Last night we went out for supper with two other families to Kya Beach at the Eco Park a Km or so away from us. While we were chomping and glugging, there were a few distant rumbles of thunder, followed by a single significant one. ‘Uh-oh!’ we chorused. ‘Toby’s outside, and he’ll be paranoid!’ (This is the sheepdog who normally acts as a head-scarf in bed during bouts of thunder.)
When we got home he wasn’t just paranoid. He was gone. The fences and walls are impregnable, but he levitated over somewhere and somehow. The rest of the evening was spent in touring the neighbourhood on foot and in cars. This morning more scenic drives happened, attempts were made to phone SPCA and local vets, and also the Facebook networks were well and truly activated.
The rest of the family were out buying roof paint when a call came through to me from the husband of a friend who was sitting in a movie but had just received a Fb message that a dog answering Toby’s description had been seen in the Eco Park. The family returned just as I got to the gate and garages, young R climbed in with me, and we shot off. We enquired from the guard at the Park boom gates. No, he hadn’t seen a black dog. Some 100 metres through those gates, I let out a disbelieving shout, ‘That’s Toby!’
‘Where?’ asked a bewildered R. The sorry-looking shape I had glimpsed ahead of us had vanished. We raced to the spot just in time to see it moving out of sight behind buildings. ‘Toby!’ we yelled. Poised to flee, he looked at us … then the ears came up and he limped towards us with an, ‘Is it really you?’ expression.
R opened the car door, and he jumped onto her, whimpering and trembling. We ignored the fact that he stank and was covered in burrs and went into an orgy of petting before setting off for home. At the gate again, the guard said, ‘You wanting that dog? You not say he have red collar.’
Safely at home, Toby drank a few gallons of water, and then all he wanted to do was sleep.
Much of my afternoon was spent in detecting the only spot low enough for a possible collie-leap over the wall, (from a ledge on a retaining wall below) and then heightening it.