Friday, October 10, 2008

Sad Today

It is very cloudy and dreary out today. It matches my mood. Last night our dog got out and we have not been able to find him. I’m feeling rotten because I let him out when I got home from lunch and then forgot he was out there. We had a thunderstorm that afternoon, and I didn’t even think about the dog until Drew came home and said, “Where’s Oliver?” I had been making cupcakes and doing some work around the house and had forgotten he was outside. I said, “I don’t know, isn’t he in the yard?”

When Drew went out, he found the gate open. That explains why Oliver did not scratch frantically at the door when the storm came up like he usually would. What I am trying to figure out is how the gate came to be open. It was not open, as far as I know, that morning, because Oliver had not gotten out when I let him out in the morning. So, it did not even occur to me to check it since I certainly had not unlocked it that day.

We spent hours walking the neighborhood and driving around looking for him last night and he is nowhere to be found. The kids are missing their dog, especially Boo, who keeps saying, “See Oliver?” I’m really missing my dog. We’ve had him twelve years, and we know he probably doesn’t have too many more years to live, but I told Drew it would be easier to lose him by having him die of old age than this not knowing. If you aren’t a pet person, you probably don’t understand, but I’m having a hard time with Oliver being ‘out there somewhere’ and not knowing if he’s okay or lying hurt or dead or a victim of a stroke or heart attack somewhere. We had another thunderstorm in the night, and I worried about him out there alone and scared. He’s pretty old, and he doesn’t see, hear or smell very well anymore, so I’m not real hopeful, but we’re putting up flyers that I designed and Drew is printing up at work.

I could be spiritual and draw a parallel with our frantic search for our ‘little buddy’ and the parable of the lost sheep, but it would be a lame parallel. The similarity is that there will be rejoicing if (when?) Oliver comes home again, but it ends there. You see, when the Father seeks and saves, He is not searching blindly as we are. He knows where His sheep are. And He is mighty to save them. He does not lose His sheep as we have lost our dog. And I am so thankful He knows exactly where I am and He will never lose me nor forsake me.

But today I’m feeling a little guilty and kind of silly at how I’m handling the loss of our little dog. I was kind of snippy with the kids last night, not because of anything they were doing, but because I was trying not to cry in front of them. And when I did cry, J asked, “What’s wrong, Mom?” It was all I could do not to fire back, “Where have you been all night, son? You’ve been out with us looking for Oliver, what do you think is wrong?” I didn’t say that to him, though. It would have been unkind and unnecessary, and I don’t want them worrying and upset when they are still hopeful. They don’t need to know that I’m not as hopeful. This little test shows me I have much more growing in sanctification to do. It’s humbling to see how easily I let emotions rule my demeanor.

I took the boys to school this morning since J’s birthday is on Sunday and he wanted to take cupcakes in to share with his class, and I didn’t think it was wise to expect him to manage them on the bus. On the way there and home I was scanning the side of the road, looking for a little gray furry body bouncing along, or worse, lying on the side of the road. I saw nothing but some squirrels having breakfast, until we passed some woods and I happened to see some huge buzzards feasting on something back in the trees. I drove by and then the thought hit me, what if it’s my dog they’re breakfasting on? You will probably think I am crazy, but I drove back and pulled off the road and walked into the woods far enough to satisfy myself that whatever the carcass was, it was way too big to be our Oliver. Probably a deer.

So, today I’m feeling a little sad about a certain joke Drew and I have shared at Oliver’s expense lately. Oliver sleeps a lot these days, and when we walk through the room and see him lying there we say, “Oliver, ya dead?” He usually just pricks an ear and opens one eye and looks at us like he’s thinking, “Oh, very funny. Shut up, people, leave me alone.” Today on this gray day, I’m just hoping he’s still alive and finding his way home again. I keep thinking I hear his tags jingling at the door. I know he's just a dog, and in the grand scheme of things this is minor. But, he's my dog, and he's been part of our family for twelve years, and to us and the kids personally, it's not as minor. Sigh.


jen elslager said...

I don't know how they do it, but that statement about pets leaving pawprints on our hearts is true, isn't it?

I would feel much the same way as you do. I hope he comes home soon.

Anonymous said...

I started crying as I was reading this because I love the little guy! It's absolutely not silly at all that you are upset, worried, and missing him. And, I don't feel silly saying I will be praying that Oliver comes home and praying for the rest of you as well.


Leigh Ann

Gayla said...

Rebekah, I discovered your blog today and have been perusing it...I've already added you to my blogroll. :-)

I wanted to say I'm so sorry to hear about your beloved pup. You know, that's exactly what happened to the family dog of my youth. He got old and I became 'not in his right mind' He wandered away from the front yard - something he NEVER did. But that was the last we saw of him; I'd already left home, but it was still sad "not knowing."

I pray Oliver finds his way home. We've had our shelty for almost 9 years, and they do have a way of becoming part of the family.

Blessings on you and yours.

Mrs. H said...

Oh, yuck! I'm so sorry to hear about Oliver. They become members of the family, even if we do take them for granted. When they're gone, they are missed!

Rebekah said...

Thank you, everyone, and welcome Gayla. Thank you for the compliment of adding me to your blog roll.

We still haven't found Oliver and it is starting to sink in for the boys that he really is gone. J has been riding his bike around and around the neighborhood hoping to see him. It's hard watching them start to process the fact that Oliver may not be coming back, but it's a life lesson we knew they'd learn sooner or later. But somehow, tough little boy tears are hard for mom to take.

Heather said...

I'm so sorry about Oliver. Wish J a very happy birthday from Florida!

Elle said...

Sad to hear this for your family. I remember when my beloved black and white cat disappeared. The not knowing is very hard. Hope that you will soon find him.