I knew I shouldn't do it. Shawn even questioned my decision. But I let both of our Yorkies outside in the front with me while I pulled weeds out of the flower bed. I was keeping an eye on them (mostly).
They were running around chasing butterflies and hummingbirds and having a jolly time. But after a while, I got distracted and didn't notice that Zaccheus was no longer near me.
I looked up just in time to see Cricket jump to full alert and run around the house. That's when I registered what I was hearing. I could hear a small dog screaming for it's life, and Zacchie was no where to be seen.
By the time I got around to the back, my husband was in a full out run towards the heart-stopping sound. Then the sound stopped. The silence was worse that the screaming, because then we couldn't find where it had come from, and Zacchie didn't answer when we called. Not even a jingle of his collar.
Frantic now, Shawn jumped the fence into the neighbor's wooded back yard, and went around calling his name, begging him to answer.
I ran around the back of their fence all the way around the block to check the next couple of neighbors away. They have many big dogs, and I just knew that if Zaccheus had gotten close enough to their teeth, they would have pulled him into the fence and eaten him alive.
Still no sign of him.
Crying now, and desperate to hear his voice, even if it was a wimper, I stopped to listen carefully. Cricket had come with me, and she gave no sign of recognition.
I walked the rest of the way home, occasionally calling out his name. By the time I got back round to our house, I knew it. Zacchie was gone. To neighbor dogs or a passing hawk, I didn't know, but gone just the same.
Cricket was waiting by the door for me to let her in, panting, and in need of a drink. I opened the door and was met by a beautiful sight.
Safe and sound, waiting for me to play with him.