Today is a super-special day.
My doglet turns 15 today.
When she got out of the house that day in early June of '98, I thought she was gone forever. Pitifully, I just couldn't let it go - I went to the SPCA and looked at the inmates every day for 9 weeks. I left crying most days. I made it through the worst of my grief, but I still hoped I'd see her again, and more than anything I hoped she was with someone who was doting on her and being kind to her, and not dead in a ditch somewhere.
The ninth week, the 9th of August I went into the SPCA and saw her poster had been covered up on the bulletin board by the picture of someone else's lost pet. I said "Um, my dog's picture is covered up," at which point they scrambled to uncover it - got to keep the daily-visiting crazy lady happy, I suppose.
4 days later, on Friday 13 August, I came home from work and had a voice mail that started off:
"I hope I'm wrong but I think I have your dog. When we found her she just had a red rolled leather collar on that had a tag that said 'devil.'" Hallelujah, it WAS my dog. [In my defense, the tag was a pewter tag that said "angel" on one side and "devil" on the other, but the angel side hammered against her collar buckle and wore down completely. This may have been a sign.]
They'd found her after she'd been on her own for 5 weeks. She was dehydrated, sunburned, malnourished with skin allergies and partially bald, and probably happy as a clam to be free-ballin' around the world. She was about 20 miles from home.
They thought she had been abused and tied up and neglected, but they soon figured out she was someone's baby when at bedtime she jumped on the bed and demanded to be let under the covers, at which point she shot to the foot of the bed and curled up at the woman's feet.
They went to Florida on vacation 3 days later and they said that all the way there, she looked out the back window in the direction of Texas.
Fortunately for me, Doglet terrorized the cats and chickens on this little farm, and the other dogs and the horses weren't fond of her either. She proved useful for that family in fact-finding the wisdom of having a Jack Russell Terrier, which their kids had been asking for. After a month of having her, she demonstrated how ill-fitting she was for that environment.
Anyway, they had a stray pup come up to their farm on Friday 13, and they simply couldn't keep one more animal. They took the pup to the SPCA in McKinney Texas and walked through the door and saw my sign on the bulletin board.
She said "I think I have that dog."
The employee said, "oh, that lady really needs her dog back."
So, I got her back and we've been on bonus round ever since.
This was a profound moment in my life, because I realized then I would trade all my possessions to have my little dog back. Anyway, it's been a great run, and I'm grateful for her every single day. From Friday 13 onward, it's been bonus-round gravy days for me and my dog.
Then last year on November 1, the day after her 14th, she made yet another deft escape and got run over by a car right before my eyes. I saw her running into the street and saw the car coming and knew that I was witnessing the last instants of my beloved pet's life. It was overwhelming.
The hit was the best it could have been - the car was perfectly centered over her and a tire didn't get her, so she rolled like a weenie under it. She was in shock, and they gave her an i.v. at the vet to keep her hydrated, but nothing was broken. What a relief.
Anyway, here we are a year later, and I'm so happy I still have her, so we're in double-bonus gravy days on overtime. Long may she wag.