I figured he had found Nirvana. I figured I would never see him again. I figured I would throw a rock through the window of the vet clinic at 3 the next morning for not securing his carrier. Man, I was stressing, screaming at all the people from the clinic, telling them it was their fault. I had gone mad.
Luckily, the people who lived in the house where Oliver ran were the nicest people on Earth. They let me hang out at their house for many hours that evening, and 13 hours the next day. Carol, the woman of the house, brought food and water out to me and let me join the family for dinner that first night. She crouched behind fences and darted through the woods as if it were her own dog, Stanley, who was missing. In fact, she kept Stanley, a bulldog, in the house the whole next day which couldn't have been easy for Stanley.
I have a tumor disorder and the subsequent pain makes traipsing through the woods unwise, so I spent most of the time just lying flat on a little patch of lawn, bits of kibble on my chest, calling plaintively for the elusive Oliver. I caught a glimpse of him early the next morning and was within grabbing distance, but he would have none of it. Later that day, he was literally eating out of my hand but was still fairly freaked and wouldn't let me touch him. I cried. Hard. I sobbed, screamed, cursed and generally bawled myself to sleep that night.