At bedtime, I let the beagle inside from his last run of the evening, and Bob was there by the door, looking interested in the house. "Get with your sheep," I said, and he trotted off towards them. I closed the door, and all was quiet for the night.
In the morning, there was no Bob.
We waited, thinking maybe he'd gone out on patrol and would be back. By lunchtime, I was getting worried. By evening, I was very worried. We went out looking twice during the day and asked at several neighbours' houses, and nobody had seen him. We left contact information in case anyone does see him, but it is very odd for a guardian to disappear for such a long time - and when have you known a dog to miss two meals?
As of today, Tuesday, he still has not appeared. :(
I am heartbroken - again. I feel like everything I try with the animals works out badly ... I lost so many cats ... then the wether lamb ... then Bob. This time, though, I really don't think I did anything wrong - I mean, he was doing very well here. He stayed with the sheep, patrolled the area, and Saturday during the day I even walked over to the neighbour's land to tell them Bob was here (in case he frightened their little dogs), and Bob stayed nicely on his own side of the fence, just watching me, and occasionally looking back over his shoulder to check on the sheep. He had figured out his boundaries, and I was very pleased.
He had his supper Saturday night, was out doing his evening patrol ... and vanished into thin air.
With the long weekend, the road's been busier than usual, so it is possible he wandered down to the highway and got hurt (but we did check the ditches). We also heard from the man baling the hay down the road that there are wolves in the area (!) and Union Guy has seen a bear not far from here. Perhaps Bob was killed in the line of duty. I suppose he could have just decided he didn't like it here any more ...
I suppose we will have to list his official status as Missing in Action.