A terrible thing happened yesterday. Took the kids for a long-promised treat to the local lolly shop. Left them with Pip while I ducked into the supermarket. I put the lead under the leg of D2’s chair and left them happily comparing lollies. I guess I should’ve anticipated D2 would stand up at some point...
|Pip with D1(top), D2 and GQ's son in happier times|
I hadn’t even picked up a single item in the supermarket when D1 raced in panic-stricken.
‘Mum – come quick! Pip’s run off!’
We tore out of the supermarket and up the street to the lolly shop. A gaggle of concerned onlookers said ‘he went that away’ and pointed across the car park!
Both the children were bordering on hysterical so I decided to save kicking myself for later. We raced across the pedestrian thoroughfare that runs through the car park and some more onlookers told us they’d seen him head up past the police station.
I was yelling Pip’s name in the ridiculous sing-song high-pitched voice that Ruth had taught me. D1 was trying to help but her calls kept turning into sobs. And D2 just followed crying quietly.
There was no sign of Pip near the police station so I went inside and reported him missing. At the risk of being thought a very soppy dog owner I even showed the officer a photo of Pip on my mobile phone.
We scouted around the police station and when that failed I decided to go to the park and told the kids to walk home, going via the school. I was trying to think like Pip. Where would he go? I kept stupidly thinking he’d do a Lassie and go home but the truth was he could’ve been anywhere. And he has no road sense...
Pip wasn’t at the park but a lovely school mum stopped in her car to ask if we’d had any luck. When I said no, she said she’d cruise around in her car and see if she could spot him. I met up with the kids on the other side of the school and we walked rapidly home. Alas, Pip was not waiting for us at the back gate like I’d secretly been hoping.
Once home, I rang Him-In-Doors and ordered him to come home immediately. D2 retired to her room to find a stuffed toy and cry in private. D1 immediately sat down at the computer and began making a LOST poster.
I grabbed the car keys and cajoled D2 to come with me and look for Pip in the car. We drove around slowly for about five minutes. I wondered whether Pip might have made it to the beach.
Just as I was starting to give into despair, D2 said from the back seat, ‘Mum, your phone’s ringing!’
HOORAY! This could only mean one thing! The call had already gone to voice mail.
‘Hello Heather, it’s Mrs Lifesaver from the Bellarine Vet, just ringing to let you know we have Pippy here safe and sound!’
Drove straight to the vet. D2 burst into a new round of relieved/traumatised sobs.
Strode up to the front desk and the lovely lady went behind the scenes where I heard the phrase ‘Pip’s mum’s here.’ Felt an unaccountable burst of pride and mush.
And out bounced Pip, delightedly chewing on a free pig’s ear!