As soon as I got her in the car I said, “Holy cow. I am SO TIRED.” I’ve been holding on though sheer adrenaline and fear for over a week, not sleeping at night or eating normally, and now that she’s home safe I am overwhelmed with shaky exhaustion. But you all deserve the long story.
What I posted should be roughly in line with the actual timeline. At 12:00 we got a call from the kennel, the senior (gnarly old fabulous) tracker guy. He said “Do you believe in Christmas miracles?” and we all just started yelling.
I threw the kids at Doug (he was working from home–home being a loose term right now, but in this case from the house we’re staying in for the next little while), handed them a bunch of bananas and said “Have a good lunch!” and was in the car and on the road at 12:06.
I drove much too fast and got there in under an hour. The kennel was closed, of course, but they arrived to let me in and two minutes later she was getting the front of my shirt wet.
Nobody knows the whole story, but here’s what we have pieced together (we should know more after the holidays when everyone can compare stories):
We blanketed the entire community with fliers, hundreds of them. One went on the mailbox of a house with a “kid” (I’m guessing teenager or young adult) who lived near the river (if you remember the map). Said kid thought he’d seen tracks near the water/ice. So he went out for three days in a row, looking around, and on the third day there Clue was.
When they called me she had been back for less than five minutes. So she’s still VERY newly found. She is sort of going through phases–she will be super scared and not want to be touched and then a second later if she sees a chicken finger she will throw herself into a perfect stack and bait for me with her tail wagging. Sometimes her eyes look normal and happy to me and sometimes she looks lost and confused. Sometimes she runs from food and sometimes she wolfs it. It’s all pretty normal, I think, as her brain tries to re-set itself to domestication.
She is very thin–23-point-something on the pet supply store scale. Something is wrong with her rear–I am hoping just a hurt leg but it could be the hip. She’s putting weight on the leg but the whole rear fishtails when she moves. She’s not stretching out to lie down, which she ALWAYS does; that to me means her hips hurt. She has various cuts and scrapes, very swollen and red/cut pads, but no big wounds.
We (meaning the techs and I) tried to get her in today before the vet’s office closed; no dice. I couldn’t get her and get down there in time. So 9 am Friday she will have a comprehensive checkup with x-rays. I don’t think anything is an emergency and can’t wait for that.
She had a long hot soak and a shampoo (in Bed Head, which ironically enough is a lot cheaper than her normal shampoo). She is whiny but settles and sleeps when someone is with her. Which, of course, is pretty constantly. She has tripe to eat and a lot to drink; she’s had a short slow walk. Otherwise I am just keeping an eye on her.
More later after I sit for a while and the delayed-reaction shakes subside.
You know I adore you all–I don’t know what I would have done without your encouragement, help, and advice.