Yesterday I had one of those moments where I was paying attention. I wasn’t harried by the kids or in the middle of something and not paying attention. I had been in my room and walked out, passing my husband in the kitchen doing the dishes (the dear). I had a prompting, a little voice, the Spirit, whatever else it’s known as to look for Toby. I glanced outside through the storm door and couldn’t see him.
Again, I felt prompted to investigate. There have been times where I have let things slide from these ‘little thoughts’: Move that, Cameron will destroy it, and I haven’t done it, either thinking I would see him and catch him in the act, or the idea of him even getting something out-of-reach was completely insane. Well, I have paid for it too, believe me.
I listened this time and stood at the back door, tracing the looping of his 30-foot leash snaking in the snow against the blinding non-warm sun and seeing it disappear. I looked beside the small bush where the part of it I could see was, and he wasn’t there.
Again, I felt compelled to open the door and get out there, despite the -10ºF weather.
Where’s your shoes? Did you put them away?”
“I have them on–”
“Not those, the brown ones.”
“–I put them away, do you think Toby’s leash snapped?”
“I’m not sure, but I need to check, I just have a feeling–”
At that point, he was at the door, and edging it open.
“There he is, by the bush over there.”
I was looking in completely the wrong direction, thinking he was further off than he really was.
“Toby, come on, let’s go inside!” Bryan said, lifting the intonation in his voice to chipper level.
It was then that I saw it. Half a foot of leash attached to his collar, dragging just enough in the snow. It had snapped — at some point — and he had become loose AND TOTALLY UNAWARE!
He bounced back through our back door, completely oblivious to the sinking feeling edging into my stomach and creeping up my throat.
“How long was he out there? Long?”
“Yeah, about 15 minutes.”
It may have been small, but that? That was a miracle. I have risked life and limb for this dog when he has escaped from me four times, once as he was let loose out the front door by the 4-year-old and chased after the traffic half a block to the end of our road and turned the corner towards and on-coming truck 3 times as big as myself.
I know how lucky we all were and I realised that although that little thing has turned my world upside-down, I love the scruffy little mutt!
I’ll never admit it though.
And while I’m sitting here in denial, I’ll be listening.