CHAPTER 18 – RETURN TO SENDER
“Firefighters rescued pets from homes near the fire and brought them to a local shelter,” reported the TV newscaster. Abigail and Dad sat on the floor watching the evening news together. Scenes of walls of flames and houses burning flashed on the screen. It was scary. Abigail looked at Dad and wondered, “What if that happened to me? How would you find me?”
“Well, Abigail,” explained Dad, “First of all, I always keep your carrier handy with some emergency supplies just in case we have to evacuate quickly. But, if I’m not home, there’s a Small Pet Select sticker on the front window that tells fire fighters that there’s a rabbit in here that needs rescuing. And, you have a microchip implanted in you. The vet put it there while you were asleep. So, if you are rescued, a vet or a shelter can scan you, and they’ll be able to contact me. It’s kind of like a return to sender label.”
Abigail wasn’t sure how all that worked, but she felt better knowing Dad had a plan. But then she wondered, “What if I run out of the house and get lost?” Dad had a plan for that, too. “I have a lot of photos of you, so I could make up flyers and pass them out, and send out notifications with your photo through our neighborhood watch system so people could keep a look out for you.”
Dad continued, “But Abigail, it’s just best if you never go outside. My gosh, any number of things could happen to you. There are cats, dogs, coyotes, and hawks that would all love to chase after you. You’re so tiny, they could easily carry you off!” Abigail shuddered at the thought. She had no desire to go outdoors. Even when the door was wide open when Dad was bringing in food from the magic garden, she never went over to look outside. She was very content in her indoor kingdom.
Dad did wonder about one thing, though. If she was at a shelter with other rabbits, would he be able to pick her out of a lineup? As special as she was to him, she did look like a lot of other chestnut brown Netherland Dwarf rabbits. As he petted her, he studied her markings and drew an image of her in his mind. Of course, his phone was loaded with photos of her, too!
But he wondered, would SHE recognize HIM if he came to find her?
Just then, Abigail hopped over to him, and he just knew – they would both recognize each other right away. They were bonded for life.