I thought I was done with teenagers, but then Pete brought his beautiful yellow lab Marshmallow home for Christmas. Turns out Marshmallow, at 6 months old, is just entering those teen years in doggy terms. Pete had pretty good control of him before he got here, but I guess we’ve been a little too lax (typical grand parenting, no?).
Yesterday, at 4 PM, he ran away from me, trailing his leash. I was just walking out the front door with him and didn’t have a good hold of it, and he walked away. I didn’t think anything of it as I’ve been walking him off the leash since he got here. He’s been getting increasingly hard to get to come back, mind you, but he always did eventually. This time there was a block of dirty snow on the street that he just had to check out. Unfortunately after that he spotted a deer and away he was gone. He actually came back twice and teased us (I had Pete out to help me by now) but after about 30 minutes we stopped seeing him.
The big worry was that leash he was trailing. I pictured him tangled up in the forest somewhere, with wolves moving in. He seemed to be a little afraid of the dark, always staying closer to us on our night walks. The only good reason I could think of for him not to come home is that someone had taken him in. I called Jim Hoard – the Pinawa dog catcher – just after 5 PM. Jim was great – assuring me that Marsh would come home – happens all the time he said. What a great attitude for a dog catcher – total concern for finding the dog. I posted a message on Facebook and everyone shared it. Finally, in desperation I called the RCMP. I figured whoever found the dog would contact someone and would likely not know how to call the dog catcher at home during his dinner like I did. The RCMP had not yet received any calls but took down all our information in case anyone did check in, and then told me to make sure and let them know when we find him.
Our phone rang off the hook with friends and neighbours – even new neighbours that we barely knew – asking about him. Everyone wanted to help. Sue and her dog Bailey came over for a walk around. Marshmallow and Bailey had a few play dates, and we thought Bailey might be able to sniff him out if he was tangled somewhere.
About 8 PM there’s someone at the door. It was a new neighbour we had never met – with Marshmallow. Sure enough, Marsh had come running through his yard shortly after 4:30 and he’d caught him and brought him in. He fed Marsh 3 hamburgers and then somehow, not quite sure how, he met other neighbours that directed him to us.
It was a happy reunion, but I don’t think Marshmallow was concerned. In his mind he’d just met a new friend who invited him home for dinner – what’s the big deal? In fact, he was still a little hungry.
Later on last evening an old friend of one of my friends had a friend (all on Facebook of course) who had friend that had found a yellow lab in Pinawa. A connection was made, just in case it was the same dog. One way or another, Marshmallow would have made it home last night.
Thank you Pinawa. I love my town.