Several years passed. Mabel got older and plumper. She no longer seemed hell-bent on slipping out the door. A couple of walks on the leash every day were enough. When the family moved from South Laurel to North Laurel in May, they assumed her running days were over.
It was completely dark when my husband reached North Laurel. He drove our daughter around. Sometimes they got out of the car and walked and called, but all they heard was the sound of joyful baying in the distance. Several times they nearly had her, but that inner demon once again urged her to ignore them and take off. Finally, around 11, they gave up, exhausted. Our daughter left the gate and back door wide open in case the Prodigal returned. My worried husband drove home.