As they say, all’s well that ends well. But getting to that end was hell.
It all started early Sunday. It was a perfect weather day here. I got the kids dressed and ready to go to the farmer’s market. The plan? Pick up some fresh bread, mozzarella, pesto, tomato and fruit and head to a nearby park area where Will would ride his bike and we’d have a picnic lunch on our bright flowered blanket. Perfect end of summer day.
That’s when I discovered that my beagles, Snoopy and Scrappy, were gone.
It’s certainly not the first time my dogs have outsmarted the electric fence. But this time was different. I couldn’t hear the jingle of their collars or any barked responses to my calling. After more than an hour, and driving around to look for them, I called my husband.
Hours passed with nothing.
Finally, I heard Scrappy’s bark. Twenty minutes and a hike through poison ivy later, he was in my car heading home. But Snoopy was still gone. And though our friends and family looked and looked, our house went to sleep minus one member that night. I was guilt-ridden and devastated.
I thought for sure Snoopy would return overnight, but he wasn’t waiting on the porch when I woke. We drove around, hiked through woods and hung signs. Still no Snoopy. Another day passed.
Silently, we both knew we weren’t just listening for his bark while we were searching, we were also in search of a body. Deep down, we feared he was dead.
Waking up, two days after I’d last seen Snoopy, I was filled with dread. Before Shawn and I had kids, we had Snoopy. This is the dog who got me out of bed — willingly — at four in the morning to pee. When he refused dog food, I made him ground beef. When he had issues with housebreaking, I insulated Shawn from his accidents so that he would keep his idealistic view of my sweet puppy. Snoopy had slept only on my lap for the longest time. And he frequently went to work with me. He was my boy.
We were planning to visit the local pound and also hang more signs around town. My hope, despite what I said, was dwindling. Just before leaving though, the phone rang.
“Hi, is this Sarah?”
“I think I have your dog.”
I took down the address and thanked the woman profusely. Then I hung up the phone and sobbed.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of four cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to a tween and a teen, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.