February 12, 2015
Puff went out late this morning following Steve as he gave Taiko a potty break before heading to work. Normally she scampers back in through the dog door when she is ready and life goes on. When he left for work all of the White Dog Army settled down to nap and I sat down to conduct business.
I was answering an email from a friend who inquired about the WDA and especially our Little Old Lady, Puff (they both happen to come from Kansas so there is a special attachment). As I typed, I began to wonder why my feisty old girl had not been in to see me. Usually she lies next to my desk or in the hallway.
It nagged at me until I got up and checked her bed in the living room. Not there. Nor was she in the little round bed in the bedroom; Taiko lay sprawled across it. "Maybe she is in HIS bed then," I reasoned. Not the case. Nor was she on the far side of the bed.
I looked out into the yard. There she was covered in dirt and leaves and wandering sort of aimlessly in the far corner. I called her over and over. I flapped the dog door. I tapped on the glass of the sliding door. She did not even turn to look. Granted as she approaches 17, her hearing is not what it used to be...nor is her eyesight...but she can hear the treat bag from the other room and can weave her way between the legs of the bigger Army members to snatch a dropped crumb. I called again.
White Dog came and stood beside me at the door. "Go get Puff," I asked her. "Bring her inside." WD went outside and circled her sister but came back in leaving Puff to continue wandering. "Any ideas, Yo?" YoYoMa thinks of himself as Puffs boyfriend and protector. He looked at me and sank to the floor with his nose pushing the flap open. I called her some more.
I was beginning to panic that my senior baby girl was having a stroke or that there was something seriously wrong. Candace had already left for work. I do not have the mobility to get to the far end of the yard...especially if I had to carry Puff back inside.
Steve was in a meeting all morning. I looked at the clock and prayed they were done and that he would understand my overwrought call for help. It was near 60 degrees and Puff was wearing a sweater but there is no water bowl yet outside and she was covered in dirt meaning to me that she had fallen or had laid down.
He rushed home (fortunately work is just minutes away and the meeting had just started breaking up). The WDA was overjoyed to see him but wondered why he rushed past them and out of the back door.
My tears turned the dirt on Puff's sweater muddy as I held my girl. She was shaking and rested against my shoulder for a moment before struggling to get down. She headed back toward the bedroom and I thought "NO! Not outside!" but she made a beeline for the water bowl there and took a long deep drink.
She was fine the rest of the day; slept mostly from all of the fresh air and exercise. Steve returned to campus after reassuring me that Puff had simply had a senior moment and could not find her way back to, and in, the door. For the rest of the day, I jumped every time the flap slapped and did a head count every 30 minutes.