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The Night Princess Went Missing

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Like most scary stories, this one begins in a dark and stormy night. Well, it was actually evening, but it was still dark and stormy. Princess, my 60-pound lovable pitbull mix and the first dog I ever owned as an adult, needed to go outside to do her business. So I let her out the back door. When I returned a few minutes later to let her back in, she was gone.

At the time, I had a fenced-in backyard. The gates were shut. She had escaped before - normally because someone had left a gate open - but she always immediately ran around to the front door. Those times, though, the weather was sunny. This time the thunder must have spooked her, so she was nowhere to be seen.

Princess in the backyard Princess in the backyard

I called for her several times, both in the backyard hoping she was behind a tree, an in the front yard hoping she would hear me and run up to me, happy as ever.

But she didn’t.

I drove around my neighborhood, yelling her name through my open car window, in the rain, hoping to find her. Hoping she would run up, excited to see me, wanting to jump in the warm car.

But she didn’t.

I felt numb. I didn’t know what to do.

I retreated to my house to think. Will I ever see my dog again? At this point in my life, I’d had her for five years. And I’d had her since she was just over eight weeks old, so she’d known me almost her entire life.

She meant a lot to me. She’d been with me in some of the loneliest times in my life. She’d been with me in some of the happiest. I needed to see her again. I was scared I never would.

I decided I would put an ad on Craigslist.

I was scared and numb, though. I didn’t know what to write. What I ended up writing sounds childish, sad even, so it best expresses how I was feeling:

My dog ran away and she really means a lot to me. She answers to the name Princess and knows how to sit. She has a red collar on but unfortunately her dog tags fell off. I live around where [road] ends into [other road]. Please call me at [phone number] if you find her. I really hope I get to see her again.

After I posted the ad on Craigslist and making sure the sound was on my phone was on, I went to bed. I didn’t sleep. I couldn’t sleep. I never missed my dog so much in my life.

There had been times when I had to head out of town and leave her at a kennel. I missed her then, certainly, but at those times I knew I would see her again. This time, however, I didn’t know if I would ever see her again.

A few minutes into lying on my bed, my phone rang. Did someone find Princess? I sat up and looked at my phone. I didn’t recognize the number - but the area code was the same as mine. This was definitely promising!

Eagerly I answered the phone. The person on the other end had seen my Craigslist post. They didn’t have my dog, though. They did have information about her - they had seen another lost dog post on Craigslist, or rather, a found dog post on Craigslist.

I whole-heartily thanked them and eagerly looked up this post on Craigslist.

It was Princess!

I called the number on the post. Thankfully they answered the phone right away. Princess had ended up on the front door of someone else’s house just down the road, and this kind soul had let her in from the storm.

I hopped in my car and drove the road, excited to see my Princess. The house was easy to find, and the people answered the door right away. I carried Princess to my car (no small endeavor as she’s 60 pounds!) and went home.

I was happy to see Princess, and she was happy to be home.

Pretty Princess Pretty Princess

24 comments for The Night Princess Went Missing

  • This is great! I’m so glad your furry friend was able to come home to you. My dog has run away from home several times and each is more frighten then the last. He is about 13 years old and his age is really starting to show. Every time he manages to run off and comes back we are very thankful to see him.

  • avatar for Daniela Daniela

    Oh man this is my worst nightmare. It’s amazing the kindness of others, though! Love your blog! I am a HUGE dog lover and own two pitties myself!

  • avatar for Roxy Roxy

    This literally almost brought me to tears. I have two fur babies who I would be absolutely sick if they were missing. When we are away and have others caring for them I’m always so scared something will happen to them. I will never forget a few years ago we were in Chicago (4 hour car ride) and as soon as we had gotten settled my mom called and said my little baby was throwing up and having seizures. I was immediately a hot mess, cried the whole way back, and drove straight to the hospital where she was. I’m sooo glad you found Princess!

