Someone Stole Our Dog!!!!

While looking for one’s missing dog it’s a good idea to stay calm, stay focused, and most importantly to not jump to conclusions. I however didn’t do any of these things the last time our dog Gary went missing. Now I need to be honest about a little something here. Gary is…oh, how should I put this… Gary is what you would call mentally handicapable. He’s not so bad that he requires a helmet, but he’s bad enough that I actually really do worry about his intelligence level on a regular basis. As far as dog smarts go, he’s just got some parts missing in that category. Luckily he makes up for it in cuteness. Problem is, he’s so damn dumb that I’m not even sure that cuteness is going to save him from my husbands’ wrath if he poops or pees on the carpet one more time. It’s not that we don’t let him out enough. Hell, we let him out all the time. He even has a doggie door that he goes out just so he can stand at our back gate and bark at people. But if he has an urge to release a bodily function you can bet your ass he will run back inside to grace us with its presence. I spend most of my days wandering the house with a steam cleaner uttering obscenities under my breath.

But enough about Gary’s bodily functions, let’s get back to the topic at hand: Gary’s disappearance. The first time our sweet precious pooping Gary decided to take off for greener pastures was during the NBA finals. Lakers vs. Celtics. This was not a good time for Gary to plan the great escape because to be completely honest my husband could care less. If the choice was look for the dog or watch the NBA Finals, the vote is going to go for the finals. We first noticed Gary missing when our three year old walked into the kitchen and informed me “Barry gone.”
“No sweetie, he’s just outside,” I told her. I had just let him out into the backyard to hopefully do his business.
“No mommy, Barry outside!”
“I know sweetie.” Frustrated with me not listening to her she ran into the living room to try and convince her father.
“Daddy, Barry outside!!” she said while pointing to the front yard.
“I know sweetie, he’s in the back yard,” he told her, but he wasn’t looking at where she was pointing. His eyes were glued to the television. Mini Me was trying desperately to tell us something, but we just weren’t listening.
“MOMMY BARRY GONE!!!” she yelled at me again as she ran back into the kitchen. She was really upset, so I went into the backyard to collect Gary and calm my daughter down. I opened the back door and called for him but he never came. I called again and he never came. I looked to my left and that’s when I noticed that the gate was wide open. Fuuuuuck! Who left the gate open? So Mini Me and I ran out the gate to the front of the house and yelled “GARY!!!” at the top of our lungs, but no dog.

I went back inside and broke the news to my husband that the gate had been left open and the dog was missing.
“Who opened the gate?”
“I don’t know,” I said, as I watched him watching the game. “Do you want to help us look for him?”
Judging by the look on his face, he wanted to give me an honest answer until he realized that it was a rhetorical question. Poptart and I split up. I took Mini Me in my rocking soccer mom van minus the soccer mom, and we combed the streets yelling for Gary. Poptart took to the streets on foot and searched the Nature Preserve behind our house. Mini Me and I were heart broken as our search came up empty. I wanted to keep looking for Gary but the next search area was the street next to the freeway and to be honest I was afraid of what I might find. Not wanting to traumatize my daughter I decided our best plan of action would be to go home. We pulled up and I opened the door and there was Gary and my husband happily sitting on the couch watching the NBA finals.
“Where did you find him?” I asked as my daughter ran to hug her dog.
“A lady down the street heard me yelling for him. She had seem him running loose and tied him up.”
Crisis averted….

The next time we lost Gary the recovery was not so speedy. It was about 2 months later and Mini Me and I were getting ready to go to Home Depot to buy some seeds so we could plant our own flowers. I had bought this book at the Teacher’s Source, which is a teachers store here in town. I decided I wanted to be super mom and teach my daughter all kinds of new things. The book shows you all the different things you can teach children in accordance with what month it is. August included growing flowers and making potpourri. Since I’ve given up drugs and partying in exchange for parenting I’ve had a lot of extra time on my hands.

Mini Me and I were getting ready for our excursion to Home Depot and we were both getting ready in my bathroom. The bathroom in the master bedroom is the size of a small room. It is pretty impressive, really. It’s not only a bathroom but it holds both Poptart’s and my closets. Both our closets are walk-in closets, with mine being the bigger one because I have more stuff and I can kick his ass. So Mini Me, Gary and I are all wandering around in the bathroom doing various things. Mini Me was brushing her teeth, I was grabbing some flip flops out of the closet, Gary was trying to map out where he’s going to take his next dump. There was a lot going on.

After a little while it was just Mini Me and myself. Hummm…it seems really quite in here. Mini me was playing with my clear mascara, I was brushing my hair and no Gary. I’m putting on some make up, Mini Me is dancing in the mirror and no Gary. I wonder where Gary is? I was plucking my nose hairs, Mini Me was juggling prescription bottles and still no Gary. Where is that damn dog? After a while I actually started to worry and went out to open up the side door and call for him. No dog. “GARY!” Nothing. Oh shit. Not again. This is so going to screw up our flower plans. “GARY!” I called again and no dog. By now Mini Me is on to me.
“Where is Barry?” she asked me with her big green eyes.
“I don’t know, sweetie. We’ll find him,” I tried to reassure her. I walked down the pathway to the gate and I could tell by looking at it that it’s closed but I just wanted to make sure. Yep closed. So we went back inside the house and searched the house from top to bottom. “GAAAARRRRYYY!!!” Still no damn dog. By this time, Mini was getting visually upset.
“Where’s my Barry?” she asked me.
“Mini, I don’t know,” I told her as we made our way back outside. This time I checked our wooden fence for holes he may have squeezed under.
“Have you checked the perimeter?”
“Yes, the perimeter has been checked. No visible holes to report.” This is really not good. Breathe, Stacy. Act cool. If you freak out she will freak out.
I went back into the house and she followed me.
“Mommy where’s my Barry?” she asked me.
“Mini, I WILL find your dog.” I assured her. The next thing on my missing dogs list of things to do was contact Home Again. Yes my dog will not come when called and he doesn’t have the good sense to use the bathroom outside but he does have a computer chip imbedded on the inside of his left thigh because you wouldn’t want to lose a dog as valuable as this one. So I made the call to Home Again and report that my dog is not only missing, “But we think he may have been taken from our backyard.” Because we all know that retarded Terriers are in high demand these days.
“Oh Ma’am, I know how hard this is for you and your family,” the man on the other end tells me in a soothing comforting voice. “I have sent out an alert to all vets, animal hospitals, shelters and pounds in your area. If your dog shows up anywhere we will find him.”

