The Prodigal Dog Returns and Brings with Him All Joy: Everyday Magic, Day 522

The phone rang right after Kelley and I finished our sushi and tempura on this rainy Tuesday. “I better get this. It could be about the dog,” I told Kelley as I glanced at the unfamiliar number. Then the miracle happened: “I think we found your dog,” a woman said. Whoever she was, I loved her immediately.

Turns out Shay has been on a little walkabout, three days of roaming in the high wind and vast rain. He turned up at a house about 3 miles as the crow flies, and more as I drove there in a hurry, with a box of miniature cupcakes (thank you, Cupcake Construction Company, for the perfect gift).

“We lost our dog six months ago, and so I read the lost dogs ads in the paper everyday,” she told me. “When he turned up, I thought, ‘That’s the dog in the ad!'”” The $22 I spent on this ad was obviously the best $22 I ever spent. She and her kind husband opened their garage store and out sprang Shay, much thinner and so happy to see me.

Now that we’re home post-three bowls of food, post-bath (his first in our house), post-water all over all the floors that he slid in as he ran, all is well with the world. Shay lies beside me, chewing on his big bone, cushioned in his bed that the cat was keeping warm for him for days. He’s not letting me out of his sight and visa-versa.

The adventure he experienced was surely hard but also mysterious to us. Where was he? How did he keep warm? What did he eat? Did he find any shelter along the way? The adventure we experienced brought us in touch with so many people who love dogs, particularly our neighbors who are mostly living close with a dog or two. My heart particularly goes out to a neighbor who lost a similar but different dog a month ago. There’s something about a dog that makes the human heart shine.

Viva la Shay! Long live the wonderful retired couple who found him and knew this was a dog of love who had a family. May all dogs be happy, may all dogs be free, and may all lost dogs find their way home.

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