of my spring break and the last day of substitute teaching for a while. Anne Banane is sleeping on her new plush pillow as I write this blog - the perfect ending to the morning drama.
I promise not to accuse her of escaping again unless I know for a fact she has done so. And, I promise to get the light in the broom closet fixed!

Woof! Woof!