I had hoped this afternoon to be writing an entry about our fabulous trip to Formentera this weekend. But for now, it's going to have to wait. The mood is just not there and to talk about something new and fun just doesn't feel right at the moment.
When we arrived home from Formentera this afternoon Josh and I were greeted with an empty house. Now we knew the boys were not home - they were on a playdate with one of Liam's friends. But we were surprised not to have the pitter patter of Jake's paws to welcome us home. My first thought was that he had passed away in the time the sitter left and 10 and we returned at 2. After he is a month shy of 11 which is getting on in Labrador years.
Josh called down to me from upstairs to ask if Jake was outside or under the patio table. Our apartment is 1200 square feet and really has no hiding space, especially for an 80 lb lab. He is normally in his bed upstairs, under the kitchen table, on the couch or laying on the patio outside. Not only was he not in the house but his leash was still inside which meant that it was unlikely that our sitter took him with her and just forgot to mention it.
I finally texted her "Where's Jake?" She immediately called, understandably confused because as far as she knew, he was in our apartment. But the problem being, he wasn't. And since he can push open the slider to our back patio, he isn't going anywhere - the lowest wall surrounding it is about 15 feet high and the only way out is thru our apartment. And he can't open the door to our apartment. We finally deduced that when she was getting the kids settled with Liam's friend's mom - she was holding the door open. He must have snuck out. I'd like to be able to blame her for not noticing but her focus was on the kids, where to be honest, it should be. That doesn't mean that we are any less devastated.
6 years ago, we lost Sailor on the cape... for 5 days. Thankfully she was in the country, in a dog friendly town. And every single day I went out searching for her, refusing to give up. It was a terrifying time not knowing if she was alive or dead and how she must have been feeling. And now to be in a huge city, in a foreign country, where I can barely speak the language. I never thought I'd have to relive that experience again and sadly expected that the worst would come when he was too old to go on, knowing that was probably only a year or three away. Not a lot...
But I never expected what has happened today. Josh and I immediately set out on a search for him. I asked our sitter to please call the animal control or whatever they have here. She reached out immediately and found out that they are not open to the public on Sundays and that I would need to wait until Monday between 11-2 before I could find out if they had him. Josh and I searched for hours looking for him - but it was hard enough searching the countryside for Sailor, how do you search a huge city?
He's a smart dog, I swear he understands every word we say... but my guess is that he doesn't know how to navigate the city streets or understand what it means to stop at the crosswalk. I can only hope and pray that he was picked up by Animal Control and resting comfortably in a crate somewhere north of Tibidabo. And that he's not crumpled up on a street somewhere after being hit by a car or that he's not dying for a drink of water somewhere, panting in the 80 degree heat. I suspect that we won't know much before tomorrow unless he shows up on our doorstep, but rest assured, we won't rest til we find him... I refuse to give up!
Jake we love you!