Today was like any other normal day. We get up, get gabby ready, get ourselves ready, feed the dogs, and rush off to work and school leaving “the boys” behind. Butler and Chase, the dynamic duo.
Butler and Chase have both adjusted differently to the move to Grovetown. Chase is still “dealing with issues” from when I was working in Atlanta for six months. He seems sort of…lost. The combonation of that with us moving to a new house, him turning 15 in January, and the cateracts growing thicker in his eyes have made him a little, well, crazy. I don’t mean to be irreverent, but it’s true. The dog suffers from separation anxiety.
As soon as we leave he does all kinds of things in his crate to try and get out (he never did this before) and when he finally gets frustrated enough to quit, he pees in his kennel. This happend so often that we stopped putting down the blankets for him. Before temperatures reached the 90s this summer, I put him outside for a couple of days. Then the summer heat crept the thermostat up to above 90 and we brought him back in to abuse himself in his crate.
Finally, the temperatures dropped again and I began putting him outside during the day. I came home the first couple of days to check on him. I needed to make myself OK with leaving him outside all day, I think. He was fine. I would come home at lunch and he’d be lounging in the grass just soaking up the sun. Then I skipped lunch one day and worried he’d be running around the yard acting crazy when I got home. Nothing. Not even a whimper.
But today, changed everything. I got home just as the sky was about to bust loose. I ran inside, let Butler out of his kennel, ran to the back door to let Chase inside. Butler ran out, but no Chase…He was gone. There was nothing left in the backyard except the towel we left in his kennel (with no door), and the hole he dug under the gate. My heart sank. My gut followed. I began to think where he might be. I searched around the yard. Maybe he just dug the hole to act out. Maybe he was under the canoe. Maybe….well (it hit me) Maybe…he’s gone. 15 years of friendship, love, and care (both ways)….gone. “Not like this,” I thought. “He can’t be far.” Who was I kidding? A 15 year old dog with cateracts dug a hole under a gate and went blindly looking for his friend. Now his friend was looking for him and they might possibly never find each other again.
I called Amber. She didn’t know he was gone. She began to panic. We hung up. I rolled up my sleeves and prepared to jump in my truck and ride and howl out the window if need be to find my friend. I spat out a quick whistle and yelled his name. After searching out the entire back yard, a went through the gate that he’d dug under to start seaching the neighborhood.
Just then…my long lost friend ran up to me from the front yard. Where had he been? Did someone have him and let him go when they heard my whistle? Was he on the front porch the whole time? WHO CARES? He was here!
He was filthy. I took him into the house too relieved to be pissed off anymore. I turned on the warm water and he jumped right into the tub. I gave him a bath and dried him off.
He was home. That’s all that mattered.
“It’s not the 99 sheep you still have that you celebrate, it’s the lost 1 that comes home”
Before this incident, we (Chase and I) weren’t getting along. I can’t imagine life without him and today I came too close to having to do just that. Now, those feelings along with our contempt for each other are long gone. Glad to have you back “good buddy”.
Thanks for being my best friend.