about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    For general inquires, contact: EmilyBMalone@gmail.com.

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    What’s Cooking?

    Personal Bests

    5K - 23:28

    10K - 52:35

    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    A Look Back.



The Great Escape.

Maaaaaaaaaaaan, WHAT a morning!  Today has been a strange day in every sense of the word.  First off, after months and months of hot summer sun, it’s been pouring rain all day.  The air is cooler and alarmingly humid, and it feels like fall is looming.  This is relevant to the rest of the story ahead, I promise.

Usually our mornings consist of early morning work time, followed by family breakfast, and a quick hug and kiss goodbye to dad before he catches the bus.  But this morning Casey had a few extra minutes, and ran to the hardware store to get something that we needed for a time-sensitive project.  This is also relevant.  Bear with me. 

Also atypical, on most days we are up and out the door first thing in the morning.  We try to take advantage of our pre-nap playtime window by maximizing our time at the zoo, parks, or at friend’s houses.  But today we had plans with an old friend I haven’t seen in a while, and we weren’t planning to get together until much later than normal.  This left us with a few solid hours of playtime at home, which was unexpected and actually really nice, especially on a rainy day.

Since we were home, I let the dogs have some extra playtime in the backyard.  I opened up the back door for them and let them run around in the rain while Cullen and I headed upstairs for playtime (him) and laundry folding (me).  We had been up there for a while when I realized I hadn’t heard them bark (which they often do), so I did a quick double-check to make sure our back gate was closed by looking out the back window.  Looked good!

About an hour passed while we were upstairs, and we finally headed down just as we were expecting my friend to arrive with her son.  I was surprised to not hear the dogs clicking around in the laundry room.  I opened the back door and called out to them, and I felt my stomach drop as I heard a deafening silence.  I looked at the gate again (which is the only place they could possibly escape), and still – it was closed.  My mind raced and none of it made sense.  Did I mention it was pouring rain?

I walked outside across the yard and over to the gate.  Was I missing something?  It was only as I got within a foot of it that I could see that the gate was indeed “closed” – but it wasn’t actually latched.  In the rush of the morning, the gate must have bounced out of the latch when Casey came home from the store, and he didn’t hear or notice it because it was raining so hard (a very easy mistake).  The latch was resting right against the lock, but the door could have easily been nosed open.  Enter: PANIC. 

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I ran inside and grabbed my keys, cell phone, and wallet (why?) – and immediately called Casey as I became borderline hysterical.  Cullen and I were both barefoot, it was still raining, and I frantically tried to buckle him into his car seat with my entire body – and hands – visibly shaking.

Our dogs have escaped from (most of) our houses before, but we’ve learned from past mistakes and they haven’t actually gotten out in several years.  In fact, the last time they escaped was way back when we were living in Alexandria!  I had no sense of what direction they might have gone, and I knew they had likely been gone for over an hour at this point – long enough for them to gain a serious distance on me. 

I rolled my windows down as the rain flew in, and shouted HUEY and INDY at the top of my lungs over and over again.  A small bright spot in an otherwise horrific situation was that Cullen found this to be hilarious, following each of my calls with a giant giggle and a shout of “HUUUU, DEEEEE” of his own.

Thirty, forty, fifty minutes passed and my mind and my car continued to just go in circles.  I called Casey and told him I was not emotionally prepared to deal with finding one or both of their bodies on the side of the road.  He got in a cab and headed home to join the hunt. 

I drove around for what was actually an hour, and felt like ten.  I stopped every person out on the street (of which there were very few) and asked them if they had seen two dogs running loose.  No dice. 

My heart raced but I tried to force myself to remain calm and to drive safely and slowly.  We didn’t need to get into an accident, and I also didn’t want to end up running over one of my dogs if they did, indeed, hear my calls.  I thought about them being scared and wet (although I knew they were probably having a blast), and tried to tell myself that they were both wearing tags and that someone would eventually find them and get in touch.

