Jake: In a better place

A rare event: I slept in this morning. What a wonderful feeling. My eyes popped open and the only one left in the big bed with me was Jane.

Jane: (eyes closed) We're still sleeping, Dad.

Me: (pulling the blanket higher) I know. Isn't it great?

Very quickly, however, things were not great. In the kitchen, Erin was pouring Henry a bowl of Cheerios. One of the Os fell on the floor.

Erin: Jake! Come get it!

No response. 

No scampering claws. 

No thunderous appearance in the room. 

Nothing.

Erin: Jakey?

Henry: Jake?

Alice: Jakey? Where are you?

I jumped out of bed.

Erin: He must have slipped outside last night when Jonah went home.

(Our neighbour came over to watch the first period of the hockey game with Henry)

Erin and I exchanged a concerned look. The kids were getting scared. I put on my rain jacket, grabbed the keys to the car, and stepped out the door.

(Before I go any farther, I must explain why it's possible that out dog can be absent for 10 or more hours without us noticing. If you have ever met dear Jake, you know what a saint of a dog he is. Quiet. Well mannered. Friendly. And with a bladder the size of a small child. After being inside for 12 consecutive hours overnight, he will not go outside to pee if it's raining. Or snowing. Or windy. He can hold it forever. He spent a night outside this summer without us noticing. I woke up one hot morning to find him sleeping quietly in a cool corner of the deck. Not a peep or bark of complaint.)

I drove up and down our street going 10 km/hr. Not a trace of him.

He is not a wanderer. I couldn't imagine him going far. Still...

My mind started to put together scenarios if I found him in the ditch. As the time ticks by, this seems more and more likely.

My phone rings. I pull over.

Me: Hello?

Henry: We found Jakey!

I raced home. The kids had become fairly weepy, and so were trying to think of any hiding place they could. Henry was the first to suggest the basement. 

Erin opened the door and walked down the rickety stairs to the cool, dank room.

Erin: Jakey?

A rustle in the far corner. The sound of a tail flapping against something soft.

The dog had discovered our discarded futon mattress in the corner of the basement. No wonder he hadn't complained. It was probably the most comfortable night's sleep he had in years.

11 comments:

Jordan said...

Had me worried there.

Dave Atkinson said...

Imagine how I felt! (or the kids, or Erin for that matter)

Craig Wesley said...

David. You scared the bejesus out of me. Don't make a habit of it. You have been warned.

stablepersonality said...

Thank friggin' goodness this story had a happy ending. I almost didn't read it because I was too scared I'd end up balling. Great job, very nice writing.

karn said...

i WAS crying... don't do that to a nursing mother...

Jordan said...

Forget the dog, let's all get Chopard watches!

Dave Atkinson said...

Why this particular post is inviting spam, I have no idea. However: hurray for watches! Everyone! Let's GET some Chopards!

Unless you are one of the few who consider wearing a Chopard to be irritating, in which case, you cannot be in our Chopard Club. Shame on you and your ignorance.

Craig Wesley said...

I refuse to get a Chopard unless I first get assurance that it Dices as well.

auntie said...

I think the spam is your just reward for scaring us all to death in that title.
Shame on you
:-)

karn said...

i've been thinking about more appropriate titles for this posting... like... "this post has a happy ending" or "don't worry jake is alive"

Dave Atkinson said...

So sorry, Karn.

If it helps, I took this photo of Jake shortly after writing this post to prove he, in fact, is alive.

http://twitpic.com/2yihj5