I did not have much in the way of side dishes and so heated a few rolls, put some leftover green beans in the microwave to reheat, and made a tomato and avocado salad before the avocado got too ripe to eat.
Our Lady dog was watching hubby working through the deck window. I asked him to move the storage bench across the stairway to the back yard blocking any getaway and I would let Lady out so she could be with him and enjoy the milder late afternoon early evening temperatures. She wandered the deck and explored every BBQ tool and watched him start the smoker. I returned to the kitchen.
Everything was fine for about 5 to 10 minutes when I heard Hubby shout out. Lady had pushed aside the heavy storage bench while Hubby was distracted with some task and she had run down the stairs and was eating the birdseed under the feeder in the back yard. We both called her to come but just minutes later she must have smelled deer! Sure enough, she ran down to the dock where the deer trail crosses the back yard and flushed a few deer out in the verbena by the river, and off everyone went into the woods. She was on a run and barking gleefully. She managed to cross the woods in each ravine and the back yards of all of our neighbors for a least a half-mile down the peninsula chasing the deer and bouncing like a kangaroo.
I ran inside to get a leash and some kibble while Hubby made his way through all the woodland calling her.
I got down to culdesac at the end of the main neighborhood out front and heard her barking repeatedly. I called and called in as joyful and welcoming a voice as I could. I turned to the right and saw hubby in the distance. We came together and I gave him the leash and some of the kibble. He went to the tip of the land by the river and I waited by the road in the opposite direction. I followed her voice and soon I saw her behind me running across the road to the other side. I called and bent down and begged her to come. I rattled the kibble bag which was always a failsafe in getting her to come up to me and sit waiting. She was about 50 feet away, saw me and grinned (actually), and darted off like a fawn away into the woods. Then I saw her a half-mile up our street darting back across the road the other way, truly an energizer bunny. I called and called.
Hubby and I followed her bark up and down the peninsula but could not get near her. The sun was beginning to set and with the diminishing sun came some pretty cold air that would drop into the 30'sF. Hubby and I walked back to the house, knowing she was miles away by now as we could no longer hear her bark. He got in the car and headed up toward the main road as that was where we heard her last. He went down the road that had a barn and leaned out and called. An old lady was doing something there and asked if he was looking for a dog. He said yes, and she pointed on up the hill toward other woods and houses and said she saw her streaking like a dart.
Back at home, I went out to the Egg smoker and saw the coals were perfect and red and so I shut the top and closed the damper, mostly hoping I could keep the coal fires burning for another hour! I put on my down coat and went back outside to the end of our road and walked up the hill and called and called. I stood there until dark and with freezing hands came back to the house, but left a trail of kibble down our driveway on the off chance she would find her way home. Even so, I remembered that this was how she had been found before in her life, skinny and lost. I was sad, but oddly, not devastated. I was mad but oddly not angry. It was our fault but it was also Lady's wildness. I did not want to think about her trying to find someplace warm and dry to sleep the night, because nothing like that existed in the woods.
After another 20 minutes, Hubby returned in the car and said he could hear her sharp high bark miles away, but he had no luck. We became resigned.
We left the gate to the yard open, left open the garage door, and hoped for the best.
The BBQ temp had held and was perfect for the chops and so we made dinner, sat down and ate, and talked about how she was willing to miss her dinner to run and chase the deer. She was a wild one and I thought to myself if she does not return, gets lost, and gets returned to the shelter (her ID was still on her) I was going to tell them she was too much for us. I had never had a dog who was so gentle, slept on my lap, ate from my hand, and then totally went wild outside. It was her dinner hour and she had no interest in coming to us. I thought that most dogs will eventually come when they are exhausted.
During dinner, I went outside to the front door every 10 minutes and called her. We finished dinner, cleaned up the plates, and turned on the TV for some distraction.
In over an hour we heard something outside on the porch, and Hubby went to open the front door. There she sat, so happy to see us! She came inside, gulped some water, and I took her bowl of kibble with her medicine from the refrigerator and put it down. (Mistake on my part, but more about that later.) She ate but with a calm sedateness that was unusual. Then she went to her favorite sofa and sat and looked at us through half-closed eyes as if she was exhausted trying to stay awake. Later she came and sat next to me trembling every once in a while. I thought she had gotten chilled, but soon she got up and started pacing and we took her outside where she threw up some food. About 15 minutes later she threw up on a rug by the door and I recognized the kibble and her blue medicine capsule. Perhaps the food was too cold. Not exactly.
She went outside several times more throwing up and then burying the vomited mass in the leaves of my flower beds! We brought her back and this process of rejecting food went on for some time. Finally close to ten o'clock we were tired and ready for bed. I had to push her into her kennel and I knew she did not want to go in because she was still sick!
I slept through the night not wanting to think about it all. Just before 7:00 AM I got up and came out to release her for a break outside and then breakfast, keeping the thought away from the back of my mind that she might be dead! But relieved that she sat up and looked at me normally. In her kennel piled neatly all around the side like a 2-inch ridge of dirt was some strange dry black vomit. She looked miserable, but had kept the center where she slept clean! I took her outside and she peed but then just wanted to sit and watch the morning sun-rise which I allowed. The weather was really nice, not too chilly and quiet except for the Canadian geese down near the water having a battle over who was going to get to use the osprey nest. I wanted to go back inside, but knew she needed this and so tried to meditate a bit(!). As we returned to the house she was very determined to get her "cache" of vomit she had buried under the leaves and it took my strong hand to get her back inside.
I brought her inside and went to give her some dry kibble, but only half or even less than her normal serving. She ate eagerly, but not crazily like she usually does. This gave me time to clean her bedding and look at the vomit that I had thrown outside on the deck. Below is a photo I took. Yes, maybe some grain of some sort, thank goodness it was not poisonous left out by a farmer for some varmints. Farmers are usually careful around here because we have had Bald Eagle die-offs due to poisoning left for wild animals.
Yes, that is a lot considering she threw up several times before we put her in her kennel. It looks like a grain of some kind.
Yes, we are so lucky she did not bloat and die from the intestinal blockage as well, and we are lucky that it was not something terribly poisonous. It is very dry. She looked so miserable and we can hope she learned her lesson and we learned ours! This is going to be a much calmer day with her while she mends.
She is not totally back to herself by this afternoon, but I can deal with the lack of enthusiasm. She ate a lunch of a handful of kibble in chicken broth and is now sleeping.
Of all the dogs we have owned I realize that we got them as pups or under a year. Adopting a three-year-old is much more challenging.