Smooch was very tired yesterday. I'll take that back. She was exhausted.
And it was all my fault. I fixed a latch on one of the gates in her yard Wednesday night. Or so I thought.
Thursday morning, I went to give her a post-breakfast cookie and she was gone.
The gate I thought I had fixed was open.
I jumped in the Ranger and started searching. I drove up and down and around the ranch, then up and down the road.
After a full hour, I finally caught my first glimpse of her about a half mile from home. But only a glimpse –
she disappeared again through the trees and brush, hell bent on hunting rabbits.
In one of my moments of desperation, I drove home, thinking she might have returned on her own.
And she had! She was still running and hunting rabbits, but at least she was in our pasture.
I circled behind her and was able to herd her toward the barn, where she finally stopped to drink from the stock tank
and I got a leash on her. She was no worse for wear except for a big hunk of cactus stuck in her lip.
I, on the other hand, was a wreck.
During the search mission, I tried not to let my mind wander to that dark place
where something happens to her and I never find her and she doesn't come home.
I explained all that to Smooch but could extract no promises that she would never escape again.
If I'm stupid enough to leave a gate open, she is smart enough to run through it.
Somebody needs to wise up.