I apologize for being MIA this week. I’ve been recouping from the MOST STRESSFUL WEEKEND OF ALL TIME. Let me tell you all about it …
This past weekend I had 3 dogs plus Riggins. Chief an adorable and loving chocolate lab, Lulu a one year old energetic ball of crazy, and Miles the two-year old lab/golden mix aka “the runner.” Friday night was like a battle ground. Riggins and I were curled up in the bed in combat “hit the deck” positions trying to snooze while Miles and Lulu ran around wrestling each other ALL NIGHT LONG. Saturday morning Chief showed up and we meet Giovanna, her husband and poodle Morgan at Runyon Canyon. Everyone was pretty pooped out by the time we got home. I had just enough time to shower and get dressed up for a fabulous music/comedy festival with my friend Dee Dee and her husband Jason. The afternoon/evening was spent drinking Honey Badger shots (delicious) and listening to the genius of the friends of Tenacious D. I tell you all this back story so you can understand that by this point of my day I was too pooped to pop! Upon coming home I opened the back door and like a bullet from a cannon Miles was gone. When I say gone I mean GONE. Out the door, down the street, out of sight … GONE.
Dee Dee and I ran down the street like crazy people and she spotted him on a side street. I came frantically running to get him (mistake I know) and he zoomed right past me and, once again, out of sight. We did not see that little dude again for about 19 hours.
I ran. I ran and ran and ran. AND RAN. Up and down the side streets of my neighborhood calling Miles name and suggesting we go get some food, dinner, snacks, treats, and any other food related word I could think of to make him pop his little head out again. Dee Dee jumped in her car and started cruising the hood. At one point she passed me and I yelled, “call Giovanna.” Minutes later Giovanna and her husband Jack joined the search. I was seconds … SECONDS … from loosing my shit. I actually think I spent the next 24 hours in a state of shock. How could this happen????? How?????? I was mortified, terrified, and all other ifieds you can think of.
At one point I went back to my car and started cruising too. At this time I knew I had to move forward with turning myself into the bad doggie watcher police. I’m not one to shy away from taking blame and fessing up and it was time to do just that. I called the DogVacay people who put me in touch with Natalie the Sane (I call her that because whenever I read a message from her or she talked to me she was the voice of sanity and reason). Natalie’s title is “Trust and Safety Specialists.” Can you imagine how stressful that job must be? I have not been shy in saying I love DogVacay and would be happy to work for them beyond just being a host, but there is NOT ENOUGH MONEY ON THIS PLANET to do Natalie’s job. I sent pictures of Miles to her for a flyer and brought Miles bed, blanket, and stuffed rabbit toy outside per her instructions. I then covered the entire area with chicken. Something Chief was happy of every time he walked by. That damn bunny friggin’ mocked me for 24 hours. Every single time I came home to grab more flyers or go to the restroom or check on the other dogs I would plead with the universe to have Miles sitting there cuddling with his bunny. Nope. Never happened. That bunny just sat there perched on his fluffy dog bed staring at me.
Natalie the Sane emailed me over a “Lost Dog” flyer which I started printing. I printed 40 at a time and anytime I came home clicked on “print” and picked up the ones that were ready. I estimate that my friends and I hung about 160 signs and handed out about 20. Aaaaaahhhh! It was all so unnerving.
I had to get a hold of Miles mom. Unfortunately she was out of the US and did not have cell coverage. This meant not only could I not call her anyone that got a hold of Miles and read his doggie tags couldn’t call her! Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!! I sent her a message via Viber (app that allows you to text and send pics to folks all over the world at no cost) and held my breath. I couldn’t even imagine what I would have done if I had received that message. Probably forced the poor soul with me to cash out on all his assets so we could afford to fly back to LA STAT!
Eventually my poor friends had to go home and to bed. Jason was starting a new job on Monday and needed to prepare. Giovanna was running 20 miles at 5 am the next day to get ready for her upcoming marathon. Jack was falling asleep at the wheel. That left me and the dogs to continue the search party. I swapped out Lulu and Chief and walked the streets. Around 3 AM Chief and I saw cops trying to settle down an agitated hooker eating her ice cream cone across from the local McDonalds. I saw two cars in full “bust” mode with driver on the sidewalk and cops going through their vehicles. Everything was pretty shut down about that time except for Jack in the Box. I have a real problem with their new stoner commercials but they sure do know their customer base!
Around 3:30 AM I emailed Natalie and Miles Mom to tell them I had to go lie down. I don’t know why I even tried. I constantly thought I heard something in the backyard and just wanted it to be Miles so bad. I may have slept for about 1/2 hour. Giovanna texted me about 4:30 and asked how I was and my answer was “terrible.” She cancelled her run and came back over to search with me.
And that is what we did … searched. We walked up and down and up and down for miles then we got in the car and drove for miles. Then we walked some more. Her husband came to help. My friend Dee Dee came back (she does not live close) and helped. My friend, Martha, came over straight from the Getty where she had taken her art students earlier that day. Even Asscher’s dad got in the car and drove around looking while Asschers mom kept checking the Pasadena Humane Society website for dogs that were turned in. There was even another friend on her way to take up the night shift with me. I can’t explain how lucky I am/was to have the support of so many great people. I joke a lot that I hate people and love dogs. These folks are definitely the exception to that rule! I LOVE THEM! They stepped up and every single one forfeited their time, energy and something important they had to do just so they could be there for me.
