...until Caroline's birthday! She has been counting down to the big day for a couple of weeks now. I think that she has three charts at various places around the house that can tell her EXACTLY how many days at a moment's notice. She updates us about the count several times daily. :) Tonight she told us that there were "zero and a half days left". I love the way she phrased that!
On another note, yesterday we had a bit of a scare. We were about to sit down to dinner, and that means that it's time for Moxie to go in her cage or outside. So, since it was a nice, cool evening, I attached Moxie to her tether and sent her outside. The tether is attached to a post in the middle of the yard, and it allows her to have a good deal of space to run around.
We started eating. About 15 minutes into our dinner, I asked Henry and Seth to peek out at Moxie to make sure she was ok. They got up, turned around and looked outside. When they turned back to me, I could immediately see from the expressions on their faces that there was something wrong.
"Moxie's not there!," they said.
"What do you mean, Moxie's not there?!," I replied.
"Mom, she's not in the back yard!"
I quickly went to the back door and saw with my own eyes that her tether was no longer attached to the stake. My heart sank. I scanned the nature area behind our house and all of the yards beside us, and started panicking. I couldn't see her.
My thoughts started racing...Where is she? Is she OK? Would we be able to find her? What if we can't? How would this affect the kids?! The kids would lose it. So would Dave and I. I can't panic in front of the kids. Be calm, Sarah.
Dave ran to the front yard and started calling her name. The kids and I stayed in back. I told them to start calling her name. They did, and I could hear in their voices how scared they were. We walked into our neighbor's yard. "MOXIE..." Tears were welling in my eyes.
We called again, and I clapped my hand like I do sometimes when I am playing with her. All of the sudden Moxie's sweet little head popped out of some bushes in our neighbor's garden. I can not even begin to describe the immense relief I felt at seeing her precious face. Obviously the kids felt the same way, because the immediate laughter I heard was full of delight. I joined in, sharing and soaking up this happiness with my kids. We all started laughing about what she might have been doing and thinking. The kids thought that she probably just thought she was bored of our yard and our neighbor's yard looked like a good place to explore, or we didn't feed her enough kibble so she needed to eat some of their plants (which she didn't!), or she was playing a little hide and seek. :) Each subsequent idea brought new rounds of laughter.
Dave heard us and joined in helping to get her out of the bushes. We covered her with hugs and kisses. If there was ever any doubt before, there is definitely no doubt remaining. We love this dog.
Poor little Caroline...about a half an hour later, she came up to me with tears in her eyes. She told me that she thought it was her fault that Moxie got away. Earlier this afternoon, she had taken Moxie's tether off of the stake because she wanted to walk Moxie around the yard. She had forgotten to clip it back to the stake when she was done. Poor thing...she felt so guilty! I reassured her by saying that we all make mistakes, and that now we know why it is so important to never detach the tether. I was so glad she told me. I told her that I would always check that Moxie's tether was attached when I let her out too. We'll keep her safe.