This has been an exhausting couple of weeks.
On Saturday, February 27, two of our dogs escaped from our fenced back yard and vanished into thin air. We’ve done all the things we’re supposed to do, but… nothing. They are microchipped, thankfully, but if someone has decided to keep them as pets, that doesn’t help us very much. And they are prime candidates for unintentional abduction – a pair of cute Boston Terriers who are housetrained and affectionate.
Darth Vader was born in a trailer park in north Alabama, and I got him as a puppy in the late summer of 2005. He came with the name – he has no white markings on his face like “normal” Boston Terriers. When he was younger he was always getting himself stuck – he’d wrap his leash around my legs, or climb into something he couldn’t get out of. One time he crawled down the sleeve of my robe and got stuck. When I lived in a duplex with a doggie door, Vader delighted in removing objects from the house and installing them in the back yard. He unraveled a whole skein of yarn in the bushes. He emptied the laundry hamper. He devoured underwear. My next-door neighbors in Alabama had a Boxer, and every day Vader would check out the Boxer, look at me, and think, “One day. One day I’m gonna be that size. Just give me a few weeks.”
He was the only dog of the three who loved the water. He positively wallowed at every given opportunity.
I made the fatal mistake of assuming that he was bored and/or lonely, and needed a buddy. I mean, I’m sure he WAS bored all day, but he’s a dog. He wasn’t yearning to join a book club or watch Food Network. I should have gotten a comfortable crate. Instead I got Coco.
Coco was born in much more upscale digs. She’s from Seven Oaks Kennels, north of Tallahassee. She came with certified fancy papers.
Vader was initially mystified by Coco, who followed him everywhere. I don’t know that he had much experience with dogs smaller than him. And she was tiny!
They were inseparable. They ate together, slept in the same crate, and even cuddled on the couch (Ed: tried to fix Red Eye and ended up with Freaky Eye, sorry).
And it is very, very hard to write about them in the past tense.
In the beginning of The Blended Times, those dogs were one of the few things that the children – especially the girls – could be unequivocally delighted in. They were allowed to love the dogs in a way that they were not allowed to love anything else about our house. In a confusing and stressful time, the dogs were happy, loving, and affectionate. They demanded nothing but the occasional belly-rub.
We’ve done everything we know to do to find them – alerted every vet in Tallahassee, posted a Craigslist ad, checked (and re-checked) the animal shelter, called the microchip company. And it’s not impossible that they come back – there are plenty of stories of dogs who return months, even years, later. But with each day that passes, that chance gets smaller.
I miss them.