It was Joey's turn for a break, a quick stay at Grandma's. Joey did great. Grandma's house is nice and quiet, and Grandma is particularly good at letting Joey take life at his own pace. He played in Grandma's truck and with her new cat, take a nice bath, and had a generally good time. I arrived nice and early to take him home after his breakfast, as he prefers. We were worried he might get anxious, but everything seemed great. Grandma put Wubbzy on the TV via Netflix/Roku so we could review the visit and talk about the upcoming school meeting.
Unfortunately, the connection out there s a little slow right now for reasons unknown. Every few minutes, the movie was interrupted to "load." The third time, he ran for the door (leaving it open enough for the new cat to sneak in).
I was prepared. When Joey runs at Grandma's, he runs for the car; so I left the doors unlocked and a toy for him to calm down. I cut off the conversation, packed up Joey's bag, helped mom put the cat out, said goodbye, and headed for the car. I put the bag in, looked in the back seat with a friendly greeting, and...
He wasn't in the back of Grandma's truck. He wasn't in the garage. He wasn't answering to my calls. I ran back to the house, shouted into the door that Joey was gone, and ran down the driveway. Whenever I could get him to take a walk at Grandma's, he always preferred to stay on the driveway- a nice, clear line and path to follow. I made it to the circle, and down the road a little way, with no sign of him. I turned and ran back to Mom's. Maybe she had found him, he was just hiding in the back bedroom, or behind the house.
"You you have him?" she called as I appeared. No, I don't. I don't have him. He's gone.
Those are not words you want echoing through your head.
I hopped into the car. "Keep calling," I said, I suppose to my mom, "I'm going to see if he followed the road." I started down the road, watching the woods to either side, for any sign of him, praying he had gone this way, and not into the woods to the river. Please be on the road. Please be on the road. Please be on the road.
He had gotten about 3/4 of a mile down the road. I turned the corner and saw him, and he looked glad to see the car. He was hot, tired, and scared. He had probably met a number of dogs along the way, which would have sent him into more panic, and sped him along the road. If I had tried to continue to look for him on foot, he would have gotten out to the main road, and we would have been in more serious trouble. All the way back to Grandma's, he told me how he had gotten off the road whenever a car had come.
We got a lot of hugs when we got back to Grandma's. And a drink. And more hugs. And now I have him home, with our double-key locks, set up with his computer and his brother. And I'm looking up GPS.