I couldn't find her. She was there. On the porch. I went inside to start dinner. Then 15, maybe 20, minutes later I went back out and she was gone.
I slipped on my shoes and patrolled the yard, raking every corner with my eyes. The panic began to swell in my chest, then my throat. I shouldn't have left her alone.
A few months ago we found out that our dog has cancer, a tumor in her lung bigger than a fist that had started to spread throughout her body. We watched her decline like passengers in a boat that had sprung a leak, then another, patching her up while we all held on. Forced breathing. Loss of appetite. Limbs that would suddenly crumple like napkins beneath her. We knew where we were going with her. We were buying time.
But now she was gone.
I grabbed my car key and rolled through the neighborhood, windows down, calling and calling. Jordy!