Saturday, January 30, 2010

Tears in the Snow

Today we almost lost Snowy.

For good. Forever.

We got three inches of snow last night. When Steve got up at 5 am to let Snowy out onto the back deck, the leash that we usually hook him to was completely buried. So Steve left Snowy outside for just a second to “do his business” while he ran back inside to get a coat.

When Steve returned, Snowy had disappeared.

It was 30 degrees and still snowing as Steve went out and called for Snowy. And he called and called.

There was no answering response; no flash of white fluff headed back in his direction.

For an hour, Steve continued to call Snowy’s name, and drive the neighborhood.


He finally came up and woke me about 6 am and explained what had happened. He said he wanted me to go downstairs to be available in case Snowy returned while he started driving around surrounding neighborhoods.

Of course, both of us were thinking, “Small dog. Freezing temperature. Is he even still alive?”

As soon as Steve drove away, I threw on my coat over my pajamas and started walking up and down our street in the darkness, with snow and tears smearing my glasses.

“Snowy! Snowy! Come, Snowy!”

Walk. Call. Cry. Pray. Repeat. Tears in my eyes. Tears in the snow.

I walked for ten minutes and heard and saw nothing. He’d been gone an hour and a half by that point and I knew that he could have wandered far away or else he could be hung up in some of the underbrush in the woods surrounding our neighborhood. And although Steve was driving up and down the icy roads looking for him, I knew that it was very possible Snowy wouldn’t be in sight of any road.

I had just about given up any hope of finding him alive. I tried not to think about our little buddy, alone and cold, and freezing to death, wondering where his mom and dad and sister were; wondering why no one was coming to help him. And I tried not to think about him dying without loving hearts surrounding him.

And then I got to thinking about Sarah just starting a new school and struggling to adjust, and losing her best fluffy friend in the midst of it all. I couldn’t even imagine her grief and trauma.

More walking. More tears. More praying. More calling out his name.


I turned to walk back to the house, wondering if I should wake Sarah or let her sleep. I didn’t want to worry her needlessly but if things were to continue the way they were going, she needed to be told that her little buddy wasn’t coming back home.

I had been back in the house just a minute or two when Steve’s car pulled up and he walked into the house.

With Snowy under his jacket.

I absolutely could not believe my eyes. He was safe! And alive!

And just about frozen stiff.

There was ice hanging from the fur under his belly, he was soaking wet, glassy-eyed and lethargic. After I had kissed Snowy’s pitiful wet head, Steve took him upstairs to start drying him with a hair dryer while I threw a couple big towels in the dryer.

It was such a wonderful feeling to take that small shivering creature in my arms and wrap him in a big fluffy, warm towel. He lay very still on my lap, his breathing alarmingly slow, not whimpering, not moving.

IMG_1103 IMG_1102

Steve worried about pneumonia; I wondered how low his core body temp had gotten. And Snowy just lay ever so still in the middle of it all.

As Snowy began to slowly warm up, I asked Steve where he had found him. Steve said that he had checked the neighborhoods to our north and then turned around to check in the other direction. And there, two neighborhoods over from ours, he finally found the prodigal, pitiful pup, limping slowly up the middle of the dark, silent street, soaked to the skin, covered in ice.

It was a miracle that Steve just happened to go down that particular street right as Snowy happened to be walking there. If he had gone to that neighborhood first, he might have missed Snowy altogether. And seeing a white dog against white snow in early morning darkness is not the easiest thing to do anyway.

So we just believe that God led Snowy to the right place at the right time so that he could be reunited with the family who loves him.

Snowy has a lot yet to accomplish in his life. He has to finish college. He has to ignore his instructor. He has to graduate “non cum laude.”

He has to continue to bring joy to the heart of his family who loves him so much.

Welcome home, little guy. Welcome home.

27 Had Something To Say (Just click here!):

SuperSuz said...

Oh no! How totally frightening and my heart was breaking as I read your story. I'm so happy that you found him and I hope he's warming up nicely now.

Anonymous said...

I am so happy that the little pup is home. It would break my heart if anything happened to him! Hopefully you will bring him to meet Chlorita's dogs Bosco and Ellie May when we spend time in March in the Outer Banks. Can't wait to see all of you.

Cindy from Sonoma

Marysienka said...

Phew! I'm glad Snowy is back home, safe!

Have a nice weekend :)

Renee, in freezing Canada (-4F at the moment, no need to say my cat will stay inside!)

MaryH said...

Oh, Dear God! I hope Snowy has recuperated and all of you have too. Absolutely, Snowy and Steve were led to the exact road and the right moment to be found. I hope everyone gets some peace and quiet and rest this weekend.

Pam D said...

How in the world did he get that far? And why? Oh Snowy... silly little fluffy ball of love... so glad that your dad found you and that you're back in warm and loving hearts. Dude, school is NOT that bad... no more running away!

Anonymous said...

Poor Snowy! I'm on the Peninsula of Virginia and we've gotten a huge amount of snow. My small dog came in full of little snow balls and she was only out for a short amount of time. Warm towels do the trick. I hope Snowy has fully recovered.

Melanie said...

