Cliff's St. Louis sister and her husband were here for the weekend; because they had several people to visit while they were in the area, we had our son-in-law do his Labor Day grilling magic on Saturday. That way Pat and Charlene didn't have to stick to a schedule during the rest of their visit. Kevin hadn't even gotten started with the cooking when thunder boomed in the distance; before long, he was grilling in the rain.
My dog, Iris, had safely tucked herself away in the bathtub. She is terrified of storms, and seems to think it's safer in Cliff's tub than anywhere else. When Charlene and Pat arrived with their dog, Mindy, I told Iris that Mindy was here. That bit of news overcame her fear, and she came out of the bathroom, growling and barking, to greet Mindy.
Iris and Mindy followed all of us out to the shop, which is where we hang out for many of our family get-togethers. When it thundered, Iris cowered underneath Cliff's desk.
Nobody noticed her leaving, but when the festivities ended, I realized my dog wasn't around. Natalie and I called, Cliff whistled; all to no avail.
Now I want you to know that I did not shed a single tear during this time, but I did lose some sleep. Remember, my two previous dogs died young: One was hit by a car on the highway and killed, the other choked on a splintered pork bone and had to be put to sleep. But these circumstances, so I felt there was hope for Iris.
She likes to be at home with her people, and I figured that unless she was so far away that she was totally disoriented, she would come scratching at my door once she had calmed down. If she happened to be totally lost and far from home, she has tags on her collar, and she is microchipped. She loves people and wouldn't be hard for a stranger to befriend. I believe most conscientious folks would track down her owner if they found her.
Oh sure, there was a devil on my shoulder whispering, "What if she's been hit by a car?"
I ignored him, prayed some, and vowed not to cry.
We woke up to a sunny Sunday morning; I fixed biscuits and gravy for everybody, and then went for a walk in the pasture with Mindy, who really looks forward to a run in the country when she visits. While I was gone, my two sisters-in-law went up and down the highway looking for Iris.
Everybody else went to Cliff's shop to hang out, and after returning from my walk, I picked up my Nook, hoping to distract myself with the excellent book I'm reading at present (The Help).
You can imagine my joy when I heard my granddaughter yell, "Grandma, Iris is home!"
We don't know where she spent the night. She acted somewhat guilty upon her return, but I was so glad to see her I didn't even scold her. I just let my stinky dog crawl up on my lap and continued with my reading.