Sometime early Saturday evening they noticed it was getting cold in the house. They started looking and noticed the front door was open. They had company over and apparently one of the kids hadn't closed the door all the way. Now the panic started to set in. They started a frantic search of the house thinking Dizzy might just be hiding somewhere. After a half hour they moved the search outside. They decided they didn't want to worry me yet because they were sure they could find him.
James, my er, step son-in-law, jumped on his neighbor's 4 wheeler while his wife and kids and their friends started making signs and posting them in the neighborhood. They searched until 1:00 in the morning, Sunday. They live in a sub-division surrounded by wilderness. Woods, lakes, ponds, fields, wildlife...there were just so many places he could have gone.
We got the call early Sunday morning and hurriedly packed our things and started our hour and half drive to their house. So many thoughts ran through my mind. The previous night had been on of the coldest here ever with lows around 30. Not to mention the thought of the coyotes and alligators in the area. I was worried out of mind.
We began immediately searching the area he had last been seen which was in the area of the wilderness I mentioned. We called shelters, but no one would answer because it was Sunday. I asked my step-daughter to post an ad on Craig's List. We searched for hours and then headed home so I could make fliers with his picture on it.
Later that afternoon we returned to the search area and called for him until it was so dark we could no longer see. I was now devastated. Sunday night would be a colder night yet with temps dropping to 27 degrees. We returned home and I started sending e-mails to shelters and posted another ad on Craig's List with more detail and his picture attached. I cried myself to sleep on the sofa, I slept there in case somehow he found his way home. I held on to the hope that in the morning, when the shelters were opened, we would find him.
Monday morning came and I began frantically calling the shelters. No one could tell me anything on the phone, they were swamped, so I'd have to come in and look. I headed back North with more fliers in hand and began posting and leaving them with animal hospitals, groomers, businesses, anywhere I could think of. Moose, my other wonderdog, and I began our search again. Walking the fields, driving the neighborhoods, and calling out his name. We had received no calls from the shelters or from the fliers we had posted and around 2:30 I headed home to print yet more fliers to pass out.
I can't begin to tell you the overwhelming feeling of deseration that loomed over me. I was crying non-stop and trying my best to keep a positive outlook. It wasn't so much the feeling that I may never see him again that was killing me. It was the thought of what he was going through that was ripping my heart out. He was cold and alone and in a very unfamiliar place. I prayed that he had not been hurt by another animal. But if someone had found him, why were they not calling? I was a mess.
I was half way home when I got the call. A woman had seen my post on Craig's List, saw the picture, and just knew that she had seen Dizzy in her neighborhood all day Sunday, Sunday night and Monday morning. Several times Sunday night, he would scratch on their door and peer into their window, but when they would try to let him in he would run. They said it was if he was looking for me and when he saw I wasn't there, he would run. But he kept coming back. In fact, she and her husband had left the garage door slightly opened and left a blanket for him and he had spent the night Sunday in their garage. When they saw him Monday morning, they tried to close the door but he darted beneath it and ran off.
I whipped the car around and began calling in the troops. I told everyone to go to this neighborhood and start looking. Long story short, and I know it's too late, but six of us walked and drove that neighborhood for 4 hours calling for Dizzy. Lots of people had seen him earlier, but now there was no sight of him. I finally told P.J., the lady who had called me, that we were just going to park in front of her house and wait. So Moose, my husband, and I, sat in our car with the window down, freezing our butts off and waited.
Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted him walking up the sidewalk beside the car, headed for that garage. I called his name, and he froze with that "deer in the headlights" look, looking like he would bolt, but I called his name and opened the door and he ran to me and jumped in my arms. I was crying, he was crying, and we carried him up to P.J.'s front door and when she saw him she was crying.
He was in great shape. He was dirty and his fur was full of prickers and sticks, but all in all, he was great. It was a miracle to me.
I must mention that it is incredible how very thoughtful and helpful people were in my search for Diz. Even Sis Barb was searching from far away. She was finding me numbers to call and even calling numbers herself, and offering suggestions the whole way. SIS Beth sent me a very thoughtful and encouraging e-mail. And all of you sent me well wishes. I'm grateful and thankful!
SO....after all this rambling...have you ever felt so desperate and devastated and then had it turn the other way and end with a glorious ending? Please share!