He wasn't there.

I heard him, and then I saw him. A black blur across the yard, and he was gone. That fence never did provide much of an obstacle when he really wanted to go. Squirrels, cats, and passing joggers grabbed his attention with an undeniable intensity.

I knew where he would go. My dad said he’d come back when he was ready, but I remembered the dog next door that had been hit by a car just a few months ago. That was a chance I just could not take. So I grabbed a hot dog out of the fridge and prayed it would be enough bait that he would let me put the leash on his collar. My bike was in the garage, and in moments I was racing down the street towards the park. He liked the park. There were people there, and in the nearby woods there were various small animals to chase.

I left my bike by the entrance. I called his name as I walked down the cracked asphalt path and into the woods. I followed the creek that wound behind the neighborhood where no trails went. My voice was raw, and my face was wet.

He wasn’t there.

View this story's 6 comments.