I put his dish out on the porch with water in it and sadly went to bed. And as I walked into the bedroom - I stopped cold.
The door to the bathroom was shut.
I never shut that door.
My first thought was - who's been in the house?!
But, as I opened the door, there he was: Bear shut himself in accidentally, presumably while trying to get comfy for a nap.
SIGH. OF. RELIEF.
Even though I'd called him in the house earlier, I didn't hear anything ... and he's such a zen dog, he didn't bark.
I gave him a good dinner, then we went for a walk through the quiet, mostly tucked-in neighborhood. And I shall take that as a reprieve and a signal and everything else, and get that fence repaired a.s.a.p.
I feel rather silly ("you didn't remember you let him back in?") but I don't care. I have my dear companion and watchdog back, shedding all over the house - and I wouldn't have it any other way.
My prayers for those who are searching for their lost companion animals.