KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Charlie was never to be part of the ceremonies.
Another mutt, his future in-law Arya, was ring-bearer.
Did this bother Charlie? Or did our 9-year-old spaniel mix just feel forgotten as all the humans were busying themselves with the wedding of Arya's owners -- Laura Shorey and our son Max.
Regardless, an urge struck Charlie three hours before the nuptials commenced in Iowa.
"Hmm. Think I'll be running now."
Into the wilds 300 miles northeast of his Kansas City home.
It was a surprise move from a shy guy. Charlie enjoys a good run but grew up mostly indoors, splitting naps between two couches.
He bolted when my brother Bill took Charlie outside to roam off-leash in his yard in Riverside, Iowa, 10 miles from the wedding. My wife, Sue, and I were away decorating the reception hall.
Guilt-stricken Bill approached as we pulled into his driveway: "Charlie's taken off."
We shifted the car in reverse and patrolled Riverside streets, yelling his name.