Roam around the block.
Maggie ran away this morning. The clasp on her outdoor lead must have been stuck open and let loose her collar. When I saw she was gone I flipped. I had the feeling similar to the scene where Pee-Wee realizes someone stole his prized bicycle (except no laughing clown was involved). I wasn't sure how to go about finding her. I ran around the house for a minute and then decided to jump in the car and drive around the neighborhood. I started out on a mission with focused intensity, but soon my intensity turned to fear. I realized trying to find her in an urban area could be likened to a needle in a haystack. There were so many fenced in backyards that she could be sniffing around, hidden from my view. It's trash day on our street, so I drove down past every can, thinking she'd be munching. I drove to all of her familiar areas, parks and playgrounds. I went downtown thinking she'd have found someone to socialize with. Soon my eyes began to tear as I realized I may never see her again, or just may never see her alive again. That was a scary thought.
So I went home with a new strategy to walk around shaking treats and calling for her. As I pulled up to our house, there she sat on the front stoop. She seemed to be waiting for someone to come open the door for her. She'd never looked sweeter to me. So after an hour of adventure, my baby found her way home. I was so happy to see her and, it seemed, she me because she ran out to the street to join me. I picked her up and gave her a big hug....
We were lucky today, but I hope every dog owner minds this story and makes sure their dog has an i.d. tag and a microchip. It is a terrifying thing losing your beloved puppy. even if it is for only one hour.