Saturday, August 29, 2009

Jonas's Farmland Adventure

I have to confess that I couldn't bear to post about this until the trauma of the event had slightly diminished. But as I sit on my couch, enjoying a cup of decaf coffee, and surfing the internet, and am rudely interrupted every 10-20 minutes by loud barking at the patio door, I think I'm feeling sufficiently recovered to write about our week with the dog.

A few weeks ago, the hubby and I had to make a fly-in trip home to see my grandpa, who is stuck in the hospital. Since it was just a quick trip, we thought about leaving the dog in the kennel and having someone stop by to feed him and let him out briefly, but decided that a trip to the farm to run off some energy may be worth the hassle of hauling him home. We dropped him off at the farm, headed to town to visit grandpa, then spent the night at the cabin with the rest of the family (we've done this countless time before - Jonas just hangs out with his doggie parents at the farm, presumably without causing too much trouble). The next morning, we were woken to a phone call from my mom, to tell us that Jonas was missing (the other dogs were around) and that we should come out to the farm to help call for him. Thus ensued a frantic morning of wandering around the farm and surrounding areas, calling for Jonas, talking to neighbors, and even walking one of the cornfields to see if we could find him. (Note: the farm was currently surrounded by corn that was 7 ft. high on all sides, so we figured he had chased something into the field and gotten lost - this has happened to other labs on the farm in the past and they manage to wander out a few days later) Unfortunately, there was no sight or sound of Jonas and we were forced to head back to the cities without him in order to go back to work the next morning.

For the following week, we put ads in the local newspapers, called ads into the local radio stations, and continually called the police dept and humane societies to see if anyone had seen him. My parents and the neighbors were diligently looking around the area. I started posting things on facebook in the hopes that someone from back home would relay the info to their family to keep their eyes open. This led to us hearing from some cousins that they had actually seen a large, dark colored lab with a collar near their farm, but when they went to catch him, he ran off down the road. Meanwhile, the days kept stretching on, I headed out to Boston for my vacation, and by Saturday night, it had been a full week since he'd disappeared. I think we were all fairly sure that he wasn't coming home.

But lo and behold, I wake up Sunday morning, get dressed, and take a bus into town with the girls to grab some breakfast, and on the way I get a text from Daniel saying "He's back! The bastard woke me up barking this morning, but Jonas is back!" After multiple texts between Daniel, my folks, David, and myself, we got things organized for David to drive home and pick him up later that day. Meanwhile, Daniel was given strict instructions to keep an eye on him, just in case he decided to wander off again.

All in all, the dog is home. He was probably 15-20 lbs. lighter (but has quickly put most of his weight back on), and overdue for his Lyme's vaccination by over a month (we got that taken care of right away!), and was cleaner than he'd been in months after I bribed Daniel to take him to the lake and bathe him before David came to pick him up (he hasn't gotten a bath in awhile...he's an outdoor dog!). It was only then that we found out that my parents had heard from a few other people of potential "Jonas sightings," including one west of Truman, one near Welcome, and one IN the town of Trimont (all three towns surrounding our farm, each of which is about 10 miles away from the farm itself). We have NO IDEA how he managed to find his way back to the farm - whether he was actually wandering around the county and just had enough dumb luck to make it back to an area that he recognized, or whether he was just plain dumb and was lost in one of the cornfields surrounding the farm for the entire week! Here's hoping he doesn't get any crazy ideas to wander off again!

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