Milly Lost AND Found

A torturous 24 hours.  I had Milly for the night and Sunday,why an open house was going on at the LF home.  I returned home from dinner around 10:30 to find Milly nowhere in the house.  Apparently she had pushed open the back door which can often not latch properly unless completely locked.  I went around the neighborhood calling her name..but nothing. After an hour I expanded the search radius out to the local park and surrounding neighborhood but an empty feeling was growing in my stomach.  If she got out of our main neighborhood, which is completely fenced in but for two spots, – the chance of her finding her way back in is very small. It was eerily quiet and as I stood in the middle of the huge park.  A single street light cast my shadow long across the grass and I yelled her name only to hear my own voice echo off the distance forest line.  Crestfallen I return to the house, with a tiny amount of hope that maybe she came back while I was searching.  No such luck.  I got in the car and began slowly prowling the streets cover more and more territory. Nothing.  Finding a a Black Lab in the dark is not and easy task.  I finally return home again dejected.  I sat on the front steps, head in my hands and wondered if I will ever see her again.  I sit and listen for any sound but nothing.  I finally realize I can do nothing right now.  I go inside and sleep on the couch leaving the front door wide open. A fitful sleep, thinking about telling the family and what I will do in the morning.  I am awaken again and again by small sounds, hoping to hear her toenails on the concrete
entry.  Maybe getting an hour of sleep I wake up at 5 to print out flyers and go put them up all over the neighborhood.  At 7:30 Gus joins me and we bike around the neighborhood and park looking for more signs of Milly.  I run across some of the first neighbors getting up and confirmed that she was seen wandering the neighborhood around 8 PM, but no idea where she was.
Dejected again I return to the house again to use the car and do an expanded search.  It’s now 12 hours since she was seen. My hope rests on someone having seen her and taken her into their house.
Turning down a small side street 5 or  blocks from the house I see a guy walking an old Chesapeake Bay Retriever.  Expecting no good news I stop and ask him if he has seen a black lab.  He quickly says “Yes, she’s at my house”!
Elation, relief, a wonderful feeling.  Apparently Milly had found her way to the park at sunset to join about 30 people having a party.  As the party dissipated it was clear that Milly was on her own and she ended up following the guy and his dog who had her back to his home.  He took her in and called Animal Control to have her picked up the following day.  He tooks his dog for a walk in the morning in hopes of running across someone looking for a black lab – perfection.
Although both of us were lacking sleep I took Milly to the top of the pass for a walk along Lake Kacheelus (photo above).  Taking photos and letting her have a swim in the cool mountain water.  Now she lays next to me on the couch while I walk the Seahawks game – snoring loud.  She will sleep a long time.

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