Who can’t keep their kids on a leash (real or figurative) when their Husband goes away?
Y’all know we don’t have kids, so my leash is real. My fur-baby and I have a relationship built on snuggles. Husband and Kate have one built on cat and mouse games, barking, running around, and in general, play. She loves her daddy tremendously. I’m so busy all the time that when he’s gone, Kate gets really, really bored. She loves me too, for the record, but it’s a different kind of love. I try so hard to get outside and play with her, but I find running around with a 12 pound dog exhausting. I just want to snuggle and get puppy kisses all over my face.
Anyway, last week Husband went out of town. It was a pretty uneventful week. One night after dinner at about 8:20 I took Kate outside to play in the backyard. She LOVES to sniff the whole yard, every bush in site, and every grass sprig in the yard – “squirrels peed here, mom!” Once she was done playing with me, she started sniffing everything. I figured I’d be outside for awhile, so I ran inside to get my phone, around 8:30pm. I walked past my mom sitting at the kitchen table and told her I’d left Kate outside and would be right back.
Little did I know that there would be a few messages waiting for me that would completely, 100%, cannot-believe-it distract me. I’m about to cry just writing this out…but I.Forgot.My.Dog. My mom forgot – she was distracted and is a self-confused “mm-hmm’r”. Dad was on the couch in the living room about to take his evening nap-with-a-beer-in-hand. We were all completely shut down. Kate typically runs off and hides under our bed to get some sleep. We all just forgot.
My 12 pound cream miniature dachshund in a picket fenced backyard. It wouldn’t have been a big deal if we had a chain link or other type of secure fence, but our dachshund, bred to burrow into tiny holes, cannot be left outside for extended periods of time. 3-5 minutes is about her maximum before she’s sniffed the backyard world and wants to play or come inside.
I realized she was out there at NINE-THIRTY. Nine-f***ing-thirty. Now I’m crying. I had been texting Husband back and forth nearly the entire time and he announced he was going to turn in for the night (he was on eastern time). As I was typing “I’m looking for the Bug since I haven’t seen her in awhile…” I dropped my phone, started swearing every word ever known to man, started screaming in the backyard for Kate and she was nowhere.
Enter hyperventilation and crisis-in-a-crisis mode.
Thank God for my mom and dad. Mom went to the very back of the yard and starting calling into the park. My dad went to one side of the house and started calling for Kate. Meanwhile I ran into and out of the house thinking she might have somehow reached 3.5 feet up and let herself in the front door. I’m yelling, swearing, screaming, crying, looking for a flashlight (couldn’t see in the dark since I was back and forth into the house).
If you’ve ever hyperventilated, you know that moment when you can’t hear a thing but a murky bubble of sound surrounding your foggy head. In that bubble I heard my mom say “Kate’s here, dad found her…come here Kate, it’s okay, it’s alright, she’s here.” He found her just outside the gate he was near in the neighbor’s bushes.
I grabbed my baby, sat on the living room floor and dug my face into her wet, covered-in-grass, fur and cried. Then she got a bath…and wanted to go back outside.
We have no idea how long she was outside the gate, but I was beyond thankful that she didn’t go any further. I truly don’t know what I would do if this story had a different outcome.
I wrote about another time just a few months ago when I slipped and fell on ice and lost Kate’s leash. Here’s the story…
When Husband returned home, we stood outside the gate she was found by and enticed her to tell us how she got out. Silly girl took the bait. Our little escape artist has now been blocked from at least one of her exit doors – we made sure of it!