I noticed the title of my previous post, "Gooooooone"! How apt that is. :(
I'm at my daughter's house in Florida, on the east coast. Last night I spent the night at Linda's parents' house in the Pensacola area, and Sunday night was spent at a motel on the east side of Houston. I'm tired and very glad to be spending the next six nights in one place. Our trip has gone well. I wasn't crazy about the motel we ended up with in Houston, but it was OK, clean, but no WiFi and very basic amenities. When you're as tired as we were it doesn't seem to matter as much as other times.
Late in the afternoon of Sunday, I got a call for the sitter. Apparently someone had opened the backyard gate (I hadn't been out it in weeks), and the dogs went for a romp around the neighborhood. Joey, Jazi and Lola came back, but Sam and Max didn't. The whole neighborhood was out helping Boy Wonder, and his parents came up to help, too. The boys were out all night, and I was nearly ready to turn around and go home. After driving for almost 12 hours we were both exhausted, so Linda suggested that we get some sleep and then in the morning, make a decision about continuing or turning around.
Early Monday morning, BW called and said that Sam came home, but not Max. On one hand I was relieved that Same was home, but I was really distraught about Max, feeling that was a terrible sign. Long story short, the sitter and I have spent several hours on the phone over the last 3 days, planning, discussing, comparing thoughts and trying to come up with ways to lure Max home. He is still around the house, but won't come in or show himself. BW is putting food and water out for him, and he is eating. I had him put a throw and a pillow that I use out on the couch on the deck so Max will have my scent. We are doing everything possible to keep him there or encourage him to come in the house so BW can capture him.
The problem is that Max is bonded to me, not the other dogs. Everyone kept saying he would come back to the other dogs, but he is the one that thinks he is the only dog for me. The other dogs are good for his amusement when he wishes it, and that is about it. He tolerates their presence. So he isn't likely to return till I do. He really doesn't trust any other human. Of all the dogs, he takes the longest to warm up to anyone who is in the house, even BW. I think if the Boy Wonder can keep him coming to the house, I'll be able to get him in. I'm concerned, however, that by that time, much of his training and trust will have to be reinstated. This will be a huge setback.
I've talked to a friend who is a psychic, and she is an animal psychic, also. She says he is safe, hanging close to the house, and has found some places to keep warm. She said that he comes to the house during the day, but with no one home, he leaves again. Hopefully he will come while BW is there on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
I'm really worried about Max. Please say some prayers for his safe return. He's a survivor, but he's also a small dog in a forest of wild creatures, many of them much bigger than he is. It is still getting below freezing every night. We think he is sleeping under the house, as a small service door is open. He's probably warm enough there, but every day he is out in the elements and amongst the wild animals is a risk. We want him home. We need him home.
What a bad time for this to happen. Damn.