I lost Waffles today. For a whole half-an-hour my baby was missing. I always call her my little Pugdini and today she made good on the name, disappearing right before our eyes. We were preparing dinner – my father grilling steaks, my Mom setting the table, and me as quickly clearing it of my paperwork. Dad had the back door to the fenced-in-yard open and I had just run some files upstairs with Alfie and Waffles in tow. Next thing I knew I saw Alfie peaking around from in back of my father’s legs, but no Waffles.
Up to no good again, I assumed and shouted her name. Typically, she comes running, stopping short at the baby gate that she hopped over to get up the stairs, but which impedes her journey back down. This time, she failed to show when I called. I called again – trying first my high-pitched excited voice, followed by a sterner cry, and then back to nervous screeching. When she didn’t appear, I ran to the backyard searching for her and then back up the stairs, tearing into my nephew’s room, my office and bedroom to no avail. I ran back down the stairs and to the car declaring her missing. I drove up and down the street looking for her, by this time in tears. Logically, I couldn’t figure out how she could have gotten out. In the past she had escaped through a hole in the gate on two occasions, but the hole had been repaired and even when she had gotten out she usually just sat outside the fence trying to find a way back in to be with Alfie. She had never wandered off. I pictured someone nabbing her from the backyard, envisioning horrors like animal experiments being performed on her. When I calmed myself enough to deem this vision unrealistic, my next thought was of a big eagle sweeping down while we weren’t looking and flying off with her. “I’ll never get her back either way,” I thought.
Beside myself, I returned home only to learn that my parents hadn’t found her yet either. Another search of the house ensued and then I heard my Mom’s voice calling to let me know she was found safe-and-sound in what we assumed was a locked bedroom. I should have realized. The door was shut because of the bathroom renovations, but I had noticed that she had found a way in the other day. The problem is the door swings in to allow her entrance, but just like the baby gate, once it closes she can’t get it to swing out, impeding her exit. In my terror, I hadn’t thought of this, however.
I scooped Waffles out of Mom’s arms and held her close. She wiggled and wagged her usually stoic tail, while Alfie did the same. The two, sensing my excitement, got all worked up, like two children on Christmas morning. They didn’t know why I was so happy, but I could tell they both hoped it meant something tasty for them. In the end, it did. I placed both Waffles and Alfie securely in their pens with a bite-sized morsel of the grilled filet mingon. And, as she ate it I think Waffles was as happy as I was that she hadn’t gotten permanently lost.