I just got back from walking around in the dark, freezing rain.
For 45 minutes.
Why would I do this, you ask?
Because I was looking for The Fonz.
Let's back up.
We don't have an invisible fence at our cottage in Michigan. I have never really needed an invisible fence for Fonz, he always just sort of stuck around. When he was younger, he would wander off a bit, but always came back in a timely manner. Only once was he brought home by a stranger who had picked him up on the road.
Our cottage is set on a couple of acres on a lake, surrounded by trees, and the back of the property butts up against a trailer park. We take a long dirt lane to get to it, which is lined with woods. So basically, if you are coming at night, in the middle of winter, when it is half snowing-half raining, it would appear as though you are driving down the lane of a creepy old house where the insane man who eats children lives.
On particularly cold windy rainy nights like tonight, Fonz is usually in and out of the house about a thousand times. Give or take once or twice. I don't know if he gets cold or bored or what, but he comes in, stays for about 2 minutes, and then goes to the opposite door he came in to go back out. And he is persistent, using his nose to knock the doorknob to let us know that he would rather be outside. Like, now.
After a while, both Workaholic and I noticed that we hadn't seen Fonz for a while. We kept going to the back door, turning on the light, calling for him and whistling. But nothing. We started to get concerned, and went out on the porch, and called and whistled. But more nothing.
Now we were worried. He comes when called, or at least makes an appearance so he knows that we saw him. He is 12 1/2 years old, he is a tad arthritic, he doesn't have the best vision and even worse hearing. And we are a hundred feet from a freezing cold lake with geese on an island about 200 feet out. He likes to chase geese.
I walked the yard next to the lake. I stepped in big mud puddles. I had Kale by my side, but that was little consolation. I looked in the lake, noticed that our pier had been destroyed by the ice. Workaholic was driving the lane, shining the headlights through the darkness, trying to spot our blond boy. I headed to the back yard, skirting the edge of the woods next to the trailer park, calling and whistling. But nothing.
We decided to walk the lane. That long, dark, long, scary lane.
And the whole time, I was thinking about my black lab we had when I was a kid. Black Sheep. When she was 12, she wandered away, as she was wont to do, and she stood on the highway and was killed by a car. The same thing could not have happened to my Fonz. It just couldn't. Things like that happen to other people's pets. He deserves better, he deserves peace when it is his time. But even more important, he deserves more time, more time to play and swim and chase squirrels and geese.
We got to the road and turned and came back. No sign of him. We kept calling and whistling. We had looked all over the yard, all over our neighbor's yards, under our deck, in the woods. We couldn't find him. I decided to get in my van and drive through the trailer park. Workaholic went to check the yard...again.
And when he walked into the back yard, on the same deck that we had stood and turned the light on and off and called and whistled and gotten no response...laid The Fonz.
He was just laying there, looking at Workaholic, like "Hey, where have you been? I am wet. And hungry, I think I missed dinner."
He was wet, but had no mud on his paws, unlike our shoes.
I was just so relieved to see him, I hugged him, gently chastised him for disappearing, and fed him his dinner.
I have NO IDEA where he was, and he probably didn't hear us when we called, or if he did, he didn't feel like getting up.
Let's recap...midnight, cold, rain, missing beloved dog, thorough search, terrifying thoughts, dog randomly reappears.