Monday, May 29, 2006

He once was lost…

…but now he's FOUND! Josh is safely back at home, thank Heaven.

Guess who's dog-sitting AND housetraining a new puppy? Yes, that's right…Bethany and Kristy. We went over to Karen's 3 times on Saturday, and then yesterday, I went over there at 8:30 to feed Josh breakfast and let him out. (It was *supposed* to be "let him IN," but when we went over there on Saturday night at 11:00 p.m., it was raining so we had to leave him inside--REALLY raining, not just sprinkling, with shockingly bright lightning bolts. Oh, yeah…and I had just had my car washed a few hours earlier, thinking "It never rains in Abilene.")

So, anyway, Josh was so happy to see me and get sugar and get to "go"; he'd been holding it since 11:30 the night before. What worried me was that he would come to me on the deck step to get some affection, and then he'd run into the grass and tinkle. After he did that a couple of times (with decreasing amounts of pee each time), I was afraid he had another bladder infection. (He was recently on antibiotics for either a bladder or kidney infection--can't remember which--but it affected his bathroom habits.)

So, since it wasn't hot yet, I just decided to leave him out so he could pee to his heart's delight and then let Bethany come back before noon (when it really starts to heat up & shade disappears) to put him in. But the plan was all ashes when Bethany called and said that Josh WASN'T IN THE BACKYARD!!!

We were frantic. We went through the neighborhood calling his name, up and down every street in Lytle South SEVERAL times. We called animal control, but they were closed. We called the police non-emergency number and the policeman called the animal control guy's on-call number, but then the policeman called me back to say that they hadn't picked up any dog like Josh. He said our best bets were door-to-door queries and flyers.

So Bethany and I made 40 flyers and put them up all over the neighborhood.

13 year-old Golden Retriever with white muzzle named JOSHUA.
Please call Please call 660-**** or 660-**** or 660-****! Bless you for trying to help us find our old friend…

As Mom drove slowly up and down each block, Bethany would hop in & out, stapling flyers to each and every pole; by the time the Staple Gun Queen had plastered the community, we only had six left to take with us door to door. Now it was Bethany's turn to drive, and Mom's turn to hop in and out. One lady HAD seen him in her front yard, but the rest of the people were washouts. (One man told me that he knew Josh, but hadn't seen him because he was too busy "babysitting the tv" since the Indianapolis 500 was on, followed by the Coke Something-or-Other race.) Some people wouldn't even come to the door, even though I could hear them inside! (My theory on that is that they saw the flyer in my hand and thought it said "LOST?" instead of "LOST!")

Sunburned, hot, and exhausted, we finally gave up around 5:00. (I'd already called the Tech Team at church and told them that I couldn't make it to the 3:30 training.) We hid Karen's lawn mower in the garage and propped open her fence door...just in case Josh decided to give up The Great Escape and come home.

Two hours later--and SEVEN hours after this whole ordeal began--we got the call. A man said that Josh was at the corner of Cornell & Purdue and that he seemed hurt. We were on our way!! Bethany beat me there and was shocked that the man actually took the $20 reward (we both agreed that we would have turned it down). We tried in vain to lift Josh into the back of my Tribute so Bethany just walked him the rest of the way home. We gave him lots of water and lots of love and agreed that Karen and Houston could go get all 34 flyers out of the neighborhood when they got home on Monday.

However, after our phones kept ringing with questions and congratulations, we decided that we'd better take them down asap. Bethany had a brainstorm--Joe was coming over later to see May Bee, but after that, they could remove all the signs and "decorate" Karen's house with them when she went over to let Josh out for the night. Mike and I fortified our two favorite vandals with chocolate milkshakes and they were off on their mission like Ninjas of the Night.

I'll bet Bethany's happy she spent Memorial Day weekend in Abilene…Szechuan with Pokey, movies with friends, the guy she struck dumb at Hasting's (I swear to you--he took one look at her and lost the ability to speak), vandalizing her aunt's house, backrubs & Green Jeans & watching Shaun of the Dead & Amelie with Mom, the Josh Adventure, taking the puppy out at 2:30 a.m., and Buffalo Wild Wings with Karen.

Life is so wonderful…thank you, God, for my beautiful daughters, happy dogs, a library full of books, and for more blessings than I can begin to count!!

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