Dee Dee was the worker bee. She would get it done come hell or high water. Signs hung, signs walked into businesses, anything I asked she was on it in a heartbeat. Her presence also stopped me from being arrested. At one point we were in the car together and we pulled up beside a cop car. She handed him a flyer and asked him to keep his eyes open. The policeman was a douche. He didn’t want to help at all and his only response (beyond telling us to go to the Pasadena Humane Society — yah yah genius we got that) was that the picture on the flyer was distorted. I wanted to tell him if he wanted to see distortion I could ball up the flyer and shove it up his ass. Luckily Dee Dee was there, more in control than me, and instead of going off in handcuffs we just drove away. That guy is an asshat. He was probably unhappy he didn’t have the night, ice cream hooker eating shift.
Jack was the lieutenant grinding away behind the wheel for miles further than I dared even think to drive.
Giovanna was my go to gal. Giovanna let’s put signs in front of the church because people will be going there in a few hours. Giovanna let’s put signs in front of McDonald’s because people will be going there in a few hours. Giovanna let’s put signs by the parks because people will be going there in a few hours. Giovanna let’s put 5 more signs on that pole that already has 3 just to be safe. Whatever I said her answer was, “LET’S DO IT.” She never once told me I was insane. Which I, obviously, was.
Martha was my voice of reason and stabilizer. Martha is a very good friend of mine and lives in Philadelphia. She just happened to be here for this huge crisis and I am so thankful she was. I had a one track mind … FIND MILES … FIND MILES … FIND MILES. Everyone tried to stop me to take care of myself and all I could think was FIND MILES. I refused to come home when they asked me to and refused to think clearly when they asked me to until Martha showed up. Martha’s voice could cut through my crazy. Not totally. But a little bit! Enough to stabilize me.
At one point the sun was just starting to go down Giovanna, Dee Dee, and I were driving around putting up signs. At that point I was told that I wasn’t allowed to drive and we were all getting beyond pooped. It was the first time we were all together in one car and then Dee Dee said, “there he …” AND WE ALL SAW HIM. Lightening. Running like a crazy dog. Giovanna and I jumped out of the car and tried to calmly call him until we couldn’t see him anymore (which took about 5 seconds) and then he was gone again.
It was on now!!! There was NO WAY I was stopping this search. We had been amazed that in the HOURS of searching we constantly crossed over each other but none of us had even seen the dog. Now we had seen him. We just needed him to stop running so we could coax him home.
During this search Miles mom’s friend had been looking as well. I alerted everyone, Natalie, Miles Mom, Asscher’s Mom, etc that we had seen him. We all then focused on that one area. I walked around in circles dropping piles of food in the hopes of keeping him close. I’m sure the neighborhood skunks enjoyed that later in the night. Circles walked and walked and walked by all of us. Then I got a text from Miles friend “I found him.” At the time Dee Dee and I was heading back to my car to charge up my phone and had just waved to Martha so we were all there. I started to type back but then looked up and THERE HE WAS … ON LEASH!!!!!!!!! I almost fell to my knees. I’d say I was happy but I think I was just deep in shock. The friends dog, Lola had found Miles. They are friends and Miles was happy to come talk to her! I scooped him up, controlled myself from kissing the poor friend and her dog, and ran him to the nearest emergency vet.
20+ hour of running had taken their toll on Miles paws. All four were blistered and in bad shape. The vet was wonderful and held him for a few hours to fix him up. I picked him up at 1:30 AM Sunday night/Monday morning and brought him home. His front paws were wrapped for a day and then I took the bandages off to heal. He is still walking a little funny but all in all is back to normal. He is his happy, loving, wiggle butt self again.
Miles isn’t allowed on the bed or sofa. I made him sleep by me for the rest of the night on Sunday, cuddle on the sofa during the day Monday and nap on the bed with me. I wasn’t allowing that little guy out of my sight! I totally ignored the no bed/sofa rule!
I really can’t explain how horrible that entire event was. To have a dog lost is heart wrenching to be in charge of someone else’s dog and have him go missing is unthinkable. I can’t even imagine if he was a human child that I was watching. Although I have yet to see a toddler who could outrun me let alone a locomotive like darling Miles can. I’m so happy he is safe and I love him to pieces. That being said I’ll be happy to hand him over to his mom tomorrow! He stressed me out!
A couple of notes on this whole ordeal:
As usual DogVacay is amazing. I am so happy they are always so helpful and thoughtful when I need them.
Signs work. I had my doubts but we only knew the general area Miles was in because of the 3 calls we got. 2 of the folks said they saw a black dog running 100 miles an hour down the street with a smile on his face …. .THAT’S MILES!
If Miles would have lived here I have a feeling putting his bed and food outside could have worked. It is something I would not have thought of.
If this happens to you I hope you have a group of brilliant and supportive friends like I do to help you!
All my guest dogs now have another tag with my name and number on it.
I called Miles vet (old and new), where he was adopted from (their info is on his chip) and Miles mom reported him as missing on a dog site whose web address Miles has on a tag on his collar. Natalie called every vet/shelter in the area and faxed over our “lost dog” flyer. Although these things didn’t actually help get Miles home they didn’t hurt. I actually got calls from Miles vet and adoption agency checking on him.