We put up signs all over the neighborhood and looked for him late into the night, but without any luck. First thing on Christmas Eve we went looking again, putting up more signs everywhere we could. We came home to make up more signs and just before we could go back out again at 11:45, my cell phone rang. A man's voice said, "I have your dog."
Maverick had traveled about five miles down a busy street, crossing the freeway once more, to a feed store where this man found him. The guy said that he saw him at 7:30 in the morning, but Maverick was so spooked that he would not let him approach him until almost noon. Maverick's lip was bleeding, he was limping and scratched from falling on the freeway when the cops were trying to catch him and he smelled horrible.
We were ecstatic and took him with us to take down all of the signs. Everyone at every store in which we posted a sign was so thrilled that we had found our dog. But none of them were more thrilled than we were.
Anyway, when Mom called with the news that he had chewed through his rope and was gone again, all I could think was that we had used up all of our good luck the last time and maybe this time we would find him on the side of the freeway, dead, or maybe not find him at all.
Before I even hung up the phone, I had turned off my computer, grabbed my backpack and laptop and was on my way home. I didn't even stop to tell my boss I was going. I work in a really dog-friendly office, so I knew he would understand. I could not stand to lose another dog so soon after Penny. It's been less than a year since she died of old age in March. Then Tucker almost died of pneumonia and heart failure (ironically enough, that's the same combination that almost killed me five years ago).
All of the horrors of a lost dog flooded my mind and I rushed home. Before I could get all the way home, though, she called back and said she had found him. He was sitting on a neighbor's porch, probably confused about where he lives. I am beginning to think that he has a bit of senility. He is almost 13 years old and, at 65 pounds, he is not a young dog anymore. He seems happy to be home, though, and we will replace his rope with a length of chain or tie-out wire.
I don't know how much more drama I can take. I keep telling my mom that my next dog will be a ficus!