Two weeks ago, Mango took off – she runs out the garage door as we are leaving. It’s happened four or five times. We used to chase her, but most times couldn’t catch her. She takes off across a field and does not come when she is called. Since she was always back within 24 hours, all muddy and happy as can be, we didn’t worry too much.

Mango was a stray Mom adopted while living in north Florida at Fibonacci Acres. F.A. was our 10-acre patch of dirt and weeds featuring the world’s most poorly constructed mobile home and a 40-year-old Ford 9N tractor named Nancy. Yeah, Hal named a tractor after his mother-in-law. Just trying to impress.

We figured Mango is used to open spaces, running wild and free, and liked to relive her youth occasionally. But two weeks ago, she didn’t come back. We put up flyers, asked all the neighbors, offered a reward, but nothing. I didn’t blog about it because mom reads the blog and I didn’t want her to know, hoping Mango would show up.

She didn’t. So I finally told Mom Sunday afternoon. You’d think I’d died. Or someone she cared about had died. She was over the edge and not happy with you know who. It was not pretty.

I did the flyer thing again and wrote about Mango on Costa Rica Living, asking for suggestions. Several people said contact SASY, put the flyers on poles, at bus stops and vet’s offices. They said the $40 reward was a good incentive. They told me the flyer hotspots: AutoMercado, MasXMenos, Hipermas, Saretto’s, local pulperias.

And one woman said post on Craig’s List.

I’ve never used Craig’s List for anything so it never occurred to me. I put "post on Craig’s List" on the Mango to-do list, but it was not at #1. Who reads Craig’s List in San Francisco for a lost dog in Costa Rica?

Monday morning, the woman who had suggested Craig’s List called me. She said she looked there to see if I’d posted Mango’s "lost dog" information and she saw a "found dog" notice with a picture of a dog that looked exactly like Mango!

I looked at the site and there she was… I called the number and Toby said his wife found Mango the Friday before, wandering the streets around Guachipelin, which is a few miles from here. A long way… Now, Mango lived in the country alone for about two years before Mom adopted her. She knows where her bread is buttered. I don’t think it likely she just got lost. I think someone picked her up, drove her away and either changed their minds or Mango escaped.

People steal dogs here and sell them. One woman said a neighbor of hers regularly drives to nicer neighborhoods and waits for a good money dog to nap and sell! There are so many hungry stray dogs around, I didn’t think Mango would be picked up. She’s a great dog, but not what you’d call a money-maker. Not like Winston. And Mango is big: feeding her is expensive.

Dogs are poisoned here, too, that was a big fear. Or that she’d eaten a bufo toad. Not knowing was pretty sad. I still can’t believe she’s home. But she is! She’s good, she’s home, same sweet girl. Maybe my mother will forgive me now. I can dream.

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