Friday, 3 August 2012

In Which Hayate Has His Very Own Adventure

I got home from work yesterday and my front door was open. I was on the phone to my boss at the time, discussing some upcoming work matters, and I told her I had to go and hung up on her.
I stepped into the house and Kuri growled. She was standing in the hall with her heckles up, looking panicked. Hayate didn't come to greet me. I shut the door and ran upstairs... no Hayate. I grabbed the tastiest treats I had in the cupboard, got a leash on Kuri and started running through the neighbourhood. I thought maybe Kuri would lead me to him. Actually she led me to a patch of grass she likes to roll in, a chihuahua she enjoys barking at through his fence and a dying cicada she pounced on and tried to eat. Thanks Kuri.
Realising that I wasn't going to find him that way I ran back home and made sixty fliers with his picture and my phone number. A tired little Kuri and I searched for about two and half hours, handing out all but a few of the fliers. Because we just moved, we don't have a regular walking route yet and I had no idea which direction Hayate could have gone. Would he have tried to find our old apartment and headed back towards the city? Down to the river? Up the mountain to play in the bamboo forest? Out to the school to try and join the kids playing baseball? We walked everywhere.
My neighbours were amazing. I haven't got around to introducing myself yet, but despite suddenly turning up on their doorsteps crying hysterically and explaining that I just moved in nearby and HAVEYOUSEENMYBABY??? none of them freaked out. Everyone was kind and helpful.
When it got dark, Kuri and I headed for home. I thought maybe when he got hungry Hayate would do the same. If he hadn't been hit by a car or fallen off the mountain and broken his leg or been shot by a farmer or carried away by eagles. As we got near our street he trotted happily around the corner, saw us, and lay down on the pavement to wait for us. I hooked him onto a leash, gave him some liver and cried even more than when he was lost. A woman was following him with a leash. She wasn't one of the people I had given a flier to, but she told me that she had heard there was a missing dog and she had just been about to collect him. Best neighbourhood ever. 
After giving the dogs an extra big dinner I called my boss back to apologise and ask for the day off work to dog-proof the house better. She asked if anything was missing from the house. I hadn't even thought about that. Nothing was, I told her, and we were fine. She offered to come over and help me. I said we were fine, still sniffling. "OK" she said and told me to take it easy. A little bit later a friend called~ my boss had called her and asked her to check up on me. I complain about work a fair bit, but every time I have needed help everyone at the board of education has come through for me in an amazing way. 
I think I know how Hayate got the door open. I think it wont happen again. But it still terrifies me to think about leaving the dogs alone here when I do have to go back to work. 
Hayate, on the other hand, is sleeping off when he seems to view as having been a most excellent adventure.

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