A Girl, a Dog on a Walkabout

The title just about says it all. But today’s blog is not about blithe humor or sarcasm, today’s blog is about reality and fear. Today’s blog is about parenting and our deepest fear. Losing our child.

This afternoon was normal. I picked up the Princess from school and we came home. She greeted the dogs and had a snack. She wanted to go out to her playhouse. I reminded her that Daddy had wanted her to clean the playhouse out of the excess toys.

She responded with a disgruntled growl and stomp. The usual response when she doesn’t want to do as asked. I then took a call for work that lasted one hour and six minutes.The Princess came in while I was saying my good byes. She tried to pull Riley (dachshund/Jack Russell mix) off of my lap. I told her no. I was making notes from my call when I realized Riley wasn’t around, so I assumed she’d put him on the runline. Strike 1.

Well we all know what happens when we assume (if you don’t know, ask around and someone will be glad to tell you). So then I assumed she had him in the playhouse. Strike 2.

I then assumed she’d taken him back and forth on our dead end row. Well you can guess it, Strike 3.

Now I am worried, I call out. I check the house. I holler at Mr B aka The Teen to bike around. I text Ron that I am going out to look for her. I go out and begin searching only to become lost and have to use the GPS on my phone to get back to our house. Aww the irony.

Ron comes home and he looks while I stay. Brandon returns home. I decide now it’s time to call 911.Did I tell you that I have yet to memorize my home phone number? So of course they will eventually ask that.

“911 what is your emergency?”

“My little girl and dog our missing.”  (Why did I just mention the dog?)

“How long ago, ma’am? ”

Bad parent moment coming, I am not sure what time my recently diagnosed autistic child with the alphabet backpack of diagnosis left the backyard.

“Somewhere between 3:30 and 4:15.”

Moment of silence…she must be judging me.

“What was she wearing? ”

This one is easy..”blue jeans, teal shirt, denim jacket and leopard boots. The dog is wearing a red collar with white bones and a matching red leash.” (Yes, I just did describe what the dog was wearing.)

They asked for her name and I gave them both names; hers and the dogs.

“Someone will be right over.”

I began to pray trying to not have my mind go to scenarios that were frightening. I was scared and shaking. Frustrated the sheriff department wasn’t here yet. (Can’t they drive like bats out of hell, my baby is missing.) I want sirens, I want speed. I want them to be here 30 seconds after I call.

The Sgt arrives. How special, he remembers The Princess from her last run away episode. He walks through the house twice checking everywhere. Out of habit I apologize for the mess. I eye roll at myself.

Over an hour has passed since I realized she was gone. Time begins to creep. Four sheriff deputies are out there and no sight of my little girl with our small dog. My hands are sweating, I am shaking. The odds are poor. I mean how hard can it be to find a little girl walking a dog.

Oh right, this isn’t our small town where everyone knows her and keeps tabs on here. She is one out of many in this area. She doesn’t get that. She thinks everyone should know who she is because we tell her she is cute and wonderfully made and God doesn’t make junk. Everyone should see that.

Finally at approximately the 90 minute mark, the radio call comes in that they have found them three miles away. They were walking on an irrigation behind a brewery.  Seemed to take forever for them to get her to my arms. Wasn’t sure to hug her or yell at her. I hugged her. The sheriff deputies explained to her  the consequences sometimes of living in a bigger area and not every person is nice. I don’t know if it was understood by her.

As I am softly crying and The Princess walks up and said “I just wanted to show Riley my new school and got lost.I wasn’t sure how that happened.”

Oh my precious daughter,

There are evil and unkind people out there

There are dangers of vehicles hitting you

The ditches run fast and you could drown.

The world is a scary place, we want to protect you

Being a parent is scary. Heart wrenching at times.Fearful at times. But when those little lost arms go around your neck and you hear, “I’m sorry mommy, I was scared but I’m not now.” In that moment your heart melts and those tears of fear become tears of joy.

Will this be The Princess’ last adventure?  I doubt that. We will probably become close friends with the Bonneville County Sheriff department.  They are a great group of folks that will have the fortunate (or unfortunate -depending on how you view it)  opportunity to know The Princess. It was jokingly stated that I should send weekly updates and recent pictures to them. Then the seriously suggested we build a fence and that The Princess clean her room.

Tonight I am mentally and physically exhausted. Riley is worn out. His little legs and tick body didn’t appreciate a 3 mile jaunt. He is staying far away from The Princess and laying next to me.

Things are back to normal; The Teen is grumbling,  The Princess is refusing to sleep and is on her third trip to the bathroom. Ron and I said a prayer of thanks to our Abba. Now it’s my turn to get lost–in sleep that is.

Hold your children close tonight because you never know what will happen tomorrow.



I am a wife, mother, and pastor. We moved from Bowling Green, Missouri to Idaho Falls in 2016. I am a native of Eastern Washington state. In 2013 I had 2 strokes in 8 days and this is my journey of faith, family and health. I believe no matter what happens in your life that God can use it for His glory.

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