Day 30- Sundance Institute and Nancy the Neighbor

There aren't very many things that can match the fabulousness of movie theater popcorn.  I blogged about popcorn in all its buttery glory last year, so this year I found a charity that helps to support work to entertain me while I'm in my seat at the theater.

Their thank you note for my contribution was nice.  It also gave me a great little synopsis of exactly what they do, and this is much more concise than I could be.

Sundance Institute is a non-profit organization committed to discovering and nurturing independent artists in film, theatre, film music and creative producing. Your generous support is crucial to helping us advance the creative voices of our time. The artists we support are defining and pushing the limits of our cultural landscape and society. Thank you for believing in our work.

Advancing the creative voices of our time?  Yes, please!  Since I know you're going to rush to donate, make sure you have $10 for this one.  That's their minimum contribution for online contributions.

I can't be honest about who I'd like to thank today without sounding like a bit of a terrible mother.  Deep breath.  Dive in.
General ran away today.  It is not the first time he's done this.  I feel just awful each and every time, and I always lecture him when we have him safely back at home.  Honestly, where would he possibly have it better than he does here, and who could possibly love him more?  The only thing more frustrating than General running away is trying to reason with him about why he shouldn't do that anymore.
As soon as Tom realized that General had gotten off of his chain, we both threw on some shoes and sprinted off into the neighborhood yelling his name.  Unfortunately, the dog's natural tendencies usually lead him to run toward the main road.  This causes great panic for me.  Tom and I split up to look for him, with Tom running the route toward the road and me heading into the depths of the neighborhood.
The further I made it around the block, the faster my heart and my mind raced.  I tried to squash the memories flooding back involving Buster, my childhood dog, and his tragic end-by-car.  I just kept shouting General's name and clunking along in my rain boots and pajamas.  It must have been quite a sight.  When I circled back around by our house, I saw Manda and Jason also looking.  Poor Amanda, fresh out of the shower, had wet hair that was literally freezing in the cold.  Tom was long gone across the road with no results, and I was really starting to panic.
Our neighbor Nancy had seen the commotion and begun to search in her car.  She came flying back into the neighborhood and yelled for me from the window.  She informed me that she had seen General down the road, but he bolted when she tried to grab him to pull him into the car.  I quickly jumped into the passenger seat, and we took off back down the road.  I learned in the car that she had seen him in the road almost a mile away, and this almost pushed me over the edge.  I can't even begin to imagine what the parents of milk carton  and Amber Alert kids must go through because I know it must be exponentially worse than this, but that's just not something I can even conceptualize. 
Finally, more than a mile down the road, still IN the road, I spotted my boy.  I jumped out of Nancy's car before she could even come to a stop, and I ran toward my little General.  There was a car stopped going in the other direction waiting for us.  Again, I can only imagine what I must have looked like at this point.  Not pretty.  I scooped up my sixty pound dog and ran him all the way back to Nancy's car.  Within a minute, we were safely home, and everything was right in our world again.  General got his lecture and took a nap about it.  I shook for the next fifteen minutes.
I felt so silly thanking Nancy over and over again in the car, as if that could ever be enough to really thank her or to express my gratitude.  The fact that she was willing to drop everything, run out of her house, and drive around in her car to find our dog without anyone even mentioning anything to her shows what a wonderful woman she is.  It turns out that people like her really do still exist.  I'm lucky enough to have her living next door. 
Thank you, Nancy the Neighbor, you made my day.


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