During the summer the wind had blown over their backyard fence. Insurance adjusters have never been accused of acting speedily and so in between them and finding a contractor to put up a new fence it still hasn't been completely finished. However, since I hadn't been over in awhile I assumed that by now (months and months later) it would be OK to bring the dogs.
The neighbor that they usually share a fence with (when it is intact) is really strange. He hides behind shrubbery and trees that are about an 1/8 of an inch wide (and he's not that small) in order to avoid talking to people. My parent's share a pine tree with a few guinea fowl and every year their babies get eaten by skunks, raccoons, you name it--they aren't the best at defending themselves or their young. Stuart (the neighbor) shot a skunk last time we spent the night at my parents. I'm going somewhere with this--just keep reading.
So, here we are. Me and my 3 girls. Two of which I can find. The third--that would be Sophie--is nowhere to be seen. My mom and I call and call for her and she won't come. About 15 minutes later, my mom is getting pretty worked up and worried that we can't find her. And, I was trying to work up something that would resemble sadness at the loss of Sophie; but well, my lunch was on the table and I was hungry. My mom jumped in her car to go looking for her. I ate my lunch convinced she'd come back and if she didn't I hoped a nice person got her. I did have the heart to hope she didn't get hit by a car. And, if she did, that she'd die quickly (the thought of extensive vet bills never, ever entered my head. Never).
Mom came back without Sophie so we decided to investigate Stuart's back yard further since it was the only logical place she could be. Fortunately, he didn't appear to be home. We walked all around his yard, calling, peering into bushes. Then we heard Soph's unmistakable bay. Like she's howling at the moon. Except that we'd been talking so we couldn't quite tell where it came from except that she was close. I kept calling for her hoping she'd re-bay but she didn't until we were about to go explore somewhere else and I heard her whine. From Stuart's back porch. We hadn't looked there. We'd glanced in, but it seemed like an invasion of privacy to actually step foot in there.
We looked all around his back porch. Obviously she was stuck somewhere or she'd have come. I had a fleeting thought that Stu may be holding her hostage just to be mean (I mean, if you're that strange then people are going to assume that you hold beloved pets that people have been looking for for ransom--boy, would he have been disappointed--he may have made enough off of Sophie to get a cup of coffee).
Then I saw an animal trap. It was a catch and release kind and there were empty cans of cat food in it. Soph LOVES cat food. She was shivering like a leaf and barely fit in there, but somehow she'd managed. I was laughing so hard I couldn't figure out how to spring her from the slammer. My mom was upset and kept saying, "Poor Sophie." Poor Sophie indeed. It was her stupid stomach that got her caged like a wild, dumb animal. Trapped like a rat. We set her free but didn't reset the trap. Which would be very confusing, I imagine considering Soph ate all his bait.