This could also be called “Why I will NEVER again leave my service dog at home when I take Pud to crowded festivals”

Pud and I went to a festival today, where I was volunteering on behalf of one of my favorite groups: The Mommy Nest.

Towards the very end of the day, when we had something like an hour and change left, Pud asked to go play with the musical instruments in the booth right next to ours. I let him down to go there, turned to put something down, turned back and he was GONE.

A frantic few minutes followed, and with the assistance of another mom, he was found at the bounce house nearby and all is well.

In those first moments of terror, I realized that I don’t know how to find him quickly without Callie and her amazing nose. I also regretted not having her there to alert me to the fact that he’d started to wander away- or to tether him to her so he couldn’t have left in the first place (he likes being tethered to her, by the way-fortunately). The fact that this festival was located by the river only heightened my panic when he was gone.

Callie will be attending every single festival or crowded space from now on. She did not today for a host of now-pathetic reasons that were reasonable this morning.

I need to share that when Pud was safely back in my arms, I immediately dissolved into tears, and I said to him, “baby, look at my face. I was SO scared because I did not know where you were! Please don’t walk off without Mama! You really scared me.” Pud looked at me, surprised to see tears, and then wrapped his little arms tightly around my neck and let me hold him tight for a few minutes.