I substitute teach in the projects. The students can be a pain. I’m constantly trying to get kids to do their work and breaking up fights. Yesterday I was a PE Teacher so I had to make sure students were not throwing and kicking sport balls at each other. I also broke up two fights from occurring, surprisingly both fights were between girls and not guys. I was a bit drained and looked forward to coming home and resting.
When I got home and started to unwind, my brother told me that our dog, a 6 pound Chihuahua named Skip, went missing and had not been seen in a couple of hours. I immediately started calling his name and shouting “TREATS!”. Then I rang the doorbell. Between both power plays, I heard and saw nothing. I began to panic. I ran outside and started surveying the neighborhood. How did this happen I wondered? My brother has mental illness so I couldn’t get a straight story. I’d like to imagine that a wind draft caused the door to open and the dog got out.
I went to the leasing office and asked if Animal Control had been around today and explained the situation. My friend Mike, who works in the leasing office, grabbed his gold cart and we went and cruised around the perimeter of the complex. While we cruised, I looked towards the street looking for roadkill, fearing the worse.
As we headed back through the neighborhood, we stopped and asked a set of kids if they had seen the dog. They said no, but then a half hour later I got a knock on the door. A kid had heard from a lady that she saw him. I knocked on her door. “I thought the dog was my dog and when I approached her she ran away. I got in my car and tried to catch the dog, but he kept sprinting towards the dead end.” The dead end that she was referring to is about a half mile away. She said he went into the woods. I sprinted to my car and immediately headed towards that vicinity. It was the first time I had been over there. The grass was long. There were branches, trees, and bugs everywhere. I looked around calling his name. I looked down and my leg was bleeding. I felt no pain and kept searching. I hopped over a small stream and my eyes surveyed a few acres only to see nothing. I then checked the nearby neighborhood, the school nearby, and the YMCA gym. I came home and hoped that maybe he had returned. I repeated this 2 times. I checked neighborhoods near and far and the local shopping center.
Now I had about 2 hours of daylight left. In a neighborhood nearby I asked a group of kids if they had seen the dog. They said they had about 2 hours ago and he was headed towards a park. I spent an hour looking around that neighborhood and drove up and down the main road looking for road kill. At this point I kept asking God for help. “One more miracle. I need one more miracle God.”
I went back home and sent the Andover Police a message and some pictures of the dog. They posted it on their Facebook. I went out for another search. After no sign of life anywhere, except for the busy streets with plenty of cars, I started to think about life after my dog. I cherished our memories and was glad that we had spent quality time the day before on Easter. I planned on telling my mom in a few days. She lives in California and absolutely adores little Skip. My brother and I moved to Kansas back in November. I felt sad for my other dog, Son. Dogs are smart and I know he would have been forever changed. Also the dog had no chip reader nor was he wearing a collar. Recently I took it off because I thought he looked cute without one. Skip was an interesting dog and his death will be like a MH370 mystery. I was so sad and losing hope.
I came home and was going to start making flyers. All of the sudden, I got a phone call from a number I did not recognize. “Are you the guy with the missing Chihuahua?” My bones started to rattle. “I think my neighbor found him. He posted something on Craigslist.” The kind lady helped guide me to the Craigslist post over the phone. Sure enough it was little Skip. He had a gash on his head and ear, but was in good condition. Who knows if he fought a grasshopper, a frog, a snake, a branch, another dog, or a fence. Soon enough he would have been an overpriced appetizer for perhaps an owl, a snake, a raccoon, a pheasant, or a coyote.
I rushed over to the scene. I was greeted outside and escorted to Skip. I called his name and he came out from under a small bench. He looked terrified, but at peace in the matter of two seconds.
Although I could not offer much, I gave the two helping parties a copy of my new book, The Book Of Muh, The Not Funny Joke Book. It was the least I could do considering I could not offer much and was now forever in debt. Most stories like this do not end well. I was spared. Little Skip had traveled maybe 1.5 miles and had gone through different kinds of terrain, maybe a small stream, backyards, and busy traffic. I always joke how my dogs, Son and Skip, are Farrell dogs.
Me and my brother celebrated by getting Milkshakes. Skip sat in my lap as we went through the drive thru of Sonic. When I got home, Son sniffed Skip. Skip went to my room and passed out, probably from exhaustion. After a small nap, I gave him a bath and washed him with Dawn soap, pretending he was a little duck being rescued and washed after getting caught in an oil spill.
For a day, although I may never know the true story on how he got out and what he endured to survive, Skip was a little warrior.
Thank you to everyone who helped me yesterday, big or small. I love this little city of Andover that I get to call home.