Run Away Romeo

January 2, 2012
It was the saddest restless night I just experienced. I opened my eyes. I stretched my hand out from behind me, hoping to feel his fur but all I could feel is the cold satin material of my comforter which did not bring me much comfort in that moment. He would have tucked himself into a fetal position with the warmth from his body heat on his belly. I let out a sad breath of air feeling overwhelming gloom.
I should have known better, than to have left him outside late with the risk of loud fireworks and gun fire. At the time I did not foresee the consequences of leaving him alone late with strange sounds and sights. We hoped that the security of an electric collar would keep restrained. He had plenty of space to roam in our massive back yard with a sea of grass. What we did not consider was the fright of the thousands of loud noises and bursts of color that fill the air every year on New Year’s Eve.
Springing up from my bed, I ran into my parent’s room, inquiring in anticipation of the furry animal’s return. In the negative response of my parents I wasted no time by snatching my clothes from my drawer and jumping into them without even glancing at my reflection through the mirror on the wall.
My first response to his disappearance was not too concerned, after all, this wasn’t the first time he ran away and he always came back, however in this instance my parents weren’t so sure. They did not assure me that everything was going to be okay, that his return would come undoubtedly soon. My mother’s spirit broke, and by the look on her soft solemn face hopeful thoughts were absent from her sincere heart. My father who never liked my dog or had a real owner relationship with him, was getting anxious about my missing friend.
One of our first steps we took was looking at the surveillance video from the previous night. Good. I thought. Now we can see exactly what happened. I was so wrong. We have four cameras on our house, and only one had a “good” picture if I can call it that. Also a whole chunk of time was missing from the video where he may have left. Great.
Our neighbors did not do help us out much as to what they may have seen her heard. “Try the shelter” one said. The Shelter? On New Year’s Day? In our neighborhood? I went online to get the number and tried calling . . . and of course they were closed. At that point I got really anxious. What if he’s lost? What if he was dog knapped? What if he was attacked by a mountain lion? Now I began to lose all hope. I shared my thoughts with my mother, seeking her wise council.
“Well maybe God just doesn’t plan for us to have a dog this year,” she candidly replied.
I refused to allow that thought into my mind and left the room. This was too much, he always came back, why was this time different?
The afternoon dragged as I listened attentively to any rings or tones or jingles that might bring my poor scared creature back.
Later at around four the doorbell finally rang. I sprinted through the halls feeling the breeze whipping through my hair. I didn’t even cease or slow down when running down the spiral staircase. The heavy bronze door had intricate details, which I paid no attention to. I flung the door open, and there in front of us was a middle-aged woman in normal clothes. She started talking but her words were mute to my ears as my eyes wandered around the garden in our front yard. All at once, I saw a small figure standing and staring at the open door.
My dog ran to me wagging his tail. I am slightly embarrassed to say that I got so caught up in the moment that I did not give a proper thanks to the woman who was trying to find his owner. I was so elated that he was home. I am now very careful about putting my dog outside. Precious animals can be damaged in so many ways, and it’s my responsibility, as a dog owner, to protect and look out for him.

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