Back in early September (during our trip to Canada) our house-sitter let Riesling out into the backyard unattended and she wandered off. She was missing for three nights and even writing this now I can feel the ache in my chest from the emotional toll this careless act had on Eric and I.
Through social media and in-person searches, so many of our friends and neighbors helped us look for pup while we were away and helpless. My heart swells when I consider all the people who took time out of their busy lives to help Eric and I find our beloved dog. I have included the timeline of my posts below, including some very happy ending photos.
Neighborhood list-serv, September 5 (4pm): A miniature schnauzer is missing from 226 Dunhill. The house sitter has been looking her for a few hours. She (the schnauzer) is old and mostly blind so unlikely she has gone far. Please watch and if you see the dog contact the owners (don’t have their name) or stop by at [address]
This is how I found out after checking email when I saw two missed calls from our house-sitter. When she still wasn’t found a day later we called our parents and put up the first post on Facebook.
Facebook post, September 6: We are in the middle of our worst travel nightmare – our sixteen-year-old pup Riesling went missing from our yard due to an inattentive house-sitter while we are out of the country. She has been missing for 32 hours so far and several searching neighbors and friends have not been able to locate her. We are cutting our trip short and flying home tomorrow to keep the search going. If you are local and want to help, please contact me directly. I will be scouring our neighborhood and surrounds on Friday. Not giving up hope.
We were able to cancel our remaining hotel reservations and book award tickets home two days early. Several friends posted to local list-servs, went out on foot searching, and called local vets to let them know to keep an eye out.
Facebook post, September 7: Short layover and then we are home. No news on Riesling yet but Eric and I will be out at first light tomorrow searching. I want to hug and squeeze everyone who had traipsed through our neighborhood over the last two days looking for her. You are all keeping my heart strong. Thank you so very much.
It took forever (it seemed) to get home. As soon as we landed at 1am, we put out water bowls and recently worn clothing in case the scent of us helped her find her way home. We searched for over three hours in our neighborhood on Friday morning on foot and for another hour and a half on bikes through nearby neighborhoods. In our hearts, we knew she couldn’t have ventured that far away but where was she?!?
At 3pm Eric and I were exhausted both mentally and physically. It was our anniversary but we did not feel like celebrating. I decided to run some errands (including putting up more flyers) to avoid sitting around the house and while I was in the driveway I received a call from my neighbor Don who simply said, “I have your dog!”
To say I collapsed with relief (sobbing) would not be an understatement.
Eric and I ran over to his house (less than a five minute walk away) and he walked out of the garage with Riesling in his arms.
Facebook post, September 8 (4pm): Riesling has been found!!! Our wonderful neighbor swore he heard barking this morning and even though we checked the area already he returned after lunch and found her trapped in a drainage ditch. I cannot even describe the relief I feel and the love I have for all of you who helped us search. ❤️
We took Riesling straight to the vet and got her a full check-up. She was severely dehydrated but rather than having her stay another night away from us at the emergency vet we got her subcutaneous fluids and promised to bring her back the following morning at 8am for a day of IV fluids. After a bath and more water, she crashed out on the couch for the rest of the evening. We had champagne with our take-out pizza.
Facebook post, September 9: Riesling update: after running some blood tests yesterday, we decided to bring pup back to the vet this morning for IV fluids from 8-5. Her numbers and weight are nearly back to normal and she only needed an antibiotic shot for a few scrapes. If you need me, I will be here snuggling my sweet girl (whether she likes it or not).
Welcome home Riesling.