things started out nicely enough, unwrapping presents over coffee and biscotti. brni was pleased with his new gi and jesse was happy to get his rock salt lamp and the inevitable socks stuffed in his stocking. brni blessed me with my very first drum. a lovely little djembe with a lizard pattern dotted across the base. time spent later cooking for the winter party. family came. friends came. michael brought his lovely friend, joy and his two dogs.
then things turned very wrong.
one of brni’s friends let michael’s dogs loose. why? how? i don’t know. i wasn’t there. i was in the band room with a friend from our dojang talking about sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll. brni came down and stood over me with his winter coat on, and told me that the dogs had been let out the front door. michael had raced after them, chasing them across lancaster pike and back, but lost them in the night. when michael returned to the house, he collapsed in an emotionally exhausted heap. i didn’t quite understand what brni was saying at first. how could all this have happened one floor up without me knowing? bill, brni and i ran out with flashlights and leashes in a vain attempt to catch the dogs.
the dogs, moogi and wil are silken windhounds. they are a new, rather rare breed, established from the borzoi (russian wolfhound) and whippet. they hit a top speed of 35 mph and have no body fat whatsoever. christmas night was bitterly cold; not a good night for skinny dogs. brni went back, called 911 and filed a report. bill and i gave up the search shortly afterwards. the house emptied out rather quickly after that and i made brni take rebecca home. it was not a night for guests to be sleeping over.
i paced most of the night and finally fell into a fitful sleep around 4am. when i got up, michael and joy were already out searching. they got back around 7:30 and michael got to work creating flyers to post everywhere. then the phone rang with news that the dogs were found! they were frolicking between the large yards on daventree road, just three blocks away! we piled in the car with raw meat, leashes and trembling relief. wil saw michael first and came running. then moogi took his eye off the cop and ran to his family. michael gave them the meat that was to be their christmas feast. joy ran from the car and i asked, “do you have the leashes?” she stopped, looked adorably sheepish and ran back for them. so much joyful running after such fear and sadness…
at home, the dogs were closely inspected. they were terrified, cold but frostbite and injure-free from their grand holiday adventure.
and i am rethinking the whole holiday party thing. we had a good 12 year party run, but the gods are not on our side anymore, and i think we need to heed the ever so obvious warnings.