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I thought about how quickly I let them annoy me.  How when they bark at the UPS man during nap time I want to kill them.  How frustrated I get when I find another one of Cullen’s balls deflated and shredded in the backyard.  How angry I was just this morning when Huey ate the rest of the zucchini bread that I had been looking forward to having at breakfast.  How I have come to view picking up poop in the backyard and taking them for walks as a huge nuisance instead of being a totally normal part of dog ownership (which it is). 

And I thought about how Cullen loves to turn music on and asks the dogs to dance with him.  And how happy Indy looks when he lays in the sunny spot on the back deck.  And how I try to ignore how grey Huey is getting and the fact that he enters double digits next month.  And how much they have been through with us as our lives have moved and changed – marriage, a new baby, more new houses than I can count – and how they have always, always been there.

And then they weren’t. 

And I realized how much I really, really wanted them to be.

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I had been driving around for over an hour when my phone rang.  A sweet, small voice asked “Are you Indy Malone’s mom?”  I found myself literally shouting back, “YES, OH MY GOD YES, DO YOU HAVE BOTH OF THEM?”  The answer was yes, and that they were at a local elementary school.

I broke down sobbing begging this kind soul to stay put, and assured her I was only a few minutes away.  I pulled up in front of the school to find two filthy, stinky, thirsty pups – wagging their tails and being held and loved on by what were essentially two children. 

The girls, who I came to find out were twelve years old, said they had seen the dogs run by three times over the course of the hour.  At first they assumed the owners must be nearby, but by the third time they knew these pups must be lost.  They found my number on the tags and the rest was history. 

I gave them both huge hugs and thanked them to the point that I think I might have actually scared them.  I pulled the pups close to me, gave them each big kisses despite all the mud and funk, and tried not to think about the disaster they were about to make out of the back of my car. 

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In total, they were gone almost three hours – their greatest escape by a long shot.  We are very lucky that they stuck together – in all of their escapes over the years, they have never separated.  Adorable, right?

Thank goodness they headed toward a dead end section of the neighborhood, and not the other direction which is an enormous state park.  We are also so lucky for the kindness of sweet strangers.  I have never been so happy that kids these days tend to have their own cell phones!  There is hope for America’s youth after all. 

I don’t know what sort of trouble they got into but whatever it was it sure wore them out.  They have been passed out on their blankets ever since, most likely dreaming of their next big adventure together. 

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While they definitely have their moments, and drive me absolutely out of my mind at times, I feel sick just thinking about how silent our house was when I realized they were gone.  And as we sit here on the edge of yet another major life transition, I am happy and grateful knowing that – as always – they will be here.

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102 Comments so far
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Melissa     at 10:47 am

Well I’m balling like a baby. :) Having a 15-year-old dog, I know how precious the time is and how fast it goes, especially with kids. So happy everyone is safe and sound. You’re a good dog and kid mamma.

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Shannan     at 11:02 am

Ooooh my goodness. My heart is in my throat and there are tears in my eyes. I was so scared for you while reading this! I should have just jumped to the end to know they were okay. MAN! What a morning. I am so, so glad they are home safe. Snuggle them close tonight :)

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lexi     at 11:59 am

omg,definitly shed a few tears reading this! my pup has only escaped once, when she had stayed the weekend at my parents house. when i went to pick her up they said she had been missing all day and they had been driving around trying to find her. we talked to a lot of people around town who had tried to catch her (including the police!) but she is very fearful of strangers and no one was able to get close enough. finally she heard us calling and came running to us. It’s so so scary to think you might never see your pup again!

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Marty     at 1:01 pm

Tears streaming down my cheeks as I read your post Emily! So happy there is a happy ending to Indy and Huey’s great escape! And cute Cullen’s response! You know Huey and Indy are happy to be home! So sad, abandoned and unwanted animals everywhere (I’m a rescuer). So heartening loving family stories.

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Marty     at 1:01 pm

Tears streaming down my cheeks as I read your post Emily! So happy there is a happy ending to Indy and Huey’s great escape! And cute Cullen’s response! You know Huey and Indy are happy to be home! So sad, abandoned and unwanted animals everywhere (I’m a rescuer). So heartening loving family stories.

