Got up this morning around 6 a.m., only to find that the gate to my front yard was open and my dog, who nudged me to go outside around 4:30 a.m., was missing. But this isn't an ordinary lost dog — well, hell, I know everyone who has a pet feels the same way — but my dog is old, has been showing that fact more and more as of late. She's partially blind, deaf and has some limited mobility in her back legs. There are mornings she's like the two-year-old pooch we adopted back in Washington who became one of my best friends — she's frisky and eager to run out to our front yard for a little chase. And there are a growing number of days when she sleeps almost the entire day, get's sick more easily and has problems getting up in the morning and out of bed.
More often lately, she's been going outside — in and out of our little house a lot. Getting a wake up from her at 2 a.m. and then another at 4:30 a.m. isn't unusual. But usually I remember to close the gate. This time, I'm certain I forgot. But this is the kind of dog, in the past, who would explore the orchards around our old house and head to the Wenatchee River or take soaks in the irrigation ditch that ran near our property. She'd come home every time, happy and in love with nature and the world around her.
In her youth, she especially liked hiking, camping and chasing skunks and birds. I remember the skunks regularly showered her with their own kind of love, too. It's hard to get rid of skunk stink when it's deep in your dog's nose. Really hard. I'm hoping a friend's words of comfort are true — that it was finally her time, she knew it and laid down some place. I worry right now that she is in our busy west side neighborhood scared, hungry, thirsty and alone.
I walked around the area and drove around — no sign. Word is spreading on social media. Today, as advised, I'll call the animal shelters to see if she's been found. I'll do Craigslist, too. But just in case — just maybe you might have seen her along Congress and Grande, or in that vicinity? Maybe she's thinking back to 15 years ago when they found her along the Entiat River. If you see her, please contact me at the Weekly. I sure would love to have her home. Her old orchard cat is gonna miss her soon. And my 12-year-old son, her charge all these years, is gonna miss her too.