Last week marked the most challenging week I’ve experienced out here, so far. Mid-terms appeared out of nowhere on top of the usual, heaping amounts of homework, plus 40 hours of work, commuting and interviewing for internship opportunities. My computer faced technical difficulties last Monday, Keegan’s jeep stopped running AND I lost our dog! The last part was definitely the worst. I wouldn’t wish a missing animal or human on anyone. It’s the worst feeling ever.

I was checking our mail on the phone with my mom when Buddy snuck out the front door. I didn’t realize he was missing ’til I had outlined 6 chapters in one sitting. I took a break to eat dinner and thought “Time to feed Buddy….wait. Where the fuck is the dog?” I raced around the house then took off running down our street like black Friday shoppers gaining access to the mall. I called out his name with nothing in return. My heart pounded against my ribs as I frantically wondered how on Earth to break the news to Keegan.

He got home, and we searched for hours. Buddy was nowhere to be found.  My stomach swallowed the loss like a child holding his nose and a teaspoon full of Pepto-Bismol–I could barely sleep at all that night. I leaped out of bed when the glaring alarm clock greeted me the following morning. The search continued around 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday.

I started by registering Buddy’s microchip once I finally found the information tucked away in a filing cabinet. Then, my trip to the Humane Society rendered me empty-handed, but the Lost Dog Report put my mind at ease. Once I had my coffee fix, I was suddenly filled with optimism. “Maybe we really will find Buddy”, I thought. After all, the odds are 50/50. We either find him or we don’t. I harnessed this energy and gripped it for dear life. Nothing ever felt more daunting than trying to locate my elderly Beagle whom resides in a very busy part of town. I had to stay positive; I couldn’t give up. So I rushed back home, grabbed the flyers Keegan printed and got to handing them out.

I covered our entire street with the exception of 2 houses. Undefeated, I drove like a bat out of hell to Fed-Ex to print more fliers. I spent the last few dollars to my name on these flyers as I prayed (yes, prayed) “Please bring my dog back home”.

As soon as I sat in the car with my thick stack of flyers, I got the call. My neighbor explained how her roommate was outside, and Buddy wandered up to her. She told me they could bring the dog whenever, and I told her I’d be home in 5, but it was really more like 2 minutes, tops. Giddy with excitement, I parked my car and walked aimlessly past our house, looking both ways and wondering whose door would be the one to show my dog to me as I bolted towards their yard with immeasurable enthusiasm.

The third house across the street on the right had my dog. I watched the door open and Buddy enter the light past their shaded porch. He took one look at me and ran across the street. I practically melted like butter flung on a preheated pan: My Buddy was back, and I was in the street on my knees, bawling my eyes out. It was quite the emotional reunion. I composed myself enough to ask for hugs from his rescuers. If it wasn’t for them, who knows how much further away he would’ve gotten for us. We cried out his name for hours the night before, and he was close to us all along. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had heard our desperate, grief-striken pleas for him to come home. The girls eyes met mine with tears. I think we all cried together on that fateful afternoon as I thanked them repeatedly for looking after our dog.

I’ll never forget that day. October 14th will forever be etched in my mind as the day I got lucky. Not everyone finds their dog when they get loose, but we did. My roommate reports Buddy’s anxiety has increased since the incident. He’s barking every morning after we leave, much like he did for a month after we snagged him from the pound. But he’s home and that’s all that matters. His anxiety will eventually subdue.

My sense of gratitude returns. Everything will be okay as long as we have Buddy and the girls.

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Plus I got paid recently (finally!!) so I treated myself to some much-deserved fall boots and pants.

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Other than that, I’m enjoying a slower pace of life. Audio books entertain me more than I ever imagined. I actually look forward to my commute. It’s impressive how many books I can cover with nearly 2 hours each day dedicated to riding in the car. I should’ve invested in audio books years ago.

I finally finished Eat, Pray Love and laughed along to Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns). Jon Stewart’s Earth (the Book) was sadly a major let-down, but Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris might be my favorite so far. And if critics complain of this book as a bore compared to his earlier works, I’m eager to dig deep in his past. His writing encourages me to challenge myself and my secret dreams of becoming an author someday. I have an uncle and an aunt on opposite sides of my family whom have both been published in recent years. So I’m inclined to believe that writing is in my blood, but rarely do I apply myself.

And speaking of the commute, I haven’t GPS-ed my work address in several days! What a feat. Each evening I drive home with a spectacular view of the Rockies directly in front of me, and it’s absolutely beautiful. I hope to never take that for granted, either. Between the views of the mountains and the mid 70’s temperatures (in what should be a very chilly month for Colorado), I really can’t complain.

Last weekend I obliged Keegan to join me in all the bwg Fall activities, but he didn’t seem to mind. From pumpkin patches and haunted houses to mapping out our mortgage plans, I’d say life is pretty good.

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First visit to City Park
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The FoCo equivalent of Cenennial Park
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Simply lovely
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Perfect, sunny weather
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The best pumpkin patch ever! Stocked with pumpkins, sunflowers, tomatoes, watermelons, peppers and flowers for the pickin. This place was huge.
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Team building activities at work

And before we wrap things up, here’s a few songs that have caught my ear recently. Because I never end a post without awesome music!!

New Neon Indian

So I searched these guys on Spotify on Saturday, and it turns out they released a new album on Friday. Craziness! But the entire album is amazing, nearly tie-worthy with my favorite album of theirs, Psychic Chasms released in 2009.

I’ve always been a fan of Star Slinger, but his collaborative efforts with Teams from Knoxville totes rocks my socks.