On our way home today we gave our customary royal wave to a street about 1.5 miles from our house. We have been doing this every time we drive by the street for the past three months. Eugene, the Jack Russell Terrier that lives with us, is afraid of thunder, lightning, fireworks, gunshot-like noises, etc. On our first Fourth of July back in town, we found that fireworks are now allowed in the city several weeks before July 4. Gene was terrified…… he spent a lot of time quivering under the bed or on the bed under the comforter or burrowed behind whomever he found on the loveseat recliner.
A week before the main patriotic day display, I let Gene and Princess, our animal pack’s, alpha female Schipperke, out into the fenced backyard. On my way to bed, I told Mike the cat and dogs were outside. About an hour later, I woke to the sound of the front door open and shut. Mike was coming back in the house. I asked him what was happening. He said he went to let the animals in after a series of really loud fireworks, and could not find Gene. For the next several days, Mike, sometimes by himself, or, sometimes with Alice, drove the neighborhood looking for their buddy.
When granddaughter, Hayley, and great-niece, Rosa, spent the night, I fielded questions regarding the steps they could take to canvass the neighborhood to find lost Gene. Hayley is a little more pragmatic than tenderhearted Rosa. Hayley was sorry Gene was missing and willing to engage in looking for him. Rosa told Hayley and me about her sister’s cat’s disappearance. Her cat was eventually found in an apartment in their complex. Rosa thought we ought to begin looking for Gene by her apartment across town.
Mike put a notice on the animal shelter’s website and placed a missing dog notice on craigslist. Five days went by, Mike was suffering, Alice was ready to post fliers around the neighborhood, and out of town family members were being notified. There was a lot of sadness in the house. The cat came home and was surprised to only have Princess to bedevil him. Princess even looked a little quizzically at us, probably wondering where the friend she most loves to growl at was keeping himself.
The afternoon of the fifth day Mike received a phone call. A man was asking if his dog was still missing. He thought our dog might be in the back of his shed. He could not get an animal to come out. The lost was found almost two miles away, five days after disappearing. The interesting thing is the Kansas Turnpike is between us and the man’s house. There is one underpass a block south of the street Gene was found on. Between our house and the finder’s house is a huge field, where coyotes, raccoons and opossum’s reign supreme. There may be a deer or a fox in the area and a bobcat has been seen within a five mile radius.
We do not know how the small, 12 year old, hard of hearing, partially blind, terrified dog made it to the shed. We are grateful to the craigslist reading Good Samaritan. We have renamed the street just north of the underpass, where Gene’s incredible journey ended.
We salute Gene Street, as we go by, and shake our heads as we drive under the overpass; listening to cars whizzing along at 75 miles an hour, tires singing, we wonder how it all happened. If only Gene could talk, what a story he would tell……..
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