Resting in bed after a rough day yesterday:
"Do you have the dog? The back door was open." Carrie texted me. We'd been gone for about twenty minutes when she'd written.
"No" I answered.
We have a funny side door that's hard to get closed. We'd shut all the doors and closed the back door and went by the particular side door that had opened several times, so there's no way we would've left it open. But we'd gone back in the house two times and maybe the pressure of the front door opening and closing forced the door open.
After talking to Carrie, Justin and I sped back in the car across town in about ten minutes. (I can be Mario Andretti when needed.)
Oatie was still missing. He'd been gone about an hour by then.
We imagined the worst.
Before we'd left I'd been holding him and was going to bring him with but figured the animal patrol people would haul us to jail if we had to leave him in the car for some reason (it was 57-60 out and sunny but they are nazis here even if the windows are open) so I'd stuck him back in the house. He was mad to be left and growled at me as I deposited him in the front door.
After getting left home and finding an escape hatch, I figured he'd gotten out and ran like a madman to catch us. (He's done this in the past, of course, scaring the shit out of us. And he usually heads for the busiest street around.)
When Justin and I got home, Carrie's friend Kristi was driving around looking for him and she was on the phone with animal patrol.
I headed south on the bike with the bike basket on the front (Oatie likes to hop in there and ride) and Justin headed north on foot to the park.
I biked and yelled, "Oatie! Treat!" No Oatie.
I asked everyone I saw if they saw him.
I crossed Killingsworth. Which is a major street- a thoroughfare in this part of town, heavy with traffic driving 30-40mph. One block south of Killingsworth, a man out mowing his yard said they'd seen the dog and that I should ask the man down the street, that he'd just been picked up.
I biked down the street and asked the people if they'd seen him.
"He was hit. He had a broken jaw and was limping."
They gave me a little white business card with his case number on it.
I rode home and showed Carrie the card. She called and they confirmed that he had a broken jaw. But didn't know what emergency hospital they'd taken him to. We were both thinking he was going to need soft food the rest of his life but at least he was alive.
Three of us were on the phones calling all the emergency vets in town to find him. Kristi finally discovered he'd been taken only about 10 blocks from our house. Carrie ended up on the phone with the hospital and the lady told her he was fine. Maybe he'd been swiped by a car but not hit.
Then we talked to the Portland animal patrol who picked him up and she said, "He wasn't hit. He's totally fine." She said she was nearby and would drop him off. They'd mistaken his underbite and missing teeth for a broken jaw. He has a tendency to run on three legs so they thought he'd injured his leg. But it was all normal.
About fifteen minutes later, Oatie was dropped off by the animal patrol lady. He was happy in his little cage to see us. Wiggling with happiness. I'm sure we'll receive a bill for his little adventure but it's a minor problem compared to what it could have been.
What I learned:
1. Oatie had a chip installed and so they had his name and address once they scanned him. I'd been thinking before that those chips were sort of excessive and too techno for me. But after this, I'd support them.
2. Double check the doors are locked! Especially when leaving in a hurry!
I still can't believe he crossed Killingsworth. It's a crazy busy street and he's a five pound Chihuahua.