Finding my little Explorer

Published 12:39 am Saturday, October 25, 2008

For the past several years my four year old daughter, Lizzie, has been a fan of Dora the Explorer.

For those of you sans small children, the premise of the show is that Dora and her pet monkey, Boots, go off on little adventures where they discover things in and around their locale.

I’ve often wondered how Dora’s parents could let their daughter chase that monkey all around the globe and if they ever knew she was gone.

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In a cruel twist of irony Sunday, I found out.

Our move to Demopolis afforded us one thing we’ve never had before – a fenced in backyard.

On the weekends, Lizzie and her basset hound, Ruff, spend much of their time out there.

We don’t worry about her. If she’s out there alone, we check in on her every few minutes to make sure everything’s okay and we go about our business and let her and the dog play.

Sunday, that perspective changed. In a chain of events I have yet to fully unravel both Lizzie and Ruff went off in search of unsupervised adventure.

What transpired next encompasses the longest 15 minutes of my life.

As I peeked off the deck to check on Lizzie, she was nowhere to be seen.

I’d seen both she and the dog not more than 5 minutes earlier. How far could they have gone? After all, Lizzie wasn’t even wearing shoes.

I ran up the street and back down. No Lizzie. Tiffany combed the neighborhood on foot while I jumped in my truck and drove block after block.

About 15 minutes after she left, one of our new neighbors rounded the corner on our street with both Lizzie and Ruff in tow.

Upon her return home, Lizzie told us all about Mrs. Stephanie, who thanks to Lizzie’s direction that she lived in a green house, was able to bring her home.

While it would have been great to meet these wonderful people under better circumstances, Tiffany and I certainly thank Mrs. Stephanie and the rest of our neighbors who helped track down our little explorers.

I still don’t know what they discovered on their little adventure but I discovered the need for padlock on the gate to our backyard.

Jason Cannon is the publisher of the Demopolis Times.