September 30, 2004 1:44 PM- Henry, my heart

Do I look tired?

Allow me to recap: last night I came into the house around 6:30 after a fabulous workout. The weather has gotten quite chill so it was a lovely sensation to come into the house and be greeted by warmth and the scent of something roasting. A note on the counter from T said he was out walking the dogs along the lake. I opened the oven door. Yes, indeed-- a pork tenderloin roast surrounded by chunks of potato, sweet potato, carrots, red pepper bits, onion and garlic. Scrumptious, right?

Uh yeah, unless of course I had defrosted that tenderloin in order to make a curry dinner for Thursday's weekly outing to our friends Ally and John (ever since Survivor Australia, we have gotten together for dinner and the TV on Thursday nights-- it has become a fabulous ritual that I treasure). I had told T on Sunday I would make the curry Weds night for us to bring Thursday. I had told him again about my plans on Monday. And then, yesterday, when I came home FROM THE GROCERY STORE WITH ALL THE FIXINGS TO MAKE A CURRY and raita and chutney and pilaf, I told him I had gotten everything I needed to make the curry dinner for Thursday night.

So, as I gazed upon my purloined tenderloin was I upset? Hmmm, hard to say. It sure smelled good and I was hungry and so I guess you could say I had strongly conflicting emotions.

And then the phone rang. It was T on his walk and I asked him if he was having a gorgeous walk (the sky was streaked with pinks and reds and violet) and he replied no. In fact I believe his exact words were,

"I'm gonna ##$@&&*@ kill those ##!@&%* dogs."

It seems Henry had spotted a deer and began a chase that despite all of our very successful behavior training (they both have spanking new certificates) they failed to respond appropriately to the COME command. After about 45 minutes (and lots of walking and calling and whistling), Ollie returned and T brought him home.

But Henry? Gone. It was now very, very dark out. And cold. I went up to the railroad tracks where he was last seen and walked and walked and whistled and called. Not a sound from the thick forest. My cell phone rang. It was T. He was going to come and get me (I had walked miles away from my car). He came and got me. We drove around more. Our panic increasing.

We called the Humane Society but they were closed so we left a message. I called the police and talked to Tania on the dispatch (who was WONDERFUL) and she told me to hang in there-- her Husky had gone missing and came back 12 hours later. She assured me Henry would find his way home. I wasn't so sure. But she was very comforting and told me she would get this across to all the cops.

We tried to eat. Everything tasted like sand. Tried to watch TV. Didn't numb the aching heart and tummy. Where was our dog? What had happened? Was he hurt? Had he gotten out to one of the busy roads? Had someone picked him up? He'd been gone for hours and hours now.

The Apprentice came on and T went back out, this time with Ollie on a leash and a flashlight and he walked deep into the woods again. He came back an hour later. Still no Henry.

I had a terrible night's sleep FULL of bad dreams (and I never remember my dreams) and dragged myself out of bed with a heavy heart because the most favorite part of my day is going downstairs and seeing the dogs and Henry is always the most joyous and excited in the morning full of love and licking and snuggles, and I knew he wasn't there and the thought just killed me.

So I walked into the kitchen and saw Ollie on his bed looking at me forlornly from behind the gate and I glanced out to the porch where I saw HENRY. ON THE PORCH. And I started shouting up to T (who was still in bed), "he's here! he's here! he's here!" And a most joyful reunion with lots of love and tears was had by all.

And then, I got into work, scanned the news and saw 30 children had been killed in Baghdad. 30 children. My dog is not a child. He is a dog. But all I can say is, love is love. And I love my dog and I feel so blessed that our family was not torn apart last night and I cannot fathom what is happening to families both here and in Iraq because of this war. Is anybody going to stop the madness? And I know you think I am nuts because my dog is just a dog. But all I can tell you is if he was gone for good last night, my heart would've been ripped open wide and I would have had a very hard time going forward. Scoff at me all you like, it's true. And so, I cannot imagine how people go on, find joy again, when the lives they had are destroyed by war.

But since I'm sure y'all want to see his guilty face, here's the repentant villain (we'll never know what his adventure was but he was one exhausted dog when he got home this morning).

And here's his brother giving him a stern talking to.

And then, peace and snuggle.

P.S. That gouge in his forehead? Was already there from ANOTHER trauma this past weekend that I will recount another time.

got 2 cents?

