I often travel for business. My wife, KayEm, and I stay in touch with Skype, Twitter, and e-mail. I’m always excited when I pull out my Blackberry and see one of her messages. But sometimes, I receive a message that I’m afraid to open.
About a year ago, we adopted a beagle named Ginger. Although the adjustment was tough at first, she has become a beloved addition to our family. Ginger is an active dog who loves to play and explore. Her wanderlust is the reason why KayEm sent me an e-mail message with this subject line: Ginger ran away.
As you can imagine, this was not the type of message I wanted to receive while I was nearly 3,000 miles away from home. I open the e-mail message and read the following text:
I opened the the front door and Ginger darted out. I have to find her!
I called KayEm immediately to find out what happened. She explained that Ginger had snuck out of the house and ran around the cul-de-sac sniffing around our neighbors’ yards. KayEm gave chase, but Ginger escaped through the open gate that led to our neighborhood walking trail. KayEm couldn’t pursue any further because our 2-year-old son, X, was standing in the front door planning his own get-away.
Sensing that she was free to explore, Ginger bolted down the walking trail to start her adventure. KayEm loaded X into the minivan and pursued Ginger to the neighborhood park at the end of the trail. But once again, she had a dilemma – should she leave X in the van while she chased Ginger or should try to chase the dog while carrying a toddler. Neither option was acceptable. KayEm got back into the van and drove home. All the time she was worried about how she would tell our older kids, Nee and N that their pet had run away. She knew that the news would break their hearts.
In a last ditch effort to find our dog, KayEm decided to make some “Lost Dog” flyers and post them around the neighborhood. Just as she was about to press print, our phone rang. A thoughtful stranger had found Ginger and had her safely at his house. KayEm was ecstatic. Once again, she loaded X into the minivan and drove around the corner to retrieve the dog.
When KayEm arrived at the neighbor’s house, she saw Ginger resting peacefully in the back of the man’s pick-up truck.
“My brother raises beagles,” the man explained. “Whenever they catch a scent, they always try to follow it. That’s why I picked up your dog when I saw her. I knew she had a family who loved her when I saw the collar and tags.”
“Yes, we do love her. The kids would have been so sad if Ginger were gone,” KayEm said. “Thank you for finding our dog.” KayEm loaded Ginger into the minivan and drove home.
A little while later, I received another e-mail message that read: Ginger found! No worries.
Thank God for the kindness of neighbors.
Question: Has your pet ever run away? If so, how did you handle the situation?