His name seems to take on a whole new meaning now, doesn't it??
I'm soooo glad he's OK. It was hard to finish reading through all the tears.
We got the same snow in Virginia. Our dog is a collie, though, so I think we'll be able to see her when she goes out.
Take care. What a miracle you've been given today! :)

Ann Martin said...

I know the feeling you had. Our cat got out in the snow several years ago. He was black and declawed. Bandit got out on Friday night and he came home the next Thursday night. I cried, prayed, drove the neighborhood daily, called the radio station and put an ad in the paper. I think someone found him and then he got out and came back or was brought back. His stomach (white) was not even dirty. God protects His animals, too. So glad Snowy is fine and home.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad your story has a happy ending. Stay warm and dry. Anna

Lynn's mom said...

I'm so sorry for the scare, and I hope Snowy continues to recover. Jane

Anonymous said...

So sorry you all had to go thru that.......hope he is feeling warm and ok now! Story was heartbreaking and then heartwarming. You write so well, your words are felt. Glad to hear school is getting better and better for Sarah!

Lisa said...

oh my word, Becky! What a traumatic start to y'all's morning. I'm so grateful for a God who cares. Big hugs to ALL of you and one especially sweet one for Snowy.

Lysa said...

Since Snowy is home safe, warm and dry, I must give you a way to look back at this and laugh. Imagine your neighbors, the ones who barely know you.....They look out, at the freshly fallen SNOW and see a lady, in PJs and a coat, crying "SNOWY".
"Yes lady, it is snow!!!"

I once had an indoor cat named Dr. Pepper. He wandered outside once and I too walked around the neighborhood yelling "DOCTOR PEPPER". I often wonder if someone was thinking "Get that lady a soda!".

I'm so happy the little fellow is back home. I pray he isn't too traumatized.

Holly said...

So glad Snowy is home safe and sound! Once when we were visiting in Oklahoma we had a similar incident with our dog and my father-in-law tracked his footprints in the snow with a flashlight just like a rabbit! lol! I hope he is feeling well and I'm glad Sarah was spared the panic! I am going to go hug little Jake!

Love Holly & Jake

Michelle said...

I can't seem to get the Snowy Saga out of my mind today. Poor Snowy. Poor Snowy's Family. Thank goodness there's a happy ending! :)

Lysa's comment cracked me up! I bet your new neighbors WERE wanting to shout back at you this morning "yes, lady, it IS snowy"! Ha! ;)

Have a fabulous weekend ... and shower your sweet pup with LOTS of TLC!

~Michelle from not-so-snowy Cincinnati

Tube Girl said...

I am glad Snowy found his way home again! Having had a cat simply disappear on me once, I know that feeling. Never finding out what happened to him was really hard on me.

Sarah said...

Oh my! I'm so glad you found Snowy in the freezing cold! I would be horribly sad if anything had happened to him!

Rebecca said...

Oh I felt so sick reading this, I am SO glad this worked out ok. Give snowy a hot kiss and hug from Sydney, not a snowflake in sight here!

Anonymous said...

wish I had taken a speed-reading course so that I could have gotten to the end of your tale a tad quicker. sure am thankful that Snowy is snug at home.

mrs pam

Saffyres said...

I'm so glad you found him! Do you think he ran away because he hates his "college" so much?

As an avowed "cat" person (I had a dog for 6 months, and it was just awful - she ate my house), I'm wondering if he's too old to have obedience training now? Not criticizing - just wondering. Having heard that "old dog/new tricks" thing all my life...

Still breathing sighs of relief that he's home and happy!!!!

Nancybratt said...

I can understand your fear over Snowy. I can only imagine how he must have felt. My Picky, who is 14 is unable to do a lot of things anymore. The picture of you and Snowy reminded me of my Picky. Anyone who hasnt had an animal, doesnt understand the depth of our love for them. They are our family members. Had you lost Snowy, I couldnt imagine.
I know with Pickys health, he will be leaving me soon. I hold him a lot like you do Snowy. He's my best friend and greatest unhuman love.
I 'm so gretfull Steve found Snowy. God is so good and can do all things. What was Steve's reaction when he realized he had found snowy??
Love and hugs

Amanda J said...

I admit to getting teary-eyed reading this! I am SO glad you guys found Snowy and that he is doing okay. I have two dogs and I'd be devastated if I lost either one of them. ((hugs))

Karo said...

Two Snowy scares in such a short time! Snowy's gonna have to walk the quiet side for a while! So glad you got him back.

LizW said...

I am so glad to hear that Snowy's adventure ended well. The poor little guy! I hope Sarah will continue to adjust to school, and Snowy needs to be there to help her! Thank the Lord he was found.

Carrie B said...

Oh I am so glad all turned out well! Whew!
What would we do without our little white fur balls?
God was watching over him that is for sure.

Lisa said...

Oh my, I had scroll to the bottom to see what happened and I never do that with a book. I am so grateful that God reunited your family and sweet Snowy. How did the lunch for 10 go? I have been looking for the update!
Blessings to you all,

Shannon said...

So glad this story had a HAPPY ending.

Hopefully you will be able to put a fence up soon.

I enjoyed the comments of what the neighbors thought if they heard you and what the lady yelling for Doctor Pepper thought, smile!!

At least it was snowing and you were yelling Snowy, might have made a little sense.

What if his names was walking around in a snow storm yelling Sunny!! hee hee