For the past two days I have taken Gatsby to Whetstone Park. The huge area includes Whetstone Park of Roses, a massive rose garden with fountains and gazebos galore, a native prairie area with walking paths through five foot tall grasses and a nature trail along a creek through huge trees.
Yesterday I met one of my mom’s friends there so that the pup could have some good play and explore time with four other dogs. However, after about a half an hour in the forest, as I call it, he went missing among all of the trees and overgrowth.
It took us, and just about everyone else in the park, at least an hour and a half to finally find him. People saw him running like a madman all over the park. One couple called to me and said they saw him running into the rose garden from in the forest. Another saw him make a beeline for the prairie. He was last seen running from the prairie back into the forest, at which point I saw him for the first time in an hour and a half and started chasing him with everything I had, screaming, “IT’S ME! STOP! CAN’T YOU SEE?!” He was so scared and gone wild that he just kept running further and further into the woods. I couldn’t see him anymore and couln’t run anymore. My legs gave out and I thought I might throw up.
Soon I came to a woman who was walking the other way on the path with her dog, so I asked if she’d seen him. No, she hadn’t, but she would keep her eyes out. In a couple of minutes, I heard her yelling for me, so I went right to the spot she had last seen him. And for the first time since I lost him, I just stopped and said, “I’m here, please just come back.”
And five minutes later he did. He ran right to me, doing his ‘you left me’ yipes and looking a bit crazed in the eyes. I walked him back out of the forest and thanked everyone waiting for us by my car, took a deep breath and started home.
Minutes after we got in the car, Gatsby started breaking out in massive hives, probably a result of running through God knows what. His whole face was swollen, including his little lip flaps, (I don’t know what else to call them), so I turned around and went to the first vet I saw. They were so extremely kind and gave him a shot of benadryl and steroids and he was better within the hour.
One of the scariest parts of the whole caper was that Gatsby wasn’t wearing any kind of identification. Even if someone found him, there was no hope of them finding me. On the way home from the vet, I stopped by PetPeople, our Clintonville neighborhood pet store, and had a little pet tag made with his name and both our phone numbers.
After a good long night of sleep and a morning of Gilmore Girls I am feeling much better. Gatsby just seems a little more tired than usual and is looking at me right now like, “will you please take me outside, I’m sooo bored.” So out I go.