This morning Brett left early (4:30am) for work. The dogs and I got up a couple hours later and I let them out to run around while I did the barn chores. When I finished, they didn't come running for breakfast (the usual routine) and I couldn't find them anywhere. That's when I noticed that the automatic gate was stuck wide open. Uh, oh. Sedona was adopted by us when she was about 8 months old. She was a stray before that and has never gotten wanderlust out of her system. If she gets out (the property is fenced), she is gone for up to 8 hours. I was pretty sure Sedona would be back, eventually, but the puppy is still a baby and Sedona is getting really gimpy. It's hard for her to walk and stand up. What if she fell in a gully and couldn't get out? My mind came up with all sorts of awful scenarios. I walked over to the big community pond thinking they might be playing in the water. Nope. Kyle and Camille walked around the entire community with no luck. At noontime, we still had no dogs. It was hard to feel the joy of Christmas. I went down to the barn and rode Jackson but my mind was elsewhere. At 2:00, Camille asked me to drive her around one more time to look. As we rounded a corner she broke into excited cries -- she saw them across a field! I pulled onto the bridle path and we jumped out. The puppy broke into barks of happiness and bounded over to us. It looked like a dog food commercial the way she was leaping through the grass. Sedona followed at a more dignified pace. We came home, turned on the Christmas music and I started working on Christmas dinner.
Brett's son and his wife came up from San Diego for Christmas dinner. We feasted on prime rib, drank a wonderful Bordeaux, and laughed. I feel like Santa already came: my puppy is home, Sedona is too, and dinner was a feast of love as much as a feast of food. The best!