If I was answering this question, this morning at 1am, my answer would be 'Uh, in the barn?' and the sheriff standing at my back door while I am in my nightgown would say something like 'Do you have a brown and white pony about this high? I just tried to chase him and another one but couldn't get them'. PANIC - sheer panic engulfs me and I throw on my muck boots and a flannel over my nightgown that was hanging by the back door and dart out to search for them. The sheriff is trying to tell me where he last saw them. He tells me they are ok and not to panic....and it seems he thinks they are ok because they ran from him. REALLY? Let me let you in on a little secret....that means NOTHING!
So, the sheriff leaves, which I then later realize I should have asked him to stay and help with some spotlights and walk us to where he last saw them. I am running through my orchard to the back of our property because the sheriff mentioned a pond; although there are ponds all around us, for some reason my intuition told me it was the 'secret' pond all the way back in the woods. My intuition was wrong. [Shocking] I sent a text to my horse friend, Lauren, with a message that read exactly like this 'lauren get up cops were at my door daisy and romw eo aee gone'.....that last part was supposed to read 'romeo are gone'!
She calls me - she knows me - she knew I would be a sheer mess of hot panic. And I was. I was panicked I would never see Daisy and Romeo again...or that I would find them in the road. Or how would I even find them AT ALL? I was panicked I would fall into a pond I couldn't see because it was pitch black out and I am scared of water like that in the dark. I was scared because at this point, Allen left me to scour the streets in his work van with big headlights. I was scared because Allen claims he spotted a coyote about 75 pounds or so back there last week....and I was alone.....and Daisy still has her recovering Sarcoid 'wound'. And people out where I live own guns and guard dogs...and probably wouldn't hesitate to use them when they see a person meandering in their back yard with a flashlight in the middle of the night.
Eventually, Allen drives back through the orchard and meets me near the woods. There we are, probably about quarter to 2 in the morning, walking through the woods in our pjs and muck boots with ONE MEASLY PATHETICALLY lit flashlight, me shaking treats in a container, calling out for Daisy and Romeo. We walked through woods and a wheat field. We made our rounds through what seemed like 50 acres. We didn't find them at the pond. We trekked it back to the road and continued to follow it all the while scanning for any sign of them. Allen got back in his truck and I panicked at the road. It was then that I realized that Savannah had been following us THE WHOLE TIME and she continued to stay with me, in the road, in the woods and in the wheat fields, for the rest of the search! That darn cat! How could you not love her for this!
At this point, while standing in the road at the property dividing line between my neighbors and us, I panicked more. I decided I needed more info on the call that came in about them being loose because, at this point, we were looking for a needle in a haystack. I called the sheriff dispatch and the woman on the other end really told me nothing of any help. I then sent a text to my sister-in-law whose husband happens to be a sheriffs deputy, to see if he was on call or at work or whatever - ANYTHING that could help me! He wasn't. Then, I called dispatch again - at this point that operator was probably already referring to me as the crazy lady in the country whose horses were loose. I asked her to patch me through to the sheriff who was at my door so I could gather the info he had again in a more clear & coherent state of mind.
As I was waiting to be patched through, I looked down, and low and behold, it was like seeing a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. It was a PILE OF FRESH HORSE MANURE.....and not just any horse manure, but manure too small to come from an Amish buggy horse, which only meant one thing. IT CAME FROM ONE OF MY MISSING CHILDREN!!!! They are here. Somewhere. Or, at least they were. Now, I am back on the phone with the sheriff who saw them and I could better understand where he found them before they ran off....which happened to be the neighbors house who I was standing right in front of! And call me crazy, because at this point I was anyways, but I swear Savannah kept looking in that direction...and they do have a pond. So I started beaming at Allen down the road in his work van with my flashlight. [You know, kinda like those people who direct in airplanes on runways with big lightening saber sticks?] He flashed his brights back at me [I guess that means 'I'm coming'] and he flew down the road and into our driveway.
I told him what the sheriff said and then said I have a hunch they are next door, come look with me. (Because I couldn't go alone for fear that the chow on that property would get out of her gate and get me! Or my babies!) So Allen drove his work van up the front yard and facing their property for a little more light. He took to one side of their pond, I took to the other and as I was spanning across the field, I spotted two HUGE ears in the shadows. DAISY! "Allen, it's her, I see her. Don't let her out of your sight!"
We then cross over into the next neighbors yard, who has one horse [who ironically never made a peep during the whole ordeal!] and Allen spots Romeo INSIDE their barn and Daisy on guard in front of the doorway (which was blocked by a tractor). As we approached, Daisy ran around back and into the barn through the back door and stood next to Romeo. I pretty much was able to walk right up to Romeo, halter him and breath a sigh of relief! [Good Boy!] Allen approached the back doorway of the barn and we tried to slowly, I stress the word S.L.O.W.L.Y., inch in on Daisy, but she bolted through an open man door. The next 20 minutes or so resulted in us taking turns holding Romeo and playing ring-around-the-barn trying to catch Daisy. (Mind you no neighbors ever woke up, turned on a light or came out to see the commotion!)
Finally, I told Allen to walk Romeo home. I had lost sight of Daisy and continued to shake my grain pail and scour the dark looking for her. Then, I hear Allen yell "Allllllisssssson!". Perfect, she followed them home, just as I had hoped. Turns out, she was standing right outside her stall door, but wouldn't go in. So, another 30 minutes or so ensued of playing ring-around-this-barn trying to get Daisy. At one point, I almost had her lured into the barn with the big horses. And at another point, she almost voluntarily put herself away, but then decided to go back out to the orchard for grass. It wasn't until she decided to go in the walk way between the 2 barns, where entrance to Romeo's stall is, that I came at her from one side, and Allen from the other, and I S.L.O.W.L.Y. lured her to me with grain all the while S.L.O.W.L.Y. draping the lead rope over her neck. GOT HER! OH THANK YOU SWEET JESUS THANK YOU!
So, you might ask, how long did this fiasco ensure? About 2-2.5 hours! We were back in bed around 3:30am
And you might ask, what about Lauren? Well, she ended up getting in her car and heading out to us to help search for them! She lives about 45-55 minutes away!! I called her before she got too far to tell her we found them, go home and back to bed!
And the million dollar question is....how in the heck did they get out in the first place? Seems someone kicked open the divider door between the two if them, which I can only them assume they started a spat with each other, in which someone kicked the gate to the outside, knocking it off the hinges, and then opening a doorway to the great unknown for them to explore.
And least we not forget, Daisy has made our heart skip a beat on one other occasion too. And, lets also not forget that almost one year ago, I was prompted to start this blog from this incident!