This post has nothing to do with yesterday's post, for the record.
So I love our neighborhood because it has a really nice mix of families and college students (Being, you know, a whole six blocks from campus). And the families are nice and chill, not the uptight ones you see on Hot Mom Day at Costco. It's also pretty diverse. For Utah. There is a small apartment complex down the street from us that houses mostly Hispanic families. Fairly recent imports from Mexico, with Dads that bike to work (Awesome!) and kids that speak Spanish to each other, English to me. They love our house because we have two dogs.
Some of the kids in the aforementioned complex come by every once in a while and ask if they can take Sego for a walk. They used to come over and just play with him in the front yard, but because I know them and they are ten or eleven and have proved themselves to be responsible, I now let them take him out for a while when they ask. They usually go to the park and then bring him back. Such a nice little slice of real community life.
Anyway, today the little sister of one of the kids came by with one of her friends and asked if she could take Sego for a walk. She was younger than the kids that usually take him, but I figured it would be fine. This is a really safe neighborhood. I remember asking as they left, "Are you two going to be OK on your own?" She said yes. Two hours went by.
It was eight now and starting to get dark, and I got a little worried. The kids never keep Sego out after dark. So I walked down to their apartment complex. They weren't there. So I walked to the park. They weren't there either. I went back to the apartment complex and asked some of the older kids if they knew where they were. They said they had no idea. More walking around the neighborhood. Panic ensued. Luckily at that precise moment I ran into Brooke, who went back with me to the complex to see if we could talk to their parents. Tangent: I really really need to learn Spanish.
We found out which apartment the girls lived in and knocked. No one was home. So there were several possibilities at this point.
1. The girls were out somewhere with Sego at nine at night by themselves. What parent lets a kid that young run around any neighborhood after dark? I don't care if it is Provo.
2. The kids were out with their parents somewhere and had taken Sego with them. What kind of parent lets their kids take a strange dog in the car to another person's house on a Friday night? That also does not make any sense.
3. The girls had lost Sego or something bad had happened and they were afraid to tell me.
Because 1 and 2 seemed so illogical and I was already in a panicky mindset, my mind immediately jumped to number 3. My panic changed to near hysteria, but luckily Brooke was with me for support. A couple of nice boys from next door heard me crying and asked if I needed help. They actually rode their bikes around the neighborhood for about twenty minutes and looked for him to no avail. That was so nice of them and I was too preoccupied to get their names. I salute you, Bicycling Knights.
Anyway, obviously this story has a happy ending, but chronologically, it didn't happen for a while. The truth is we walked around the neighborhood for another hour and a half asking everyone we saw if they had seen two little girls running around with a black dog. Most people assumed we were looking for the kids, and I didn't correct them.
Here are the emotions I was feeling during this ordeal, if you care:
1. Guilt. I felt guilty for letting my dog into the hands of incompetent six year-olds where he had surely met some awful harm. I chided myself for not telling them what time to bring Sego back. I also felt terrible because a few months ago Sego lost his tag with my phone number on it and I hadn't bothered to buy him a new one.
2. Paralyzing fear. Every time we saw a lump on the side of the road (Remember, I don't have the best vision) my stomach lurched with the possibility that it might be Sego's body.
3. Rage. I wanted to kill those girls for letting something happen to my baby.
4. Embarrassment. I felt a little stupid about getting this worked up about a dog. If you've never had pets and/or aren't an animal person, I'm sure my reaction sounds completely irrational. That's cool. I understand. But I say unto you, I was NOT acting upset because I wanted attention. I was truly, genuinely hysterical--the exact same kind of hysterical I was when my little brother went missing for a few hours when he was three. Maybe even a little MORE hysterical, actually (No offense, David) because Sego is my responsibility alone.
To make a long story short, we returned home and Sego was there. The girls had brought him back and, finding no one home, left him inside. I have never been so happy to see a dog in my life.
1. You know how sometimes people say they don't want to love anything because the possibility of getting hurt is too great? They're right. I seriously considered never loving anything or anyone ever again during this ordeal.
2. However, when Sego and I were reunited, I forgot about all that and remembered why I love that darn dog in the first place. Why I love him more than a lot of things. Possibly you. Just kidding! Maybe.
3. This experience made me remember that someday Sego is going to die and I am going to be completely devastated.
4. However, likely as not he will die old, safe and surrounded by people who love him, including the children I hope to have ten or twelve years from now.
5. Maternal instinct? That shiz is LEGIT.
6. Something about eternity.
Happy birthday tomorrow, Sego. You better know I love you.