lost, without a hand to hold. I stood there in the darkness. At first I thought it'd be worth it. Now I was thinking, not so much. I followed the narrow dirt trail farther into the trees. The scurrying of squirrels and other night creatures kept me on my toes. In my head, I pictured myself in a horror movie. But I was the one character who got out alive. I passed many trees. Straining to see through the dark, cold air. I called for him over and over. Each time there was no reply. I stood there, listening to the silence of the woods, and its night inhabitants. Something scuffled around in the tall grass behind me. A familiar little sneeze was heard, and a wave of relief rushed over me. His portly little body and skinny legs trotted out and across the trail in front of me. Nose glued to the ground, nuzzling leaves and bugs out of the way. I lunged forward and scooped him up from around his belly. He growled at me, unhappy to have been disturbed during his mission. I was just glad to get him back. I couldn't have been more scared, but it was all worth it for my little black and white dog, Cisco.