This is my Ryder-Dog. He's been my best friend since I was 13. Last night I called my mother to have a chat and when she answered her "hello" sounded shaky and panicked. I asked her if everything was OK and she gave me the run down of the day.
"Ryder has disappeared. We've searched the house three times over and he isn't anywhere. I left for work and he was on the couch. George called me at 3 and told me the dog was MIA. We have no idea where he is. We think that someone may have opened the door at some point during the day and Ryder escaped."
My first reaction was to freak out. I tried to remain calm and told my mom that people love cocker spaniels. Anyone would stop their car and try to save the lil' guy. Don't freak out until day three...then you're allowed to freak out. We spoke for ten minutes and figured out a game plan. Then I hung up the phone and proceeded to freak out.
Ryder is 16 years old. Although he's pretty darn healthy he is deaf. I began to worry about the cars, weather, bad people...all sorts of stuff. Terrible thoughts ran through my head and I worried that I would never see my best friend again. I was worried that we would never know what happened to him, that we'd all have to live with a horrible mystery.
I cried myself to sleep.
Then morning came. I called my mother and we voiced our insecurities about the situation. We spoke about how amazing Ryder is and how we knew we'd find him. My mother said goodbye and started her day of flyering and shelter visiting.
Two hours later I called my mother to find out how the search was going.
" WE FOUND HIM!"
Ryder did escape from the house. That 16 year old cocker spaniel wandered across several busy intersections and ended up on the other side of town....THREE MILES AWAY! I couldn't believe my ears. Apparently, people called the local shelter and told them about the Ryder sightings. An officer was sent out to pick up my wayward pooch and he was taken to the Oak Park Animal Care League Shelter. I am going to send them a 50 dollar donation today as a huge thank you for saving my best friend.
I couldn't have asked for a better ending. I'm so thankful for all the people who worked together to find Ryder. I wish I could hug all of them. So, people...don't take your dog for granted. Get your dog micro-chipped. Take your dog for its annual vet visit. Hug your dog daily and try to be the person your dog thinks you are.
Thank you universe for bringing Ryder home.