That title is thanks to Bethany, it was her summary of the day’s events in one sentence. Up until that point Beth had stayed in our room playing on the Xbox seemingly unfazed by the fact that at midday our gorgeous year old rescue dog had gone missing.
I was doing well on Sunday, I’d got the chores in order, kept the kids occupied and managed to calm a meltdown by quickly whipping up some gluten free waffles. Then the phone call came. All I could hear at first was what I thought was the inside of Brett’s pocket ‘He’s bum phoned me’ I thought to myself. I could hear him shouting ‘Hope, HOPE’ and just assumed he was calling her back to him from across a field. The second call came seconds later; this time Brett answered ‘I’ve lost Hope’.
We don’t know why she did, but she just bolted like her life depended on it and that was it, gone!
I finished serving up the waffles and ran upstairs to tell Beth what had happened and asked her to come downstairs to be with Lewis while they ate their waffles, hardly ideal but Brett needed another pair of eyes and lungs to shout after her.
Thirty minutes turned into an hour, I called home to reassure Lewis that we were getting closer to finding her and we’d be home soon. Then I took to social media at the same time as Brett and we posted, tagged and shared our dilemma with everyone and anyone. My sister who lives nearby came out with her family to walk the route from our house to the park to see if Hope was trying to make her way home, the trouble was she’d only walked to this particular park with me once, all the other times we’ve driven.
Another friend and her children came out to help us look, if it wasn’t for her and my sister I’d have been a mess, I asked everyone I could if they’d seen a little dog and no one had. I came across two lads on their bikes who asked if I was the lady who’d lost my dog, they offered to bike around the surrounding streets to help in the search and I gave them my number to let me know how they got on. My sister on the other hand gave my mobile number out to EVERYONE and that was the key to our happy ending.
Before then we had the horrific decision to make to leave the park and go home, but not before Brett had gone home and fetched Lewis so he could take part in the search. My heart broke in two when I turned to look across the other side of the playground to see Lewis running towards a dog and its owner. Immediately I realised that he’d mistaken the dog to be Hope, he slowed as he approached and realised and then as if once wasn’t enough he saw another dog close to the park café and began to run towards that one too, it was devastating to watch.
We met back up, I gave Lewis a cuddle and we agreed to go back home, between us we’d been out there for three hours and we were mentally and physically exhausted. When we got back to the house I registered Hope missing on Lost Dogs and checked in on all the social media shares and comments. Friends were offering to go to the park and help with the search, others had shared to relevant Facebook Groups and the rest were just gutted for us and wishing us well. If there’s one thing I didn’t feel in those five hours it was alone.
My parents had come over by this time, our plans to go to theirs for Sunday dinner in ruins so Mum decided to bring dinner to us and emptied all the pots and pans out of her bags and proceeded to continue to cook the dinner in our kitchen. In the meantime I sat in the living room staring at Hopes favourite chew toy, numb. My aunty had just finished work and came over to see what she could do to help and called around the vets for me.
Faith lay on the door mat this entire time looking at the door, her worry was evidently clear.
Unknown to me the lady who had linked Hope and Faith up with our family (their Godmother) was on her way back from London and had picked up on my post on Facebook, she spent the rest of her journey calling up all the dog walkers she knew in the area and had groups going out across the parish adding to the search.
Mum announced she was going to be dishing up in five minutes, I wasn’t hungry, I don’t think any of us were, we felt too sick. Then I got a call.
‘Have you still lost your dog?’
‘Yes’ I held my breath.
I’ve just seen her running into the woods.
I shouldn’t have but I instantly felt elated, she’d been found, thank goodness. Brett, Lewis and I all ran out to the car, I grabbed Faith and her lead as I left. My logic being that Faith would bark and call out to Hope or even pick up on her scent?
I think I started to get out of the car before Brett had fully pulled up and looked at my feet, ballet pumps Rebecca, really! I said to Lewis, start running with your dad to the woods, I’ll sort Faith out. We ran in a line towards the woods passing bewildered families out for an afternoon stroll in the sunshine. The lady who had called was stood by the entrance to the woodland walk and told us Hope hadn’t come back out so Lewis, Brett and I split up (I would never have left Lewis under normal circumstances and the thought makes me shudder now but I was in full panic mode and wanted our dog back).
We shouted for what felt like well over ten minutes I could hear Lewis and Brett calling out in the distance, then I worried, what if she was in here and got confused at all the calls and ran out or, what if it wasn’t Hope in the first place. The doubts started to seep into my mind.
I turned the last corner, I’d reached the edge of the woods and then Hope came running around the corner. I squealed ‘HOPE!’ and the poor thing turned to run in a panic. She hadn’t recognised me, I knelt down and called her again and she stopped then Faith barked and Hopes ear pricked up and she ran full pelt, and launched herself into my arms.
I called out to Brett and Lewis ‘I’ve got her, I’ve got her’ and only then did I suddenly get that motherly instinct of where’s my baby! Thank heavens Lewis was not far and he found me soon after Brett did. The next few minutes were filled with me frantically calling everyone to say we’d found her, and she was now firmly on a lead. On leaving the woodland we came across the wonderful lady who’d alerted us and it became clear that dog walkers had been passing my number onto each other as they left the area; the sense of community was overwhelming.
The only person I hadn’t called was mum who was on pause dishing up our dinner. Brett pointed out we were almost home and wouldn’t it be lovely if Hope burst through the door, so that’s what we did and as I got in the house last I heard mum squeal from the kitchen in pretty much the same way I had when she ran around the corner in the woods.
That was when my Duracell batteries wore out and I flopped, we ate our dinners and I let Hope sit on my lap at the table afterwards (a total no-no normally) Faith took some time to forgive Hope for putting her through the worst hours of her life and made little snarling sounds each time Hope came near but she didn’t take long to give into Hopes nudges of apology.
It wasn’t until Mum and Dad had gone home that Bethany stood at the kettle making us all a cup of tea and turned to me and said ‘I knew we’d find her in the end, we may have lost Hope but we still had Faith’.
What a wonderful way to look at it.
UPDATE, we found Hope! Thank you to all the dog walkers of Bedford you are all utterly amazing. Hope was spotted and I was called, we got to the park and ran to the scene, it took another 10mins to find her, the moment I saw her she nearly ran but then jumped into my arms ❤ pic.twitter.com/40p2rivNhp
— Glutarama (@Glutarama) 13 May 2018