by Lisa Curry
On Thursday, February 26, my 16-1/2-year-old dachshund, Erma, took a sudden – if not unexpected, given her age – turn for the worse. When I took her to the vet for the big shot, he said he thought it was heart failure. Erma had a good long life, and we knew she couldn’t live forever. Still, it was hard to say goodbye and learn to live with her absence after so many years.
Today I planned to write about my little Erma. Not about what a great dog she was. She wasn’t. She was a feisty little pain in the butt from the day in October 1992 I brought her home until the day she died. She could have been a contender for the worst-pet-ever award.
But that’s a story for a different day, it seems, because last night, exactly two weeks to the day after we buried Erma, I took the remaining pets – two cats and our pound mutt, Brandy, to the same vet for their annual check-up and vaccinations. Brandy, a 4- or 5-year-old Norwegian elkhound/basenji/who-knows-what-else mixed breed, trembled with excitement when she saw her leash and I put her in my SUV. She thought she was going someplace fun.
When we left the vet’s office, she refused to get back into the vehicle. She clearly felt cheated – she wanted to go for a walk, not get back in the truck and go home. Fumbling with the cat carrier, my purse, and the bag of flea treatment from the vet’s, I said, “Come on, Brandy, get in, for God’s sake,” and yanked on her leash. She backed up, and the collar slipped over her head. That dog runs like a deer. I chased her into a yard, calling her name. She ran toward me, then dodged, “catch-me-if-you-can” style, and took off around the corner.
That was the last time I saw her. I walked around calling her name for hours. Then my husband came and did the same. We took turns waiting for her to return to the vet’s parking lot for 5 hours, until past midnight. I reported her missing to the police.
I can’t lose two dogs in two weeks. That’s too much. The husband’s gone to work, and the kids are gone to school. The house is too quiet. Now I need to call off work, get dressed, and go find my dog.
Think a good thought for the safe return of our Brandy.