The next thing Mini and I did was scour the neighborhood for Gary. “GARY! GARY! GARY!!!!” Nothing. We went up and down all the streets in our small neighborhood but no luck. Gary was MIA, and Mini Me was heart broken. So I did what all good mothers would do. I dragged her little ass to Home Depot in 100-degree weather to make her pick out flowers.
“Mini, help me pick out some seeds. Which flowers do you want to grow?” I asked her.
“I don’t want flowers,” she complained as she threw seed packets to the ground.
“Seriously, just pick out a couple of packets of flowers,” I told her again, trying to keep my cool. But we were in Home Depot’s outdoor gardening section in unbearable humidity.
“Ma’am, what do you put in a toaster?” a man from out of nowhere asked me.
“Toast,” I responded.
“No you put bread in the toaster. You get toast back,” he said with a smile.
*Silence* I am going to choke you now…
“Ma’am,” I HATE WHEN PEOPLE CALL ME MA’AM!!! “Would you like a free in-home estimate on a Kitchen makeover?” Dude, I can’t even afford to pay the electrician right now and you want to redo my kitchen?
“No thank you,” I told him as nicely as I could, considering was hot as hell and I’m not very nice when I’m hot.
“Are you sure?” he asked me in a taunting manner. You are pushing your luck buddy. And I just stared at him as I wiped the sweat off my upper lip. He got the hint and backed away slowly.
“Mini Me, please pick out some flowers,” I said to my daughter, just trying to get the hell out of Home Depot before I melted into a puddle of sweat in the middle of the Lawn and Garden department. Finally she decided to help me with what is supposed to be our mother and daughter bonding time and picked out a couple of packets of seed. We added some topsoil to our list and checked out so we can hurry back just in case the idiot savant has found his way home.

Once in the house I check the house phone as well as my cell and still no call from Home Again. *Sigh*
“Mommy, I want my Barry.” Of course she does. So I took the next logical step. I figured I had given the thief enough time to call us or return the dogs on their own accord and now it was time for more drastic action. So I printed up 60 LOST posters.

I would have printed up more but I ran out of paper. Then I drug my poor three year old around in the heat as I put them on 58 different doors and two community mailboxes. It was only a little over a block in the heat when we started turning on each other.
“Mommy, you carry tricycle!” My daughter informed me.
“It’s your tricycle, you ride it home.”
“No, I don’t want to!”
“And I don’t want to carry it. Mini Me you ride that tricycle home right now!”
“No, I have to go potty!”
“Do you want your dog back or not?”
“So you don’t care about Gary?”
“No, I have to go potty!” she screamed while holding her privates and dancing on a stranger’s lawn.
“I have five more flyers. HOLD IT!” I told her as I drug her stupid tricycle and my fat ass up the street feeling a little dizzy and pissed off at myself for not thinking to bring any water. We’re going to die out here from heat stroke. I just know it. After I dropped off the last flyer it was every woman for herself. Mini Me needed to pee and I had to carry the damn tricycle home so as far as I was concerned she better hurry her little ass up.
“Come on,” I encouraged her.
“Up,” she said with one hand in the air towards me and the other hand planted firmly on her crotch.”
“I can’t carry you and the tricycle at the same time. If you rode it home you would get home faster,” I told her.
“Fine by me. You’re walking then,” I informed her as she and I made for home.

Once she peed and I drank my weight in water we both were in a much better mood and back in each other’s good graces. That’s when I decided to do something I had been putting off all day. I called Poptart.
“Gary is gone,” I informed him. Then I told him the whole story about the gate, the phone call to Home Again, the neighborhood search, and the fliers. I explained my theory on how Gary was not just missing, but had been taken, given that the gate was closed and there was no way he could have gotten out on his own. Poptart told me everything would be all right and that we would figure something out when he got home. I love Poptart; he always knows just what to say when things look their worst to make me feel better. And then he added, “Did you check the closets?” What kind of dumb ass question is that?
“Yes, I checked the closets,” I stopped myself before I added a “Duh…”
“Are you SURE you checked the whole house?”
*Sigh* “Yes, I checked the whole house. After we hung up I just shook my head. What kind of idiot does he think I am? Have you checked the closets? But sure enough he had put just enough doubt in my head that I decided to do it just one more time. I walked into the master bathroom and opened up Poptart’s closet. Nothing. Then I opened up my closet. And there I found one very sad Terrier. “Gary!!!!” Mini Me and I screamed and hugged him. I was so happy to see him I called Poptart and told him the good news. I was even so happy I told Gary he got one get out of jail free card if he decided he wanted to poop on the carpets. He used it later that night.

So you see, maybe our dog isn’t the smartest, or most well behaved. Hell we can’t even seem to potty train him. But he’s ours. Helmet and all. Oh and I didn’t take down the fliers either. So the next time I walk him I’m pretty sure one of my neighbors is going to call to tell on me. To myself.

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