The power of the blast rattled deep in their chests. Its percussive wave left their ears clanging, and debris blurred their vision.
For the 15 people inside the Plaza Physicians Group in the House of Elan building, the quick warning to evacuate by a Missouri Gas Energy lineman probably saved them. Minutes after the explosion, the group found shelter in an idling van, trembling and grateful for escaping injury or death.
But their office family is still missing one much beloved buddy: Perceus, known as Percy, with big brown eyes, yellow fur and a tail that mostly wags.
“We last saw him zigzagging back and forth through the Cancer Survivor Park, running at top speed down 48th Street. He looked back a few times, but he kept running,” said Sharon Sears, who shared the back office every day with the dogs. “Oh, patients just loved them. … We do, too!”
Percy, alongside his canine brother Zeus, a black lab, came to the office two years earlier, when they were puppies.
Zeus is owned by Dr. John Verstraete; Percy belongs to Cisco Sherman, the office manager.
Sherman searched the Plaza area most of the night, calling out for his dog in nooks and denlike hiding places. He started looking again before the sun rose on the carnage. Sherman feels responsible: He was holding both the dogs when the blast erupted. But his Percy broke loose and disappeared into the darkness.
Facebook and Twitter are rallying pet owners to watch out for the friendly lab.
“He has a collar with my name and number on it,” said Sherman. “Unless it’s come off. He’s a great dog.”
The hope of finding Percy keeps driving Sherman and his friends, including patients.
“We’ve had several who took their dogs out early this morning, hoping it would entice Percy to come out,” Sears said.
“There is so much love in Kansas City. We’re praying for all those hurt, but please pray for Sherman to find Percy, too.”