A small miracle occurred in our house this week. On a bright, sunny Monday afternoon, the two older girls were out of the house and somehow I managed to get all four- all f.o.u.r- little ones to nap at the same time. The house was bright and quiet, too quiet. Suddenly, it occurred to me why it was so amazingly quiet. I had let the dog out, and I couldn't remember letting her back inside.
Stealthily, I moved through the house. I am a bit (though by no means very much) lighter on my feet without a nine pound boy. In every room I whispered, "Bella!" but there was no tell tale ringing of her collar on the floor.
Oh, that dog drives me crazy. Of course she had to go out as I was trying to get lunch on the table, wash Joseph's hands after they found the toilet, take Juju's shoes off, deal with little Gabe who was fussing at being put down, and take a phone call. How could I have possibly remembered to let her back in? Of course not three days ago, I was really letting Bear know how important it was to not walk away after letting Bella out, and now I had done the same thing.
Since everyone was peacefully sleeping, I quietly walked onto the back patio hoping Bella had found a sunny spot to rest. No Bella. I opened the front door and went onto the porch searching down the street. No Bella. Then I knew what had to be done. No matter how horrible it seemed, it was my only choice. Or rather it was the selfless choice. I have little attachment to this dog who always seems to be causing me grief; but I could just see the faces of my older girls. I could see little Bophie's face when she realized Bella wasn't here. So I did it.
I woke Bophie and asked her to help find shoes. I woke Joseph who lay in my arms like a sack of potatoes. I crammed shoes on little feet, I stuffed limp arms into jackets, I buckled sleepy, whiny children into the stroller. Lastly, I put on my baby wrap and maneuvered little Gabe into place.
We walked, and walked, and walked. Finally, a neighbor stopped us. She had found Bella and allowed her to spend the afternoon with her. The neighbor had given her treats, played with her, and then Bella found a nice sunny spot in her house-- and NAPPED.