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Erin     at 2:03 pm

A woman at the grocery store commented on our dog “Gus” as he was sitting in the back seat with his head out the window. She mentioned that her rescued pit bull had just passed away. I told her how sorry I was and that even on his worst days (very frequent) I don’t know what I’d do without him. Knowing that Pit bulls are very “energetic” she said, “you always wish for them to slow down and behave but once they slow down you wish nothing more than to see them with that same energy again.”
Her comment made me cry in the middle of the store. They can be so so bad but, oh my gosh, what would we do without them.

Great post Emily and I’m so glad that they’re safe and sound.

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Mary     at 3:09 pm

I skipped to the end of this post to make sure it was a happy ending before I read the whole thing! I am SO GLAD you found them!

Pets are so special. I was never allowed to have them growing up, and now that I am living on my own I adopted the most cuddly, friendly, sweet cat. I am in love with her and the companionship she provides! So sad when you think about them not being with you forever. I do the same thing you do and just try not the think about it!

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Sandy     at 3:19 pm

Emily,
I have enjoyed your blog for many years and am so in love with your son! I can’t wait to see your new little boy and read about his adventures too. I also enjoy your recipes. Thanks for sharing!

Two weeks ago, we had to put our sweet doggie down. She was 14 years old and had liver disease. When she was healthier, my husband often took her for walks at a park near our home. She loved to chase the ducks and squirrels and make friends with other pups. Sometimes, the latch on our gate wouldn’t catch and she would disappear (just like your pups). We always knew where to find her. One day, someone knocked on my door and asked if I owned a dog. She had been hit by a big pickup crossing the 4 lane highway on the way to the park! Two strangers had been nice enough to follow her home and alert me. She had a broken elbow and a concussion but recovered. I am so glad your pups are ok and back home with their loving family! These things happen and I hope none of you feel guilty. You are blessed that someone cared enough to call!

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Daily Garnish » Blog Archive » Friday Favorites.     at 3:51 pm

[…] Friday!  We have a really exciting weekend ahead, and – other than the whole missing dogs incident – we had a really nice week that is now behind us.  I have lots of baking and cleaning and […]

Karina     at 4:28 pm

You really are a great, fantastic writer.
I am patiently waiting to buy a book from you :)!

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JC     at 4:41 pm

What a huge scare. I am so so so glad they were found and brought home safely. One of our dogs loves to escape too. Always terrifying.

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Jessica     at 2:02 am

Oh girl. Love this post. Your dogs actually inspired me to get sweet Zenith, now three, a big black naughty life-altering lab. Love how much you love those two shitheads :)

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Reghan     at 4:43 am

you had me tearing up! so glad you found them. We live on a busy road and my dog has gotten out before when he was only 1 and he was running all over the road and I was out there bawling trying to catch him and asking cars to stop so they didn’t hit him :( I’m paranoid to this day about him getting out on the road again! A couple just came to my door yesterday holding a sweet little girl pup and asking if she was ours saying she was out front running back and forth across the road too. I’m so thankful they picked her up and I hope they found her worried owners as well!!

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Andrea     at 9:15 am

Ugh! I sooooo felt your anxiety and full range of emotions. Our old house… (ha ha,that is weird to say that, we just moved last week) was right across the street from a golf course, with the driveway to the condos right there. The few times my dog escaped I had horrifying visions of him going onto the golf fourse and me having to follow and being arrested for trespassing.. totally irrational eh? Luckily the little turd is a sniffer and was easy to corner with stinky treats. Heart goes out to you on this.

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mollie     at 9:28 pm

oh my god, this made me cry and jump up to squeeze my dog! so glad they were found safe and sound!

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Melissa     at 6:26 am

Whew. I am so hormonal and emotional (16 weeks pregnant) so while reading this at work I’m sniffling LOL. This should come with a disclaimer! ;)

My husband and I got a dog last July. I have *never* raised a dog from a puppy. Growing up, we’ve always had cats. Dixie is the puppy we got last July. She is a beagle/Jack Russell/some kind of hound mix, and although she drives me absolutely bonkers sometimes, I don’t want to think of our house without her!! I so get what you mean! I’m glad they were okay.

