Saturday, Aug. 22, was an extremely hot day, but in spite of the heat index, we decided to take the dogs for a walk. Russ had walked ahead of me with Spike and Lo-Chi, our Pug. After walking for about 20 minutes, I started to feel overcome from the heat and began walking back to our house, pausing briefly to rest on the limb of a fallen willow tree.
While I sat waiting for Russ, I was experiencing intense thirst and feelings of exhaustion. When he finally approached, I failed to notice that he only had one dog walking with him.
Barely dragging myself back across the field to my sister’s house, I stopped and asked her for a glass of water. Since I had earlier gathered a half bushel of tomatoes, I told her that I needed to get home so I could help Russ finish the canning.
About two hours later, with the tomato juice nearly finished, I asked Russ where Pug was. Usually, she’d be sitting on the rug near him. This time we had taken her presence for granted. With the canning finished, we decided to go look for her.. Thinking back, Russ feared that she had been overcome from the intense heat since she had been panting so heavily.
We searched for over two hours with no success. Our daughter and our youngest granddaughter came with us and we each took different paths around the field looking and calling for her. As night fell, we were sure that she’d be scratching at our door by early the next morning.
But the next day, she still hadn’t come home so I appealed to everyone on Facebook in the Swan Pond area to be on the lookout for Lo-Chi. As the next few days dragged on, Russ had resigned to the fact that she had died. I, on the other hand, was sure that some kind soul had found her and was trying at that very moment to return her to us. I even went so far as to post her picture on fence posts and light poles all up and down our road.
I once jokingly said that if anything ever happened to Pug we’d have to plan a wake, complete with food and visiting family. Well, we did just that in her honor with my daughter’s family in attendance. After everyone had told Pug stories and remarked about what a sweet, loving devoted dog she was, we ate burgers, baked beans, and chips, favorite comfort foods.
Since we all knew that time was running out for us finding Pug alive, we finally resigned to the fact that she had to be dead. The final realization hit me when I found myself sobbing in the shower one evening.
Sure enough, one week exactly to the day of her disappearance, Spike, her loyal friend for over 5 years, helped Russ find her body. She had crawled into some tall weeds not far from our house and died. Russ buried her body and spent some quiet time alone with her.
Lo-Chi will always remain in our hearts, will always be a part of our lives and will live always in our memories.
I dedicate this story to all people everywhere who are mourning the loss of a precious pet.