(EDITOR'S NOTE: Don Helverson's column is particularly timely because a Sherman Oaks family is desperately looking for their dog. While out with the family trick-or-treating, keep an eye out for Cooper. See: .)
I was working outside. OP and I had just had a nice hike. We were both hesistant to go inside yet. At a moment when the world to the east was being sandblasted with cyclone winds and torrential showers, the air here was nice and temperatures were merciful.
I found some putzing activity—mister fix-it stuff—while OP sniffed the graas and snuggle against my back. I'm not sure how long it was when that thought came to me: "What am I doing? It's late. I'm hungry. Time for a shower!"
I turned around and OP was not visible. He is probably, as usual, under something, behind something, behind me... Often OP is a yard away and I can't find him. I get so involved in what I'm doing, I can lose a hat on my head or the phoine I'm still holding.
I don't see him.
I look around the area. Nope.
I look wider. Wider.
I run down the street, suddenly panicked. And this continues for the entire block. I have a picture of OP on my phone. I show people.
"Have you seen this little guy?" (They tell me he's cute.) "Yes, he's cute! Have you seen him?"
I get in the car. I'm all adrenaline. I'm thinking of the wording for a poster. I'm getting ready to call about his imbedded chip. I do that thing I have been taught when I lose something—return to the beginning and re-trace.
And there's OP. He had been about 10 feet away, thoughtlessly crawled under a fence that was too Alice-In-Wonderland small for me to even imagine he'd gone there. A little white dog had pulled him away from me.
A little white dog was fun and fascinating to OP. He had ditched me the same way I had ditched my parents so many times when I was feeling frisky and impatient—he ditched me to chase girls.
Top of my grateful list today: Health: check. A place to live: check. Kids are okay: check. OP is right here, frisky and snuggly: CHECK!