Cooter and his cousin Shaker were talking on the phone yesterday–mostly about that ever-loving Minecraft game. (Do NOT get me started. They weren’t even playing it–just talking about it. They can do that FOR HOURS.) Then Shaker cut it short, saying, “I’m sorry. I have to go. Elvis is missing, and me and Dad have to go look for him.”
Elvis had not only left the building, but he had left the yard, and possibly the whole neighborhood.
It was quite distressing to hear. Elvis is Leroy’s, my sister Mess Cat’s, and Shaker’s black pug. He is adorable but he can’t hear a lick. And although he can tell when it is time to eat to the very minute, his sense of direction is not very good either. Bless him, he had gone outside and, in the words of Cousin Wash on “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?”, “RUNNOFT.”
On one of the hottest days of our Georgia summer.
My heart was heavy for the rest of the afternoon and into the evening. Texts to my sister telling her I was thinking about her got no replies. Elvis is no longer a young fellow, and he can’t handle the partying like he used to. I was worried.
We all were. He’s been a member of the family for so long I’ve forgotten what he looked like without the white hairs on his muzzle.
When the littles and I got in last night, Aub asked if Shaker had called me.
She announced with much fanfare. “Elvis has been found!”
I called to get the details. Prayers and wishes had been answered. Elvis was home.
Shaker answered and was quite pleased. “Yes, I’m glad he’s here. I don’t know what I’d do without a dog to ignore.”
Oh me. That cracked me up. Elvis is an old man, y’all, and he doesn’t enjoy playing with the little people much anymore. Plus the whole not hearing well thing only convinces Shaker that Elvis is ignoring him as well. He even told his Mama, “And Elvis wouldn’t know what to do without a boy to ignore.”
Excuse me while I wipe my tears…..from laughing so hard. Bless him.
When I finally got to talk to Mess Cat, the story got even better. And I laughed even harder. First of all, my sister, bless her heart, rushed home from work when she got the call, so she could help look for him. So there she was, walking up and down their road, knocking on doors, asking if anyone had seen Elvis.
Y’all. I can only imagine the looks on folks’ faces. Too funny.
This is the road we grew up on since we were very young, long before they paved it. There are only two neighbors who still live there who have been there for a long time. One of them is Miss Helen.
Miss Helen lives next door to Blackberry Flats where we grew up and where Mess Cat and her family, Elvis included, live now. When Mama was in the hospital, Miss Helen, a few years older than Mama, helped us out with things like checking the mail and feeding the cat, Rev. One evening, Mess Cat decided to go back and spend the night at Mama’s. We called to let Miss Helen know that my sister would be at the house, so she wouldn’t be worried when she saw the lights. “That’s all right with me,” Miss Helen replied. That brought us joy, and wondering if something would be all right with Miss Helen was sure to bring a smile during those hard weeks. It still does.
So yesterday afternoon as Mess Cat was asking folks if they’d seen Elvis, she was also telling folks she lived next door to Miss Helen.
And not many folks looked like they knew who she was talking about. Which means that not many folks are making sure things are all right with Miss Helen. Perish the thought! I cannot imagine.
Turns out Elvis had made quite the “Family Circus” trek through and around the neighborhood. Starting with Miss Helen, who said she had seen him earlier. Unfortunately he didn’t check things out with her before heading over to the house next door to her and then the next and then the next. Mess Cat had started knocking on doors of houses where there were other dogs, but in the end, he was found “chilling” on a back deck at a house with cats.
Yep. That sounds about right. Elvis has always been a pretty cool cat himself.
We are all so happy this little guy is home safe and sound. And look at him bringing all the neighbors together! Folks who might not have met otherwise. He’s quite the social facilitator, bringing strangers together looking for him. Elvis has always been pretty good at that too. Leroy told me he got another call today in response to the sign he had put up. A dear lady said she’d had an Elvis sighting but when she went inside, he left her yard too.
That Elvis. Steeped in mystery. Not the first time Elvis has disappeared after being spotted.
And today–he was so exhausted. When we went in to see him and give him a welcome home pat on the head today, he was curled up on the couch in his favorite spot–Leroy’s. He was OUT. I mean, I realize he couldn’t hear me call his name, but couldn’t he sense someone was there? I patted his head. No response. I immediately moved my hand to feel if he was breathing.
Relief. Not only was he breathing, but he was also SNORING. All that partying yesterday caught up with the old guy. He was worn out.
Tonight I’m thankful for this little dog who came into our life years ago, with the name that never fails to bring us a smile. He is as much a part of our story now as any of us is, I guess. I give thanks for the people who saw him and welcomed him, a stranger, into their lives without questioning it much. There’s a lesson there, I think. I am especially thankful for the ones who called after Leroy put up the sign, and that Elvis is home snoring away tonight. In his own home.
Most of all, I’m thankful for a happy ending. I expect Miss Helen’s all right with that. I know I am.
Wishing you all a happy tail with a happy ending and an Elvis sighting that brings you joy.
Love to all.