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judy
7th August 2006, 08:48 AM
Something just happened, i don't know what happened, i lost Zack, and i really didn't think i'd ever see him again, it was horrible.

i was sitting here in my living room relaxing, i was brushing him, everything was normal, he'd get down and play with stuff, he's wander outside into the backyard, I keep the patio sliding door open, it's a small backyard, maybe 20 by 35 feet, one wall is as high as the building, it's a three story building, on the other side is a fence that's 5 1/2 feet tall, almost as tall as me, zack tries to leap up to the top of it when he thinks there's an animal out there, and he impresses me by going up within a foot and a half or so of the top on his best leaps. On the other side is a fence that is taller than i am. As far as I knew, there was just one place where he could've dug/crawled out, and that was blocked firmly. i felt certain the backyard was secure.

As i was sitting here, i heard him bark, just one bark, not the usual two or three or more, and a bit fainter, but i assumed he was in the backyard, barking at an animal because he never barks in the house, unless someone knocks on the door, which didn't happen, and besides, i would hear it really loud if it was in the house, i thought it was outside. I did what i always do, i called him in an enthusiastic friendly voice, so that he would come inside, i'd give him a treat and he would not disturb the neighbors. He didn't come in even though i called him a couple of times. but i was in the middle of doing something at the moment and since the barking stopped, i didn't bother getting up and getting him to come back in. I just bring him in and close the door if he keeps barking. i went back to what i was doing.

It was a normal peaceful night. A few minutes later, i heard the same bark again, not as loud as his usual bark, and only one bark, so it wasn't like he was barking at something. So i was perplexed and i got up to see where he was, when he didn't come running to my call which he almost always does. I was not prepared to go out in the backyard and not find him but he wasn't there.

There aren't many places where he could be out there, it's small. I looked everywhere, i checked the blocked space under the gate, it wasn't disturbed. i thought he must be in the apartment, but where? it was bizarre because normally, he would be out and about. He's never missing in the apartment, if i get up to do anythinng, he comes running, and it just didn't make sense. But i looked around the living room and he was nowhere.

The apartment has an upstairs and downstairs. Downstairs is the living room, kitchen, a bathroom and a hall, there are no nooks and crannies, and the place is pretty crammed with stuff, so the cabinets don't have room for anything more than what's in them. Still I looked in all the cabinets but of course he wasn't there. i looked under the desk, under the loveseat, behind the rocking chair, there's nowhere else that he could go. I looked in the bathroom, the shower, the closet, i imagined he was stuck some place, that's why he made those two barks, he was stuck and was calling me, that was my guess, he was in trouble. but he wouldn't bark again, i was worried he was hurt, suffocating, bleeding to death, dead
:yikes

Upstairs has two bedrooms, a bathroom and the hall, and a litter maid cat box with a hood over it. I looked in there. Both bedroom doors stay closed. But i looked in the bedrooms anyway, what else could i do? I looked in the closets and under the beds. I went back outside and looked. Inside and out, i searched everywhere twice, getting more and more scared.

Then i went outside in the front, toward the street, calling him and looking around. It made no sense at all that he could be out there. There was no way out of the apartment or the backyard. Yet i looked everywhere as far as i know. On the chance that he somehow leaped over the 5 1/2 foot fence into my neighbor's backyard, i looked over the fence and i called him. No sign of him. It was maddening. It made no sense. Then i checked around the base of the fence on the other side and i found one hole that i didint' know was there.
:yikes

Still, it did not seem big enough for Zack to get through. It would be a squeeze just for his head to get through. And if he did get through, it led to nowhere. It went under the deck of the neighbor's apartment. It was blocked off, at least it appeared to be, like there would be no way out. I coudln't see, it was just a tiny space, dark and dirty, i stuck my arm through with gloves on and tried to feel around, calling him, listening but there was no sound. It was the kind of space that your mom always told you to stay away from because of black widow spiders.

I went out front again, and on the street, calling him, and up the side of my apartment building, there was no way to where that crawl space was. I went into the neighbors' apartment property, the apartments were all dark, it looked like no one was home back there. The area where the neighbor's deck was, was fenced off behind a locked gate. But i could see that there was no way out to the front from where the crawl space was.

i went home again and searched everything again. I was frantic. I was fantasizing making Lost Dog posters. He wasn't wearing his ID tag. At home, i don't keep his harness on him. He doesn't have a collar. He's not microchipped, but he will be by tomorrow. :shock:

I examined that crawl space again and again. Maybe he could squeeze through. It sure does look too small though. And there was no way out. Still, it bothered me that it was there and i had never seen it before. I thought i had checked the fence for any openings. How did it get there?

I went back out front again, i climbed over the peoples' gate and looked through the openings under their house with a flash light. I opened a screen gate to under the house and could see everywhere under there, all the plumbing and TV cables and stuff. And it wasn't connected to the place under the deck. No sound, no Zack. i called and called.

I was so frantic. The next thing i was going to do was to go out in my car and look for him. First, i knocked on the door of my nextdoor neighbor and asked him to come look at the little hole under the fence and give me his opinion of whether Zack could fit through there. I opened the door to let us in and THERE WAS ZACK in the living room, all jumping up and happy and excited and wanting to be held.

i was so glad to see him. I was in an altered state of consciousness. I was so glad to have him back, i really feared i was never going to see him again, just like that, that he vanished without a trace, that somebod had him, or he was killed by a car, or, eventually i'd smell his body rotting under the deck next door. I was going to ask my neighbor if he would help me break a bigger hole in the fence so i could see under the deck. but zack came back so that didn't happen.

but i really don't know where he was. He wasn't dirty at all, not a stick or leaf or spider web or piece of dirt on him.

