Sunday, July 6, 2008

Dog Gone It

So, I was spending a lazy morning composing a post for you all, and delaying the inevitable cleaning up that must be done after the Weekend of Partying, when Mr. Ashley asked me where the dogs were.

Probably out front, I answered, completely unconcerned.

He looked out front, looked out back, looked in our bedroom, the bathroom...went back out front and called them again...NOWHERE.

So I run out in the yard, screaming and whistling...NOTHING.

Instant panic. Lily, the white German Shepherd NEVER leaves our yard. She also doesn't let Murphy leave our yard and he never really seems to want to. Only once have I seen him wander towards the neighbors', and Lily quickly cut him off and herded him back to the house. The two of them will spend hours lying in the shade near the bushes in the front, never to wander off or cause a problem.

So their absence was instantly alarming. Mr. Ashley jumped in the car and I shoved the kids into clothes and into a stroller and ran down the driveway towards the canal. There was no sign of them. I walked up and down our almost mile long street, yelling and whistling, before running back to the house and calling my parents.

They were also instantly panicked, knowing that this is not something our dogs would normally do, and jumped in the car to come over.

I was in the house, frantically typing up lost dog signs (only to later find out there was no ink in either printer), when Mr. Ashley pulled up, with Lily running up the drive ahead of him. He yelled that he didn't know where she came from and there was still no Murphy.

I should have been grateful to have her back, but I didn't think she would leave him unless hope was lost. She was soaking wet and exhausted. She is an accomplished leisure swimmer, but Murphy is not and fears of swimming pools or alligators overwhelmed me.

I revised my sign to only include one dog, and a handsome reward since that one dog is much easier to steal than a German Shepherd would be, and then discovered my lack of ink. I race to the garage, begin ripping open cardboard boxes, grab a kid's chubby paintbrush and red tempura paint and frantically begin creating "LOST WEINER DOG" signs on cardboard.

My dad takes the signs and a hammer and nails and sets off to notify the area that we're on Murphy Alert. As he pulls out of the driveway, the rain begins pouring down. I realized that the chances of finding one skinny, camouflaged little weiner dog puppy in acres of predator-filled woods that he is not familiar with, were slim to none. Despair pushed through the permanent Effexor fog and I became certain that we wouldn't be seeing him again, at least not any time soon.

I look out the window and see my mom soaking wet, running up the driveway, and hear the phone ring.

"Your dad found him?" I heard Mr. Ashley say through the sound of rain.


"No, he did!" he yelled. At the same time my dad's truck rolls in the driveway and I hear my mom screaming that "HE HAS HIM! HE HAS HIM!" and went out to greet a wiggly, soaking wet Murphy, who was happy to see me, but 100x happier to see Lily. He licked her from head to toe, rubbing his face against hers and licking her rear (injured) leg lovingly and repeatedly.

I guess my dad had decided that it was pointless to put up the sign in the pouring rain and pulled down the road he was on so that he could turn around, and lo and behold, there was Murphy, stuck in someone's fence, the next street over. He was thrilled to see my dad, and I'm sure the feeling was mutual.

So, the Ashley house is back intact, hearts still beating hard, dogs wet and stinky and Lily's poor hip sore as hell.

Mr. Ashley is on his way to the liquor store right now.


Joy said...

Aww I am SOOO glad you found him. Last weekend I met a lady in my neighborhood who was franticly searching for a dog, a dog that did not belong to her but that she was dog sitting!

It got scared and ran from her, it was a little poodle. We looked for a while til the kids had to go to bed and I looked for a few days every time I drove in or out. The signs are still up I hope she found her friends dog and just forgot to take them down.

Barb McMahon and Alan Mailloux said...

Now that they've been found, can I tell you that the phrase "lost weiner dog" makes me giggle?

Hope Lily's hip feels better soon!

Melodie said...

Oh, gosh! I'm sorry you had to go through all of that, but so happy for you that all turned out well. Hopefully, the dogs learned a little lesson from this, too.

Judy said...

