Christmas Day was glorious. It was our first “grown up” Christmas where we didn’t have anxious children clamoring at the crack of dawn for us to wake up and start the Christmas morning proceedings (oh, how I miss those days).
We leisurely got up, got ready for the day (in this age of technology, our adult children always want us to be “camera ready”) and we started off by having a lengthy Skype video conversation with our son who is in Mexico, serving a mission for our church. We followed that with another Skype call to relatives congregated in another state. Then, it was time for brunch: whole grain, homemade Belgian waffles with buttermilk syrup, turkey and regular bacon, and pear cider. Yum. yum. yummy. Then, finally, time to share gifts of plenty.
Our family has adopted a more low key philosophy to Christmas. We give gifts that are handmade or that can be used by your hands (and therefore your brain since your brain controls your hands). 🙂 Everyone received lovely gifts and there was much love and gratitude to pass around.
Since it was well past noon by this time, we all got entrenched in our activities of the day: putting a baby down for a nap, preparing the Christmas dinner feast, putting together a new computer, and reading new books. Ahhhh…just a glorious way to spend Christmas afternoon. In the midst of all this peace and rapture, our beloved Maltese, Roxy, was anxiously barking at the door to go out and take care of business. Roxy is 10 and very predictable in her routine. She never varies. We let her out front to do her thing, and she returns minutes later, barking to reenter the tranquil house of bliss. I went back to doing my activities after I let her out and everyone else was doing their activities and time went by and a long whi
le later, my husband noticed that Roxy was no where to be found. I remembered that I had let her out some time before and that then fatefully realized: NO BARK TO RETURN. My heart sank. We all immediately ran outside and began our frantic search for two hours. Up and down cul-de-sacs; some in cars, some on foot, calling her name; knocking on strangers’ doors on Christmas to see if they had spotted her; talking to people out front of their houses. In my course of searching and asking, two separate men said they had spotted her an hour (a whole hour) before. One man said she was determinedly walking down the sidewalk across the street. He said she seemed to know what she was doing so he didn’t bother to pick her up. Another man said he saw her go up to his corner, turn around, and head back down his street, then turn left on to the next cul-de-sac. Oh, how we turned those blocks upside down but to no success. It was getting near dusk, so we decided to make some posters to hang
all around the neighborhood. We then all set out to post over 40 posters. Our area is littered in pink, “Lost Dog” signs. Then the darkness settled in, followed by rain and wind, and pit-in-the-stomach feelings knowing our beloved Roxy ran off and we have no idea where she is.
It was a long, helpless night of “should have dones” and “why did she strays?” and “I can’t believe its.” Oh, so very sad feelings to be experiencing on such a glorious day. The wait begins. We hope and pray that Roxy was picked up by some loving person who can feel our pain and knows that we miss Roxy horribly. And that that person will find our poster and call us and we can all be united with a new purpose of careful watching.
Roxy came to us on Christmas and the thought of loosing her on Christmas 10 years later is unbelievable during the season of “just believe.”
Epilogue: On Sunday, at 1:00 p.m., I received a phone call from a woman saying she thought she had Roxy. She asked me to identify my dog and after I did, the woman declared she indeed had our Roxy. Apparently, this woman’s daughter had gone to Christmas dinner at her grandparents’ home which was a few blocks from our house. Roxy had made her way into the grandparent’s backyard and being that they were not dog fans, they shooed Roxy away. But Roxy returned again and the daughter saw that Roxy was clearly an inside dog, so, she decided to take her to her home in Whittier, about 30 miles from our home. A sister-in-law, who lives locally to us, saw our “lost dog” posters and gave the woman our phone number. The woman’s husband drove out to our neighborhood and we were reunited with Roxy at 3:00 p.m. the day after Christmas. It was amazing how quickly our dispositions returned to holiday bliss once Roxy was back in our midst. We are thankful for kind people who did the right thing. We believe in the radiating goodness of the Christmas Season. And you can bet, that for now on, Roxy is not going anywhere without a chaperon.