or, The End of an Era.
Last night Annabelle had her very last run in the cemetery by our house. She scared me to death and the scenarios I had running through my head as I called her name and wandered through the cemetery crying were enough to make me completely rethink my approach to exercise in her little life. I've held it up above all things--in fact, I've been downright obsessive about it since I got her--though I thought I was pretty careful about keeping her safety number one. The cemetery is not completely fenced in, but as she's gotten older, she's also gotten better about coming when I call her and sticking relatively close by. Not last night.
It's not a story, really. She went missing for a good 45 minutes. I was mad at first, then scared, then pessimistic, then convinced I was going to find a big black splat on a very busy street. After she'd been missing for about a half hour, I went over to a house that neighbors the cemetery and asked the woman who lived there if I could borrow her phone. I know, I know, where was my cell phone? At home. Stupid. I called S., and, though I'd held it together until then, as soon as he answered, I started blubbering about Annabelle being lost. He came right away, after stopping at my house to pick up my phone for me. We drove through the streets that surround the cemetery, going on our usual walking route, past the house, and back to the cemetery. By this time it's 7:00 and the light is fading. And I'm freaking out and getting sick to my stomach because Belly's missing and because I'm in the passenger seat while S. is driving through very windy roads. Finally I tell him I have to drive or I'm gonna get sick, and as soon as I get behind the wheel and start to go, he tells me he sees her. She looks scared and she's soaking wet, but she's okay.
Here's some of what was going through my mind:
1. We're going to find her on the road, she'll be in so much pain and it will cost so much to operate on her and she'll never be the happy dog she was that I decide right there that we have to put her down.
2. It gets so dark that we finally have to go home and I sit in my house wondering if I'll ever see my girl again.
3. I call S., and he comes to the cemetery, but when he gets there, he's got Annabelle's dead body in the back seat. He picked her up on the way.
Optimistic, I know. But my life has trained me to expect nothing but the worst. Yet S. gets to the cemetery, I get in the car, and he keeps telling me that we're gonna find her, she's gonna be okay, have some faith, she's a smart dog, we're gonna find her. And all I'm thinking is, I can't imagine how
As we're driving back to the house, I tell Belly that she's no longer allowed to run in the cemetery. She has exactly one place left where she's allowed to run free, other than her own back yard, and that's the dog park.
I am not strong. When we got back to the house, I kept saying to S. that I can't imagine how people whose children have gone missing even manage to function. I just can't imagine. I would be catatonic.
I've never loved a being the way I love this girl. She gives me so much, she makes my life so happy, and I'll never take that chance with her again.