We returned home defeated, but resumed the hunt the next morning. On Sunday afternoon, neighbors called to report that Ginger was two blocks from our house. We raced over and, with the help of several deputized adults, tried to get Ginger back on the leash. But she had something wild in her eyes as she squirted and scooted, eluding us and disappearing once more.
A couple of hours later, we spotted her hiding on a neighbor's patio. This time, my daughter approached slowly, leashed her, and we all went home with a great sense of relief.
End of story?
"You're not going to believe what happened," my wife said when I got home from work the next day.
Our daughter had taken Ginger for a walk, and the dog had jerked suddenly on the leash and escaped again. We searched for hours without luck and returned home wrung out physically and emotionally.
I guess this is why the rescue agencies don't release dogs to just anybody.
If we found her again, my wife and I agreed, we should take her back. Maybe she'd been abused, but it seemed unlikely she'd ever be the warm and cuddly family pet we wanted our daughter to have.
The next morning, I was awakened at 6 a.m. by a noise out front. I went to the door, heard a scratch, and opened it.
In walked Ginger, her leash still attached.
"We're keeping this dog," I said.
But even then, I suppose I knew that Ginger would be the one to decide that.
To be continued.