Tuesday, July 01, 2008
A Sad Tale
Like most families, going away for a week requires some planning. At our house the biggest thing is figuring out the animal situation. Our six cats live outdoors and have an automatic feeder, so they're no problem. The four goats just need a flake of hay every day. Three of the four dogs are easy as well, just needing someone to feed them in the evening.
But then there's Dinah, the big yellow mix of a mix of a mix--our two-year-old puppy who leaps tall buildings with a single bound.
Dinah goes for a walk with me every morning, then spends most of the day in the house. Our four-foot fence is not enough to keep her in, so when she's outside she's either on a leash or chained up on a thirty-foot lead. It's not ideal, but that's the way we deal with Dinah.
My solution (and I was so proud of myself!) was to have her boarded in town at our vet's office. I took her down the week before for her vaccination boosters, and on the morning we left for vacation, we dropped her off on our way out of town. I told the vet and the attendants all about her, and asked them to spay her while she was there, if they had time.
We left Cayucos early last Friday so we could make it back in time to pick Dinah up on our way through town. I left everyone in the car and went into the vet's to get her. When it was my turn, I said, "I'm here to pick up Dinah."
Three heads swiveled to look at me. Then one of the employees said, "Dinah. You're here to get Dinah. We have to talk about Dinah."
And I thought, 'She died under anesthesia,' but said, "What about Dinah?"
And the woman said, "Dinah's gone."
"Gone, as in...gone, like you...lost her?"
And the woman said, very fast, as though to get it over quickly, "She got away from us. We've been trying to find her, and oh, you'll have to talk to Lisa, I'll go get her right now and she can tell you all about it."
So the whole story, in a nutshell, is that within ten minutes of our driving out of the parking lot, they had lost Dinah. They took her outside to an area with a six-foot fence, unleashed her, and stepped back inside for just a second, coming back out just in time to see her clear the fence and take off.
She spent the first three nights she was loose in a big, junk-yardy kind of place, running away every time someone said, "Dinah?". The people from the vet's office took food and water over twice a day, but no one has seen Dinah since the fourth day she was loose. For the last four days, we have canvased a ten-block radius, walking, driving, calling her name, going up to everyone we've seen outside--but no luck. No Dinah.
One of the people who saw her was the guy who runs the Minit Mart near the vet's office. He told Richard of a dog he had ten years ago who got lost up in the mountains about 40 miles north of here, and showed up a month later at his house in town. So I suppose there's hope, because if any of our dogs could find her way home, it would be Dinah. Richard thinks someone picked her up, that she's happily living with someone else.
But--she's gone. And does it ever leave a big hole in our family.