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Zoot says:
You had me on the edge of my seat there! You know how much I love my dogs, I was terrified for Henry! I'm so glad he came home safe and sound. I hope tonight goes a wee bit better for you guys!
posted on: September 30

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hope says:
Omigosh - they are so cute! I am so happy Henry returned home, as I was reading I was so afraid of what the outcome would be! I know the feeling, my dog when she was a puppy escaped her lease around a busy street and thought it was funny to dart away everytime I got close enough to grab her - I was almost in tears by the time I finally caught her. You are so right... love it love.
posted on: September 30

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Sarcomical says:
whew! i can breathe again! for a second i thought you were going to say here is a picture of henry and he never came home. and i was going to cry. i'm so glad for you. and it's not silly for you to feel that way about your pets. they're like children, for some of us, and we love them as much as you can possibly love anything that is never able to say "i love you" back. ;)
posted on: September 30

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Erica says:
Thirty children anywhere is too big for me to wrap my head around -- it makes my heart hurt and go numb, and I cease to function. So while Henry may be just a dog (and a damn sweet one, I might add, despite his misbehavior), hearing that he returned home safe and sound and slightly repentant makes the ache a little less.
posted on: September 30

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samantha says:
just as I was sitting down to type this, velcro came and buried his head in my lap - I'm so glad Henry made it home and I know you were scared and upset. When Velcro escapes, I know he's just on a little adventure, but I don't know where he goes - it's like he evaporates into thin air. Thankfully he always shows up at the back door. And 30 children? Killed? Did that show up the debate tonight, and if so, what did our President have to say for it?
posted on: September 30

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Sheryl says:
Aww, poor Henry, and poor you. I think in that middle pic he's saying I'm weawwy weawwy sowwy mama. Even though I know normally he's way to erudite to do baby-talk.
posted on: October 01

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otter says:
Maybe he had to work through a nasty bout of existential angst. But he shouldn't worry his mommy-wommy like that! Ah, but how adorable is he? Nibble on those ears for me, ok?
posted on: October 01

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pastamasta says:
Henry, you wee scalliwag. Now you just go and say sorry to your poor mum, she's been worried sick. And stay away from those deer in future, I hear they're dealing crack these days and are not to be trusted.
posted on: October 01

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yogagirl says:
those of us that feel as you do totally understand....i'm so glad this story had a happy ending and your family is whole once more. in times like these we have to wrap ourselves around the good things.
posted on: October 01

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Cindy says:
I would be totally devastated if one of my two didn't come home. What do you think he was doing? A party with canine friends? Jumping fences with the deer? Just like a teenager never where their suppose to be.
posted on: October 01

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Bad Penguin says:
I'm so glad Henry made it home safe and sound. My beagle Seamus has gotten away from me a couple of times and gone running in the woods for hours, but he's never been gone overnight. I would have been a wreck. And I don't think you're nuts for loving your dogs as much as you do. As you say, love is love. Who says love is reserved for humans only?
posted on: October 01

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lizardek says:
There is NO QUANTIFIER on love. I'm so glad the end of this story was a happy one. *sighs with relief*
posted on: October 01

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Dawnie says:
I'm so glad he came back OK! Although he does look tired. And love is love - those dogs are part of your family. I don't even know WHAT I would do if one of my cats went missing. So so glad he turned up safe and sound.
posted on: October 01

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wee says:
okay. I've got to tell you... I had to skip all the middle bits and rush to the end to see if you had found him. Because a dog is never "just a dog". Not in my world. And my heart was in my throat the moment i read that Henry had run off... I'm so relieved, you have no idea. Well, actually, I'm sure , in fact you do. a thousand kisses on you both. So glad everyone is safe!
posted on: October 01

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river selkie says:
love is love. as you said. i would be devastated myself if something happened to my wee naughty kitties.
posted on: October 01

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bellabelly says:
Oh, I totally understand the panic. My Buster happens to be a chaser, a runner, and an escape artist. I have had MANY humiliating occasions where I am chasing him across the army base, bra-less and in flip-flops and pajamas, screaming his name. Thank god for Maddie (my other doggie) who manages to catch up with him and boss him into coming back. Its like I have a complete heart attack when that leash flies out of my hand. I think I could catch him better if I could BREATHE. They are my babies, I love them as I would a child (haven't been blessed with those yet). Don't feel guilty about loving an animal. You are right, love is love, and I think we all need more of it.
posted on: October 01

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Very Mom says:
Love IS love, welcome home Henry. Bad, bad Henry who is loved.
posted on: October 01

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violetismycolor says:
If you watched the debate last night, you can see that at least SOMEBODY in this race is sane!!! No one should be worried about losing their child without a very good reason and I just don't happen to think that we have a very good reason. Keeping my fingers crossed for November. The very partisan violet
posted on: October 01

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Michelle says:
A face like that? Would have my heart aching if it were gone, too. But aren't Dog's such brilliant creatures? Once my cousins' dog was getting dog-sat while they were out of town. It snuck away and ran all the way to... my Grandma's house (it was closer).
posted on: October 02

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Kat says:
they aren't just your dogs, they are your loved ones, your friends, your family, and people with fur :) We live in a world that puts people at the top and everything else in ever-lessing degrees of value downward. But those of us who live with the furry ones know better :)
posted on: October 03

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Chrishawn says:
Whew! Glad for his safe return. I was all like, "On no, Henry!" I feel like I know your little bambino dogs. Glad he's home. Now he needs a good talking too and a ome mine doggie time out. Bad Henry!
posted on: October 05

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