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Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie     at 6:38 am

I’m so glad they were okay!! I would have been worried sick. The one time one of my parents dogs ran out was one of the scariest nights. Thankfully he was found okay too! :)

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Katie @ Balanced RD     at 3:49 pm

That is the WORST feeling!!! I’m so glad you found them! It is so cool that they stick together when the run away–it would have been even worse to try to find them separately!

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Rachel     at 7:52 am

I know how horrible a feeling is when you lose a pet. Your story reminded me of how distraught I was when my indoor cat escaped last Thanksgiving. I was carrying her in her cat carrier when it broke and in a complete panic she bolted. I had no idea where she ran, no idea if she would come back or had an idea of how to come back (I’m in a second story apartment), and no idea if she has ever been outside before (I adopted her when she was 4). I spend all day walking around looking for her. I finally stopped when it was dark. i kept thinking about how much she annoyed me at times but also how much I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. At 5:30 the next morning I was woken up by a pawing at my front door, and she walked in like this was completely normal. I don’t think I’ve ever been as happy or cried as much as I did then. It is a horrible feeling to think your pet could be laying on the side of the road somewhere. I was right there with you and all the emotions you were going through. I’m so glad your story had a happy ending!

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Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed     at 12:48 pm

Ugh my pup went missing one time when it was pouring. I was running around like a crazy person, my work clothes got soaked, and I swore she was either miles away from the house (into the national park behind our yard) or dead on the side of the street. After my unplanned morning job through the rain, I finally found her sitting on the neighbor’s front porch. Heaven forbid she get wet… while I was screaming her name for the last 40 minutes (which definitely felt like hours). Thank goodness she was ok, but ugh!

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Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed Reply:

Unplanned morning JOG*

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Sara     at 8:28 am

So glad you found them! We have two large dogs (and a four-month-old) and they drive me absolutely batty. They used to be the center of our universe, but since our son was born, it’s just different. I never imagined I could feel any differently towards them (similarly to how you described in this post). But gosh I would be so upset if something happened to them. Thanks for the reminder! I can’t wait until our son can play with them!

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Irene     at 11:49 am

OMG you are the best writer ever, I was laughing and crying and smiling while reading this. I’m SO glad they are home safe now.

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Cynthia Scott Pascual     at 1:36 am

Hi,Emily!

I am so happy that your pups are safe and sound (I call ALL doggies pups/puppies)! Honestly, I am paranoid with my Bruiser after my sweet Joe unwittingly got out. I found out the same way you did, I was calling him back in & saw the gate wide open. I know that stomach drop and panic all too well…I looked everywhere, but a few hours later the animal control called & told me he had been killed, hit by a car. My daughter & I still cry & this was 7 years ago!

Since we rescued Bruiser when he was 8 weeks, we have been SOOO paranoid about the gates, ALWAYS checking before we let him out. Even though he has his tags, I purchased the TAGG Pet Tracking System & I love it!

It will send me an alert (text and e-mail) if he leaves the safety zone I designated & I can tack him corner by corner, if necessary. My daughter is set up to get an alert as well. It just snaps tight onto his collar, the charge lasts about 30 days (is waterproof as well)& the base/charger plugs right into the wall. I believe you can track up to 4 pets on one base & some also use it for their kids, backpacks, etc.

Anyhow, sorry for the length of this comment, but the TAGG really gives me extra peace of mind (BTW, I don’t work for them, just love the product)! Nothing can keep any of us safe 100% of the time (I wish, especially with our children!), but I don’t EVER want to go through that again, that’s for sure!

Congrats on the new little Malone on the way & Cullen just gets more adorable every day, I’m sure he will be an awesome big brother!

Take care of yourself & best of luck with your impending arrival!

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Rocio     at 11:39 am

Your post made me cry because I get SO scared whenever my puppies escape my house. It is very rare but everytime I don’t hear them I get SO scared.

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