  • If one of my pets went missing I’d be a wreck! I’m so glad your pup made it home ok. It’s so scary worrying about all of the things that could happen to them when they are out in the world alone.

  • Glad you found her! One time a contractor left the door open and I couldn’t find Mr. N anywhere. I called and called him. I was getting ready to put my shoes on and look for him when I realized he had been standing behind me the entire time. He was very puzzled why I kept calling him when he was already there.

  • OMG so, so scary! So glad you were able to find her quickly. I love the idea of the GPS devices; the problem is that the small ones don’t seem to be overly effective and the large ones are cumbersome. Hopefully they’ll come up with a good way for us to lowjack our dogs.

  • Not knowing where your dog is can certainly be considered the worst feeling ever. I lost a dog that I never found…have a feeling someone kept her. She had been dumped at a hotel and I took her in. I still wonder what happened to her. I am so glad that you found her through Craig’s list. Social media has its plusses.

  • Oh my gosh I was on pins and needles reading this story I am so thankful that you found your Princess once again unharmed and perfectly safe. What a blessing for the internet.

  • Oh my goodness, I would have been a mess! I always felt more relaxed after we got our Whistle monitor but at night we always took off Shasta’s collar. This definitely makes me rethink the nightly ritual of taking off a collar just so we sleep better!

  • The thought of one of our pups going missing is one I think about with dread. I can only imagine how upset and worried you were for Princess, there is no way I’d be able to sleep either! How wonderful that your neighbour found her and kept her safe for you, the power of the internet is brilliant for these instances!

  • We have had cats go missing for a time. Worst times of my life because they mean the world to me.

    All of our cats are microchipped, and so I hope it would be easy for people to find us to bring them back!

  • This is the kind of thing that my anxiety disordered brain uses for night terrors. SO glad it ends well. YIKES! What wonderful neighbours. I am still searching for a GPS tracker that is small enough for my 3.5 pounder to wear. I am lucky though … we live in a condo. He would have to get out of the apartment, then down the elevator and out the fob needed to exit doors … without being seen by the many people here that love him. But damn! When we travel - in foreign lands … I admit I worry.

  • avatar for Talent Hounds Talent Hounds

    Few things scarier than losing a dog. Kilo the Pug bolted a few times early on and nearly gave me a heart attack. He slipped his old harness but he came back very quickly as I keep bags of treats to shake by the doors. Thank goodness your neighbor took your dog in and then alerted you. I found a beautiful lab lost on our street when I was picking up my daughter at 1.30am from a party once. We took her in after driving around looking and listening for an owner as it was snowing, windy and well below zero. I called the number on her collar in Florida (I was in Toronto). The next morning, my husband’s best friend’s Dad showed up so happy to find his beloved dog safe and sound. They had just returned from wintering south and she had run out the door a few blocks from our house and got lost in the snow. He had searched for hours right near us but just missed her. Microchips and Tags are so important.

  • avatar for Beth Beth

    I’m glad it turned out so well. Thank goodness that person put two and two together and called you! It is a terrible feeling when a dog goes missing! Theo slipped out of our yard last summer. Although he was probably only gone for 15 minutes, it felt like hours.

  • Wow! Such a happy ending. I know you are thankful the person cared enough to call you to tell you they say a “found” listing on Craigslist. I’ve heard of dogs bolting from their years during a thunderstorm. Glad things are okay now.

  • What a scary ordeal for both of you! I’m so happy she was take. In by your kind neighbors! I would never think to put an ad on Craig’s List, but if this ever happens, I will. You just never know. Is Princess microchipped? If so anyone could take her to any vet and they could scan her and call you. I’m a firm believer in micro chipping.

  • Oh my Gawd, what a harrowing night!! I would have sick with worry too. I’m sure you got those tags replaced Fast & probably microchipped her too? You were both so lucky that night. Thank heaven for the kindness of strangers. Love & biscuits, Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

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