July 3rd was a tough day. Our German shepherd mix dog decided he wanted his independence. He disappeared from our back yard. It was 10 years to the day that we brought him home from the local Human Society, a 3 month old puppy.
The gates were closed and he's too big to crawl under the fence. We were puzzled as to his escape route. I drove around the neighborhood thinking that he was just running around & would be home for supper. He didn't return for supper. I walked around the neighborhood. I called for him while walking. We've walked thousands of miles together and I couldn't imagine where he would have gone.
I called Animal Control, gave a description & phone number. No luck
I widened the search. No luck
I called the Human Society, gave a description & phone number. No luck
I talked to a couple of friends. They said "he'll be back...you'll find him."
I finally told our kids. This was so hard as he was the only pet they had known growing up. It was upsetting to them & they couldn't help with the search as they are both hundreds of miles away.
I was so discouraged and sad at this point. It had been several days and I felt that our chances of getting him back were decreasing. No calls from the Animal Shelter or the Humane Society. Where could he be? I kept walking in the neighborhood & calling his name. I expected to see him running up to me, but no such luck.
My daughter called back and said she would place an ad in the local newspaper and on Craig's List. She wouldn't let me give up the search. I spent time on- line looking for animal shelters in the area and determined that I would go to the facilities, not relying on a phone call.
Monday AM i went to the shelter & gave them a description. The receptionist said "I think we have him, go back and see if you can find him." I went back to the very large room where the runaway dogs were housed. As soon as I walked into the room barking of every pitch and tenor erupted. I was shaking, hoping against hope that he would be there. Going down the first row..no..turning down the second row...middle left...there he was! I could hardly believe it. He was (I'm sure) happy to see me too. Five minutes of paper work & payment & we jumped into the car and headed for home.
They had picked him up 3 blocks from our house. He just wasn't crafty enough to sneak on home when animal control showed up. His rush for independence didn't last long and he had several uncomfortable days in the pen.
I had taken his companionship as the norm and his absence was so upsetting. He's the best workout buddy I've ever had & am so happy he's back in the fold.
There's probably a several lessons in all of this, but to me the most important is don't take simple things, like walks in the neighborhood with your dog, for granted.