Well, it’s happened.
We had to bail one of our crew out of jail.
Our first juvenile delinquent.
Perhaps we should re-consider her nickname.
“Pen-Pen” seems a little ironic now.
Thursday we got home from work and school in the dark (as usual at this time of year) and Penny wasn’t at the gate to greet us.
That seemed strange.
She’s an inside/outside dog and I knew we had left her outside that morning because I didn’t come home for lunch.
While the kids started unpacking from school I took a flashlight and started searching and calling and desperately dialing Mr. Fix-It. My first fear was that she had slipped into the back field and pestered the horses until Hannah kicked her in the head and she was lying out there, a black dog in a black night and one of the kids would find her the next morning while they were out feeding the chickens. (See, no half-formed fears here. My mind goes straight to the over-dramatic details.)
Then I discovered the open gate.
Things went downhill from there.
It wasn’t our yard gate that was open. She must have slipped into the back pasture with the horses and then come up through the cattle chute and into the open-gate field. But regardless, she was gone.
We couldn’t find her anywhere.
I tried to be calm and not upset the kids–who hadn’t even noticed yet because they were so excited about their Christmas parties on Friday and going to Mimi’s on Sunday and being out of school for 14 days after tomorrow…and Mr. Fix-It (who ended up not getting home from work until after 8 pm!) recruited some of our neighbors and family to cruise the roads and look for her after they were in bed.
But we didn’t find anything.
The kids figured it out the next morning. The Ladybug was a wreak, she couldn’t even eat her breakfast.
At lunch I headed over to our Animal Shelter, armed with pictures and phone numbers and ready to beg the officers to help us look for her. Tearfully, if necessary.
I handed the office manager the picture, my eyes already welling up just thinking about our poor Pen-Pen laying in a ditch somewhere…
“They picked her up yesterday. We called the number listed on her microchip.”
I just stared at her for a moment. She probably thought I was crazy. I hadn’t prepared an acceptance speech yet. I was still ruminating on whether you were allowed to bribe animal control officers with food and gifts and whether my food and gift offers should be for the officers or for the animals…
“You found her?”
“Yeah.” She turned and walked toward the kennel.
There was Penny, perfectly healthy, bouncing around and doing her little wiggle-dance with her nose pressed in the corner of her kennel.
“They picked her up running on the street over there.”
Oh, the agony. Our girl, picked up running the street. And not looking the slightest bit contrite about the whole business!
I called Mr. Fix-It. He swears she gets it from my side of the family.
I called the neighbors. They said no problem and thanks us again for Mr. Fix-It risking life and limb to save their Chihuahua puppy from getting run over last month at the end of our driveway.
I called the school to let the kids know. Their teacher said, oh thank goodness, I’ll go tell them right now!
And I agreed to get a dog license (which I am completely, Constitutionally, opposed to and have lived in civil disobedience over for 20+ years now!) to get her released into my custody.
They also recommended that we update our microchip phone number–which we were already in complete agreement with since Mr. Fix-It can’t always answer his phone and we would have avoided 14 hours of agony if they had just left a message at the house number!
And all’s well that ends well, I suppose.
How long does it take to expunge a juvie record for canines?