Is the liquor for you or the dogs? *wink*

Anonymous said...

So glad you found them both. When my dog, a little escape artist, gets out of the backyard, it causes sheer panic. My neighbor thinks I'm a horrible owner because she has caught her twice, little does she know that even concrete under the fence line doesn't stop her from getting out!

Hope Lily's hip heals up!

KatBouska said...

What. A. Relief! Boy you guys don't waste any time!! Poor little guy. I wonder what would have happened if your Dad had not seen him. He would have just been stuck in that fence. Poor thing. I know this usually only happens in the movies...but might Lily have led you to him if you let her out on a leash or something??

Unknown said...

We do mobilize immediately ;-)

I thought for sure that Lily would lead me right to him ala Lassie style but noooooooo Ms. Perfect Candidate for Search & Rescue dog just plopped down in the driveway and panted. She did finally lead my mom to the canal, we're thinking they either swam or walked the bank to the next street over and Murph somehow got stuck in that yard.

So no, Genius Dog did not come to the rescue. I thought she would too.

Anonymous said...

PheW! The trauma of a lost dog (dogS in your case) is horrible.
Thankfully the smelly mutts are home and safe. Now, go have a few drinks and relax (read: passout)

Denise said...

Oh Ashley, I'm sooooooo glad you found them. I was panicking just reading your post! Drink up

Mitch said...

Aaah! You scared that crap out of me! I'm glad you found them. Pooor little Murphy stuck in the fence. He was probably terrified!

Anonymous said...

I thought for sure he was gator bait. At the canal, Lily jumped off of a 3-4 foot rock enbankment into the canal and swam around crying and nipping at the water. So my faith in her as a real "guardian" is intact, he somehow got away from her.

AFRo said...

I was a bit worried there for a minute. I'm glad all is well and that no animal ER visits were needed.

Does alcohol actually relax you even with the Effexor? That was one thing I hated about my anti depressants was that I could drink and drink and drink and never even feel the slightest buzz. It sucked.

A.D. said...

I'm so glad you found them! I lost one of our kitties a few years ago (she slipped out the front door that had been blown open by the wind). It was one of the scariest times of my life...I pretty much cried and screamed for her like a lunatic up and down our street for 3 hours. The funniest part was that I was shaking a bag of treats the entire time, and one of the neighbor's cats was following me up and down the street. I think people were like "Umm...lady, your cat is right behind you!"
We finally found her under the neighbor's shed where some kids had chased her trying to pet her. Now, I always check to make sure the doors are locked, just in case!

Renee said...

Wow, what an adventure. I'm glad they're back safe and sound. Maybe Murphy bolted and poor Lily was just trying to keep up and stay with him to make sure he was okay. I love hearing about what good friends they are!

-The Renee

Anonymous said...

OMG this brought me to tears! I don't even want to think about losing my wiener dog. I'm glad everyone is safe and sound.


Ab said...

Thank goodness y'all found them! We've lost our dogs before, and it is so terrifying!

I hope Lily's hip feels better soon!

Life, Love And Lola said...

This post had me on the edge of my seat! I'm happy everyone is home safe!

Anonymous said...

Great that you found them!

There is nothing worse when your dog is missing. Our Jack Russell was gone for three days....someone had picked him up and took him home a few miles away. Lucky for us they were driving through the area and saw our signs. It was the same time last year...4th of July weekend. We found out he was scared of the fireworks!

kolls said...

Ohhh, I'm so happy they're back! Both our puppies got out a few years back and were gone for a day and a half. Turns out they'd gotten lost, we found them in another neighborhood a mile away, wandering along the creek trying to get home! The moment my schnauzer barrelled into my knees (and my lab puppy jumped into my mom's arms) is quite literally still the best moment of my life.

Multislacking Mama said...

Naughty Dogs.

Hey, I had a dream that me and Sasha (is that proper grammar?) came to visit the Ashley's. You didn't live in Florida.

You lived in Oklahoma.


Maddness of Me said...

I seriously would have had a heart attack.