Tonight I let the dogs out in the backyard for a while until Anna wanted them to come in. So I opened the door and Dixie trotted in, but no Lucy. I called and whistled for her, but still no response. Now, Lucy is a boxer, a true “people dog” who will follow me around the house underfoot just to be near me, much to my aggravation, so it was very strange for her not to come in. Finally I put on Jon’s flip flops that were by the door and went out into the yard, where I discovered that somehow one of the gates had come open and Lucy was nowhere to be seen! Anna and Will were barefoot, in their pj’s, so I told them to stay inside and I ran around the house calling for Lucy, not knowing how long she’d been out or how far she might have gone. Fortunately my neighbor was outside with her daughter who had seen Lucy run by. She said she looked like a pitbull, but I assured her she’s a boxer and very friendly. My neighbor said her dog always heads around the bend to the woods near the railroad tracks when he gets out – oh, great! I called and whistled, and a few houses down the street I saw my goofy-grinning pooch come running out of someone’s yard, happy to see me! After an I’m-so-happy-to-see-you-please-don’t-be-mad-at-me greeting, Lucy had to go over and visit with the kind neighbors. By this time, Anna and Will had put their shoes on and come out of the house to see what was going on. Anna said she “just knew it wasn’t good!” But it was after all, and we all went inside, happy to be together again.
So this all got me thinking about how we sometimes take loved ones for granted or find them inconvenient (like when Lucy had “accidents” on the carpet that required a visit from our friendly carpet cleaner recently). But when faced with the possibility of losing them, we regain perspective and realize how important they are to us. Let’s hope we can realize it more often without facing a crisis! “Love one another.”