I whistled, long and loud, and listened for the sound of running. There was nothing. I whistled again, trying to ignore the cold.
Where is she?
I was beginning to panic. It was dark, starting to rain and I could barely see past the deck. I whistled again, shouted her name. Nothing happened.
Did she get stuck in a ditch? Is she lost?
I was going to have to look for her. I grabbed a coat, and headed out into the forest. Within two minutes I’d walked straight into a branch, tripped over a root and sunk into mud. I was bleeding and cursing. I shone my light left and right, calling out her name.
“Come!” I yelled.
There was no answering bark or paw steps. I shivered and coughed, straining to hear some sign of life. I didn’t know how long I’d been out. I needed to head back. I took the long route back, hoping she would turn up, but she didn’t.
My heart was in my boot by the time I dragged myself into the house. I was more mud than person. I opened the front door and was greeted by the loud bark of a very warm, very dry golden retriever.
She’d been under the bed the whole time.