Monday, December 28, 2009
No pet has been better loved than our canine son, Thunder. Of course, we try to love our pets unconditionally, but this 8 year old dog/child of ours has meant more than we could ever have imagined before having pets. He is the most empathetic, wise, old soul of a dog that we have ever encountered. No offense humans, but that canine has more sense in his little paw than most homosapiens we know. So it is with the greatest sadness that I tell you that Thunder has been missing since 8:00 PM on December 23rd.
On that evening, our Chica, using the poorest possible judgement, tried to multitask and do a few errands while walking the dogs. She tied Thunder and Roxie to a post outside the very busy La Paz market and when she returned, Thunder was gone. We got a call at almost 9pm that night while dining at a friend`s house. Within minutes, we were searching the rainy streets of Madrid in four groups with Maria and her mother rounding out our search party. We were scheduled to leave for Switzerland at 7 AM, ten hours after receiving that phone call, and still weren`t packed. Hours later, having found two people who had spotted Thunder running through the streets, we regrouped to figure out a plan.
With non-refundable tickets, and the sense that 5 people would be no more useful than one, it was decided that Chip and the kids would fly to Geneva and I would stay to put up posters with Maria. Reports were filed with the police and a poster was made of Thunder, looking his finest, offering a 500 euro reward. And now, the hard part. We wait.
The Spanish are kind-hearted dog lovers. They treat their pets fantastically and appreciate love for a pet. Several passersby were nearly moved to tears when they saw us putting up the posters; several offered to assist. We thought the reward money would bring Thunder back more quickly during a holiday when everything closes. But in every population, reward money can bring out the devil.
Now we find ourselves in a canine version of the movies Ransom and The Changling -- where Angelina Jolie loses her son, then the police return a boy that looks close, but isn`t hers. We`ve received a dubious phone call from a man that couldn`t answer any questions about Thunder, but swears his brother has him three hours outside Madrid. He offers to drive the distance, then meet to exchange the dog for the money. Maria explains that Thunder has a chip embedded in his soulder with an ID number and as soon as they take him to a vet and scan the number, we will be thrilled to make the exchange. When the caller hears this, he loses his enthusiasm. Oh, he claims, it isn`t about the money...it`s because it`s Christmas... he says he`ll call us back, but doesn`t.
Please, please, let this be the time that some kind-hearted person has rescued Thunder from that rainy night; that the lovely person has a hunch that Thunder might like a smoked almond and a piece of a clementine while being petted all night; that this angel has waited until Monday to take the dog to the proper autorities because everything has been closed. Let Thunder think that he has been away at a dog spa and that we`ll be picking him up any minute...