After nearly two weeks, two weeks in which I called and looked and then began the slow sad descent into acceptance that he was most likely dead, Jack came home.
It was like my birthday and Christmas all rolled into one.
I had just got home from an evening at Grandmas and was locking up the chickens. My shirt was wet and cold because it had been pouring at her house and I hadn't thought to bring a rain jacket. Thunder was rolling off in the distance, and I just wanted to shut the chickens up and head back inside for a little quality time with my video games.
Except that when I turned around I saw my two kitties were lined up at the edge of the drive begging for dinner. So I petted them and reassured them that they were the best most fierce hunters in the whole world and began to follow them over to their dishes. It was about then that I saw something skirting the edge of the flash light beam.
My first thought was oh my god it's a bear I'm gonna die.
Followed by, I should have brought the gun and not died like an idiot.
Which was then followed by the shape stopping and looking back at me. I was smart enough to not shine the light directly into it's eyes and it was then that I realized it was Jack. I called to him and he took a few steps towards me that turned into a trot when he heard the far off thunder. He didn't seem to want to enter the flash light beam so I switched it off and stood in the near darkness and called to my dog.
Without thinking I went down on one knee and instantly Jack was their in my arms licking my face like he had thought he would never see me again. I didn't even think to grab his collar, I just held him to me and petted him and told him everything was going to be okay. Again without thinking I pulled off my belt and looped it though his collar and walked him back to the house.
Apparently Auto-pilot-Holly is an extremely efficient and well thought out person.
Unfortunately I can't seem to tap her at will and I am stuck with Kinda -doesn't-think-things-through-all-the-way-Holly.
But I digress.
I got Jack inside and called to Scott and he came running and got us a towel and got Jack some wet food and all I could do was hug my dog to me and repeat that he had come home over and over again until it really sunk home and I smelled like wet dog.
Then their was the flurry of calling and texting all the people that were worried about him and of course the farm sitter who was probably feeling kinda bad that the dog got loose on his watch even though these things happen in life but nobody could have predicted that he would have been gone so long.
But at least I have a dog to sleep at my feet again while I am typing.
He might be skinny and starved and covered in ticks but he's home now.