The day after Christmas I woke up to my soon-to-be father-in-law standing in my living room yelling this:
“JAMIE!… JAMIE!!…JAMIE!!…JAMIE!!…JAMIE!!…JAMIE!!…ARE YOU AWAKE???? THE DOGS ARE GONE!!”
Brain = F&@K. Seriously?
And I can’t find my pants. Or my keys. Or my ass evidently, because everything I need to get in the damn car and go find the dogs has suddenly warped into the 10th dimension (things getting sucked into 10th dimension is going to be a recurring theme now, thank you L.G. from The Best Self-Help T-Shirt Catalog!)
Once I’m decently covered, I dash into the living room and find out from my S.T.B.-F.I.L. (wrap your head around that acronym people, sheesh. Hereafter referred to by his initials – W.W.) that the pups have only been gone 10 minutes. So this should be relatively easy….. resounding NOPE.
Me and W.W. drive around for 30 minutes. No dogs. Not a peeps. Not a tail. Not a single neighbor saw them. Just nada. I’ve called the city, and because I live in a ridonkulously small railroad town where they can do things like shut down entire services for a day, I find out that animal services is closed for the holiday. So there are no patrolling recovery trucks. Nor is there anyone at the shelter. After I listen to the automated message 94 times and bang my phone against the steering wheel half-a-dozen times, I finally get through to the dispatch officer that is managing the switchboard for the entire non-emergency side of the Denton PD. She’s amazing by the way, and just takes my name and phone number, telling me that any calls about free-range pups will come directly to her and she’ll just pass my contact info onto my dog’s captor. SWEET.
Due to the fact that I had 9 bajillion things that had to be done that day aside from looking for miscreant dogs, we decided to head back to the house to drop me off and W.W. would continue the search for awhile. To make it fair to both parties, we’d alternate shifts throughout the day. So I’m back at the house for 15 minutes continuing my chores and, in that specific moment, walking past the living room on my way to feed the cats. Randomly, I glance out the front window. AND IZZY RUNS PAST THE DAMN HOUSE.
WHAT THE WHAT!?! I run through the front door and shout, “Izzy!!” and she just turns around, like “Hey Mom!! HI!! Can I come in? I am, like, WAY THIRSTY!!” And just bolts past me, into the house, like she hadn’t just been gone for over an hour. I immediately run outside, looking around wildly and shouting Wimbledon’s name thinking he would surely be with her – but no. And I know what happened. Wimbledon was getting too far from the food source, and Izzy is just NOT down with that shit – so she came home. Good girl!! Mild eating disorder, but good girl!!
So here’s pretty much how the rest of the day went:
1:00pm: Drive around. No Wimbledon. Call Benjamin. Report to the officer at Denton PD that we have Izzles, but are still
missing the big white brontosaurus/labrador mix that answers to the name Wimbledon when he feels like it.
2:00pm: Drive around. No Wimbledon. Ask random strangers. Cry in frustration. Call Benjamin.
3:00pm: Drive around. No Wimbledon. Desperately head over to the industrial side of town where they have things that Wim would totally love to climb on. No Wimbledon.
4:00pm: Drive around. Call vet’s office (even though they’re closed, just in case someone found him and called the office instead of me and decided to leave a message despite the fact that they’re closed) and leave a message to the effect that they should call me when they re-open if someone called and left a message about my dog instead of calling me. Turn phone off and on to make sure it still works. Wonder why some ass would have my dog, and not call me, when my number is obviously engraved on his tags.
5:00pm: Drive around. No Wimbledon. Have brilliant idea to drive up and down every street that goes all the way through town. Absolutely certain this will work, because it’s like the mapping they do on crime shows to find missing persons or evidence of their whereabouts – if those guys can find a damn cell phone in the woods, I can find my ginormous dog in a college town…. Well crap. No Wimbledon.
6:00pm: Ben gets home. We set out together. We drive until it gets dark – like really dark. We even take the creepy you-might-get-murdered-by-a-mutant-with-a-chainsaw road that heads out toward the abandoned farmlands. No Wimbledon.
7:30pm: It’s too dark to see anything. We give up. We call the family and inform all the searchers that we’re going home for the night and our sweet baby is still missing.
8:30pm: I make myself a bloody mary, and start cooking dinner, feeling distinctly bummed and way sorry for myself. My phone rings. It’s a New York number….
Dude: “Is this Jamie’s residence?”
Dude: “Do you have a humongous white dog?”
Me: “YES!! Well, not right now – but usually YES!! Do you have him!?!”
Me: “I LOVE YOU!! WHERE ARE YOU??” (saying I love you to complete strangers is totally P.C. when they’ve rescued your dog)
Dude: “Across from the Subway on McKinney. I found your dog playing in a broken sewage line behind the sandwich shop, and brought him home”
Me: “EWW. Yep. That’s totally our dog. We’re on our way!!”
Twenty minutes later we had Wimbledon in the car and on our way home. I had hugged that dude within an inch of his life, and Benjamin gave him all the cash we had on hand – which wasn’t much, but babysitting a supremely stinky Wimbledog in an apartment that already contains two small dogs, for 4 hours, requires monetary compensation, I don’t care what anyone says. Wimbledon was sad to leave his small doggy friends (he thinks little dogs are hilarious) and completely tuckered out from his adventure. The sweetheart dude from New York had found him 3 miles from our house 6 hours after he had gone missing. Wimbledon had knocked two tags off his collar (the one with our number and address, and his rabies vaccine) but still had his city registration tag with the phone number for the Denton non-emergency PD dispatch. Sweetheart NY dog-finder dude managed to return Wimbledon to us 4 hours after pulling him out of the sewage pond after he had …listen[ed] to the automated message 94 times and bang[ed] [his] phone against the [coffee table] half-a-dozen times, and finally got through to the dispatch officer that was managing the switchboard for the entire non-emergency side of the Denton PD – and she gave him my name and phone number. Just like she promised. Thank you officer, you have my undying love for selflessly helping to get our baby home.
Wimbledon is fine. He needed a bath with LOTS of Green Apple-Scented Deodorizing Shampoo (which he was majorly unthrilled about, to Wim, stench = fabulous), and he drank all the water from his bowl (and the toilet dammit. grody.) and our little family settled back into our routine. Thank baby cheeses for big dogs and small miracles. And random dudes from New York that don’t mind taking in gigantic dogs that literally smell like S#!%. Life is good.