I had an experience one day—about two years ago—I want to pass on. It won’t seem like a big deal to some of you, but to others it might. To me it was huge. My dog was missing!I try to take our little dog, Dockers, for a walk each morning and each evening. At the time, we weren’t living in a house with a doggie door, where so she couldn’t go in and out when she wanted to do her “bidness”, so that was what the walks were for. She also enjoyed just getting out of the apartment and seeing what’s was out there in the big ol’ world.

On the day in question, I put her harness and leash on her, and as I was putting my jacket on I opened the door. When I stepped out a few seconds later, she was suddenly gone.

I yelled for her, but knew if she had gone very far, she wouldn’t hear me. You see, at the time, our little Dockers was about  fourteen years old, and her hearing and sight had begun to fade quite rapidly. So the best I could do was search for her and hope to catch a visual before she got too far away. The problem was, she could have gone several different directions among the surrounding apartments and houses, and been out of sight quickly. This appeared to be the case.

I was immediately angry; angry at myself, for not paying attention and allowing her to wander out of sight, and angry at Dockers for wandering off.

Sherry came out and joined in the search, and it wasn’t long before I spotted her, wandering back toward home, coming between two duplexes behind ours. I yelled her name and told her to get over here right now! Of course, you know how dogs are; she wagged her tail and gave me one of those doggie smiles, as if to say, “Hey! Sup, dude? Some neat stuff back here.” Her grin faded when I uttered the two words that never fail to cause her long legs to tremble, and her little heart to break.


Cowering, she slunk toward me, her big brown eyes looking up at me. (I wonder if she knows how that just breaks my heart?)

I grabbed her leash and half drug her into the apartment, where I jerked her up onto her chair (yes, she had/has her own overstuffed chair) and continued to chastise her, as I removed her harness. She continued to tremble and look up at me with those big, brown, questioning eyes. Eyes so full of sadness—and confusion—I could have cried.

Thoughts began to push my anger aside, as I thought about how she was not going to be with us much longer, and about how much she adores me. I was an emotional wreck by the time I got her harness off her, and escaped to my office upstairs.

I sat at my desk, staring at my computer monitor—still angry—but so ashamed… and, at the same time, so very sad.

Man… I love that little dog.


  1. ken said

    Dude you seriously better get a puppy picked out! Sounds like you are not going to handle Dockers going off to doggy heaven well at all. Gonna have to fill that void quick. Since they say owners are suppossed to look like the dogs I’m thinkin from the last photos I have seen of ya Old English Bulldog or a Mutt! Either way get to the animal welfare and start lookin. Cheers Ken

  2. Sherry Mashburn said

    Ken: Don’t be callin’ my man an old English bulldog!! Yes, Dockers is a mutt. But just like Charlie, she has the sweetest and most expressive face and long legs! And all the girls just love Charlie . . . um, I mean, Dockers!

  3. Faye Scott said

    This was such a touching story. I read it during lunch. I totally understand how you feel about Dockers and know that even though Dockers may not be around someday – you will deal with it when the time comes. Aren’t you glad she found her way back? She just had a little adventure at your expense. Such a sweet old thing! She is very well cared for and very loved. What a wonderful thing!

    • She’s something else, Faye. I could probably write a small book about her and the joy she’s brought to our lives. She’s pacing in and out of my office right now, because it’s time for her afternoon walk.

  4. Evelyn said

    aw man.

    • Yeah… I love my little dog. Breaks my heart to see her growing old. She still knows how to push my buttons, too!

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