I live in a wonderful neighborhood, the kind most people wish they did. It's out in the country, so we all basically live on at least an acre, but we are close enough together that we all know each other. All but one of the houses has children in it, and they all go to school and play sports together. All of the kids are within a year or two in age. None of the neighbors care if the kids play in their yards, so the kids have the run of the neighborhood. The one neighbor who doesn't have kids is a grandmother (also my aunt), who always has cookies, snacks and drinks for the kids when they come to visit her. It's like something out of yesteryear, where kids don't have to be afraid of the boogeyman, of being snatched by men in white vans, don't need to know anything about good touch/bad touch and can play outside from sun-up to sundown and parents don't have to worry.
I have never been so happy to live in this kind of neighborhood as I was Wednesday night. Our Shih Tzu, Rosie, went missing. Brian let her out around 4:30 p.m. She followed him to the porch, but he didn't realize she hadn't come in. He went to bed as he had to be at work at midnight. Normally, this wouldn't have been a problem, but I was over at my aunt's (across the street) visiting with her and her daughters, while Tessa played with her granddaughter and some of the neighborhood kids. By the time we got home, did homework and showers and climbed into bed, it was 9:30 p.m. I was laying down with Tessa, and all of a sudden, she said, "I don't think Rosie is inside. I saw her outside while we were playing, but I have't seen her in the house."
When I came in, I had seen a lump in the bed beside Brian and just assumed that it was Rosie. It wasn't. She was nowhere to be seen. I searched out all of her usual resting places here in the house and those outside, too. Nothing, she wasn't there. I called my aunt to see if Rosie was on her back porch. Not only does my aunt have cookies and drinks for the kids in the neighborhood, she also keeps treats for the dogs, so Rosie knows to go over there. She wasn't at my aunts. I texted one of my other neighbors who has become a good friend, and Rosie wasn't there either.
By this time, Tessa was inconsolable. She was literally doubled over sobbing. We got Rosie right after my granny died and just a few months before Jenna died. Rosie helped Tessa to get through her grief in both situations, and there were many nights that she was the only one who saw my tears. Brian decided to drive up and down the main highway that we live off of, but he didn't see her. I walked around outside calling for her again. I didn't go far because Tessa and Ella were here in the house alone.
When I got back in the house, Tessa was praying. She said, "Please God, bring my dog back to me. Bring my baby back to me. I just want to hug and kiss her." I wanted to cry, too, because I truly believed at this point that Rosie was gone. I held it together for Tessa and gave her a hug. She told me she wanted to pray, so I told her to go ahead. Brian came back home with no Rosie, which in a way, was good news. I was afraid he was going to find her on the side of the road. He stayed with Tessa and Ella, while I went driving again. I drove next door, and as soon as I pulled in the driveway, the husband came out. He told me the last time he had seen her and offered to help in any way he could. I wanted to go to my neighbors on the other side, but their lights were out.
I heard my aunt calling for Rosie and saw her flashlight. My neighbor that lives in the cul-de-sac (the one I had texted) was out yelling for her, too. I drove down the main highway and back up it and didn't see any sign of her. When I got back home, I didn't see my aunt or her flashlight, so I called her. She didn't answer, which worried me. I sent Brian out to check on her. Come to find out, her neighbors had heard her calling and wanted to know what the problem was.
They have a little boy, Z, who is the same age as Tessa. In fact, they were in kindergarten together. Z came out with his chihauhau Taz and said, "He has a good nose. I've trained him to find things. I bet he could find her." So, they set off. A little while later, as I was consoling a sobbing Tessa, the phone rang. It was Brian. Z and Taz had found her in the woods behind my aunt's house. She was in the mud, laying down, scared out of her wits and cold. She was so scared and so cold she wouldn't even get up and come to them. Z walked into the woods in the dark night and got her and brought her out. He was tickled to death that Taz had found Rosie. They were heroes.
After a warm bath and some loving, she is almost back to normal. I am thinking of taking her to the vet tomorrow because she is still a little off and acts like her backside is painful. I am so thankful she is home with us. Tessa told me God answered her prayers. Maybe he did, in more ways than one. I am just grateful that we live in a neighborhood where everyone pulls together for everyone else, and no one is afraid to help out.
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