On the last week of January, Molly, Alice and I set out to Monroe to visit our friend, Tammy, for a few days. Tammy and I planned on attending the Country Living Expo & Cattlemen's Winterschool, 2009 classes on Saturday. It's a LONG way from here to there, so the dogs and I left here on Thursday so that I could run up to Bellingham to take care of a few odds and ends. Friday morning, Tammy set off for work, and I set off for Bellingham. We left Kylie and Harley in kennels, and the rest of the dogs-- Molly included, loose in the Alcatraz-enclosed yard.
Tammy's fence is a three-rail fence. That, of course would hold none of our dogs were it not for the strands of hot wire run between the rails. Below the bottom rail are two strands of hot wire.
Molly and Alice have been to Tammy's house before and on our last visit, Molly discovered the bottom wire. We were in the pasture with the donkey, sheep, guinea hens, chickens, turkeys and Emus when she slipped under the rail and was punished by the wire. She 'arped" all the way up to the house and sulked on the front porch until we returned. It did not occur to Tammy or to me that Molly would leave the yard.
But she did.
When Tammy arrived home Molly was not there. She searched up and down the road, but Molly did not come. When I arrived, well after dark and in the good-old-Northwest downpour, she asked if I had Molly. I did not.
While Tammy notified all neighbors and her dog club members that we were searching for a 10 pound white-with-black spots- and-a-few-patches-of-brown female Jack Russell Terrier, I set off down the road with Alice. I called and whistled until I was hoarse. Alice fully enjoyed the walk.
No Molly. I stopped two cars. The first man said he'd seen her in the yard earlier that day but not since. The second, a neighbor named Mark, said he'd received Tammy's e-mail and was looking for Molly. We all searched for three hours, but turned up nothing.
What we did know was that it did not appear she had been squashed on the road, and if a coyote or cougar had nailed her it had left no signs of her carcass.
When we returned to the house we checked phone and e-mail messages. Gretchen and the entire dog club had offered to come over and search. They could be there around midnight. We told them our theory-- that she was no longer in the area-- and thanked them for the offer.
Given the limited evidence, I assumed she'd started out under the rail of the fence, gotten a good jolt from the hot wire and sprinted. At some point during or after the sprint I figured she was seen by a Good Samaritan. I imagined the Good Samaritan saw the spooked (and apparently dirty) dog walking or running down the road and stopped, opened his door and said, "Little dog? Are you lost?" at which point Molly, who LOVES cars and people, said "OH! A LAP... A LAP IN A CAR!" and jumped in as though this guy was her long lost love.
Well, what's a guy to do then? Why, take the dog home, of course!
So Friday night I went to bed, sans Molly, hoping that the above scenario were so.
Saturday morning, Tammy and I went to the Expo armed with phone numbers, Tammy's cell phone and photographs of Molly. I called Chris Wend, an animal communicator in North Carolina with whom I've worked before. Chris has provided fantastic information that has always proved reliable. I got her answering machine, left a message, and then called my vet in Tonasket. The only identification Molly had was her little red rabies tag. If someone was attempting to reunite us, he could trace me via that tag. The answering machine picked up my message.
At noon I received a call from Tonasket Veterinary. Molly was safe. A man named Ken had turned her into Cascade Animal Clinic in Monroe. I called 411, got their phone number and spoke to Jenny who assured me that Molly was happy and a delightful guest. They would hold her until Monday if it took me that long to get back to her.
I found Tammy who called her partner, Guerdon, and he agreed to go fetch Molly. Molly was delighted to see a familiar face, and according to Guerdon, she is not welcome to ride in his car again as he does not like riding in a car with a ping-pong-dog bouncing around from the back to the front using seats as nets and windshields and windows as banks.
I guess she was a little excited.
We arrived home to find an elated Molly and bummed-out Alice. (Alice said she thought we were finally rid of the little pest and that was a GOOD thing.)
After hugging Molly, I set her down and told her I'd been very worried. She put on her worried JRT ears and agreed that she had been worried too (although she'd had a really cool adventure and met some fantastic people and eaten exotic stuff she never gets at home-- like Purina, no doubt). I told her that she'd taken ten years off my life. She said she was a bit stressed too (although she even had had a bath and had even more people who doted on her and laps to explore!).
Many thanks to all who facilitated the reunion with Molly-cule:
* Gretchen, Liz and the entire dog club
* Chris Wend(who would also have helped but was away from home during the crisis)
* Ken, the Good Samaritan who kept Molly safe
* Cascade Animal Clinic who agreed to hold her
* Tonasket Veterinary Clinic who assisted on a weekend, even though they were closed
(It takes a village to find a dog.)