Tomorrow in the daylight, i'm going to examine the backyard as thoroughly as possible, and i won't let Zack out there without me watching him. I hope he'll show me where he went. I'll plug up that hole.
But right now, i don't really know where he was. He just couldn't have been in the house or the yard, i looked everywhere four times. He had to have been outside some place. Yet unless he can get out through that little hole, i don't think there's any way out. But there has to be. Even though the hole looks way too small, it's the only theory i have. If i were to rule that one out by trying to put him through and find it impossible, then i have no theory at all.

Just thank God he's OK and he's back. i never want to go through anything like that again.

Alison_Leighfield
7th August 2006, 10:36 AM
Oh Judy,

I was on the edge of my chair with you reading this, was a huge fright you must have had, thank heavens all is well now. Watch hime over the next few days and see if he gives you any clues to where he went.

I know my garden is safe....but I'm going to pop out in a bit for a good check....perhaps we should all do this...little monkeys dig holes etc etc...better to be safe...

Hug that little chap, he is safe with you. :flwr:


Alison, Wilts, U.K.

misty
7th August 2006, 10:47 AM
Oh Judy, poor you. How scarey.

We need to put another lock on our garden gate - anyone can open it, if they so desire. :(

A few months ago, I popped outside and, to my horror, the gate was open. Both dogs had gone.

Both were in sight, but in opposite directions, so I screamed to my daughter and we grabbed a dog each. Very frightening tho'.

Charleen
7th August 2006, 10:52 AM
Judy, I am so glad that story ended well with Zach back. I have been through your fear before with one of my dogs and it is a terrible feeling. I hope you are able to figure out what happened, so that you can prevent it from reoccurring.

Claire
7th August 2006, 12:54 PM
Judy - sorry you had a worry, could he have got under a sofa or bed, I could'nt find Busta once, all I heard was the one bark.... I went through the house and he was stuck under the sofa bed - he crawled under and could'nt get out.

matties mum
7th August 2006, 04:33 PM
:) I known what you went though a few years ago both dogs got out I was going nuts :yikes I found one but could not find the other but behind our house is a school and some how they add got in the play grond the school is fence nearly all the way round so I some how got in and there was my dog Rocky after that I had some more fenceing put up. I hope you find out were he was Aileen

Cockerspaniel
7th August 2006, 08:35 PM
Wow. What a fright! Must remember to regularly check our back yard boundaries, in case dogs might have figured out an escape route!

I wonder how high a fence can a cavalier clear?

judy
7th August 2006, 11:17 PM
thanks for the sympathy/empathy/shared experiences and wake up call responses.

Today i went over the backyard carefully. I don't see any way he could get out. At its lowest point, the fence is about 5 feet high, and most of it is higher. There are no more holes. The one opening i found--when i look at Zack and i look at that hole, it is very hard to believe he could've gotten through there. I doubt it's possible. i tried showing it to him and interesting him in what might be on the other side, but he thought i was talking about a string of ivy, just biting at the ivy. So, i nailed a board over the hole

From looking at the hole and looking at him, i'm left thinking he must've been somewhere inside the apartment--and we are only talking about a living room, a kitchen, two bathrooms, two halls and a cat box. The bedroom doors were closed. I looked under and behind everything because he simply had to be here. but there was no sound after those first two barks. I guess i didn't look hard enough. It was a very confusing experience.

I called and signed up for the AKCCAR today, ordered the identification tag, signed up for the 24/7 lost pet contact, and am weighing the options of tattoo or microchip. Looks like it will be microchip--so i'm looking for a microchip clinic where it would be less expensive than the vet.

The guy at the AKCCAR on the phone referred to zack's disappearance, (after i described it) as "a game." That little stinker, if he was hiding on purpose....i am so glad he's 'back.' I searched for him for about an hour with no sign of him, and no sound. Very confusing and terrifying. i still am uncomfortable not knowing what happened.

Maxxs_Mummy
7th August 2006, 11:47 PM
OMG Judy, poor you. My heart was in my mouth reading that. I'll bet anything that Zack was hiding in your apartment. Maxx has done it to me in the house on more than one occasion and each time I thought he'd gone forever.

Alison will tell you of the time she phoned me and I said 'I can't talk, Maxx has disappeared' through my tears. He was in the garden but heaven knows where as I'd already searched it!

One thing is good though, that you've patched up the hole. Our foster, Holly, could get through anything - hubby always said she was crossed with a rat as she was such a wonderful escape artist. Before we'd know she was missing, she'd be sat on the front doorstep barking to be let back in again :roll: :lol: It was a great game!

Why do we love these doggies so much????

MishathePooh
8th August 2006, 03:27 AM
What type of fence do you have? All the Cavaliers I know are notorious climbers. I gave up on the whole tall baby gate idea because my little man was up and over it in a heartbeat.
So glad everything turned out for the best! Microchips make you feel a lot better. One of the pet stores around here does the low-cost clinics because the owner's dog got stolen and she notified every shelter and vet clinic in the area. One of the vet clinics found her dog because after she called, they routinely scanned the yorkies (her breed) and were able to match the microchip her dog had!

Cathy Moon
8th August 2006, 04:05 AM
OMG Judy, this is everyone's worst nightmare! So glad you found him after all!

I had something similar happen, and finally found Geordie and Chocolate under the deck, evidently they crawled under a step and then could not get back out! My hubby had to loosen and remove another board so they could crawl through.

Another time India took a nap in our closet and I could not find her, she did not come when I called. I was nearly hysterical when hubby found her!

Kingofthehouse86
8th August 2006, 06:47 AM
Judy, so glad you found Zack..funny how these lil guess could put so much stress on us sometimes but othertimes take a whole lot of stress of with their personalities... I kno I would b going out of my mind if King did anything like that...