A (lost) dog story

I’m keeping this one to myself.
Today a tradesman was at my house doing some work. I was home alone. I asked him to keep the gate closed. We have a dog. Rocky. (you may remember him from this blog)
The tradesman was going in and out but the gate remained closed. Rocky was playing inside.
He’s not the kind of dog to run away – he has separation anxiety. He’s my wife’s 3rd child.
Not mine. The thought of a third child gives me a panic attack. And I’m still not a dog fan.
The tradie left after a couple of hours. Rocky was by my side just 10 minutes before he left.
So when my calling and whistling didn’t bring him to me, like he usually does, I knew……..
Rocky was M.I.A.
I’ll be honest. I panicked. 10% dog panic, 140% wife panic.

There is nothing on this earth that would upset her more than to find out that her 3rd child was missing.
I walked the streets. I was role playing the phone call in my head…..how could I break it to her, what could I possibly say that could be worse than me losing the dog?
“Hi Darling. Are you sitting down?………………”
“Someone died – no no I’m only kidding but the dog is missing”
“I’m really sick, I might not make it….. – LOL I’m joking …….but I have lost the dog.”
“Listen I’m in the hospital there has been an accident – stop crying …. I’m having a laugh…. But, I can’t find Rocky”
“I’m taking the children and moving to Queensland………what, no wait, why do you sound so happy……..well, actually no it won’t be just you and the dog because…..…..”
Not one of these would be worse than a missing Rocky.
It may only have been minutes searching but in that time I went through many scenarios. I thought maybe it best if I left the country.
In my head I was on a beach in Mexico sipping mojito’s.

I’ll be honest…again. I did consider stopping the search. Mexico was sounding like a good option.
But a bark broke my focus and brought me back to Melbourne. There was Rocky at the top of the road bounding towards me.
He walked back with me like a 5 year old child. Skipping and playing, not a care in the world.
We had a little cuddle when no one was looking. I was pleased to see him. More than I would have thought. It took me by surprise. Not that I would ever tell anyone that.
I haven’t told my wife this story yet. And I never will. Like the time I lost my son in the park or backed my car into hers. She still thinks it was some “loser” in a car park.
I like this private confessional. It’s quite cathartic.
But I’m not a religious person so I’ll substitute the Hail Mary’s for some bloody marys tonight.
And I would certainly never write publicly about this. Nobody needs to know.
Particularly my wife.
This one’s for me.