Disclaimer: I know what my parents will say when they read this.
Last week, Dan and I were messing about in the yard. He of the paintbrush was doing as painters do, and I was just hanging out. Had the Big Butt dog out there, and the Whirling Dervish as well. Just a nice relaxing evening. On a Tuesday. (Make note of day.)
Dan decided that he would go up front and bring back the trashcans, since trash day was long gone. The Whirling Dervish followed him and, since that monster only listens to male voices, he wouldn't come back to the back. I warned Dan to send him to the back yard, and Dan assured me he would keep an eye on him, and he was fine. And yeah, he should've been, because he only listens to men. No joke. I can talk till my heart's content, and he won't budge till he hears a male voice, even if it's a block away.
Three hours later, I was vacuuming in the living room, and suddenly realized that I wasn't being chased by that squirrely puppy. Asked Dan where he was, and got the typical mumble from a husband who's not really 100% invested in the conversation. I asked him again, with The Tone, and he suddenly looked at me with a look that told the whole story. He hadn't let him in. We had no idea where he was. It was just starting to get dark, so we got in the car and went out looking for him, figuring maybe he'd be running in circles around someone who was out walking their dog. There were TONS of people out walking that night. Walking is the key word here, because there was no dog tripping them by running in frantic orbs around them.
We looked at each other with a "you tell Jill look." Nobody really wanted to say a thing, cause she was upstairs doing her teenaged angst thing in her room. So, I waited till she came down the Pattern Central, and casually mentioned that "oh, by the way, you realize we have no idea where Rocky is, right?" Unhappiness reigned, then sadness when the reality hit that he was likely gone. We went out looking for him every day since -- except Thursday, when Jill left for school, and we got to spend several hours in the car with her, much of which was spent listening to Taylor Swift (that's a whole different story).
Jill swore, before she left, that she could hear him barking from far away. I believe her, because there was one time -- yes, the parents were here -- when Timmy got loose and ended up at the Humane Society. Jill walked in that back room and I swear, she recognized his bark in the caucophone of 100 dogs, and walked straight up to him with no guide to take her there. She HEARD Rocky now, as well. I have to admit, I did too. Not all the time, but sometimes. On Sunday, Seth and I jumped in the car and drove around, because I not only heard him, but when I yelled him name, he barked back to me. Of course, we didn't find him, but we did give some guy a startle when we slowed down and stared at him as he was walking his older-version-of-Rocky dog. I finally got out and told him I really wasn't a stalker, and explained what had happened.
And then, on Monday afternoon, Animal Control called Jill and said they had Rocky. Well, I'll be double dipped. So, of course, it was up to me to go get him when I got off work, so I walked into the pound and announced that I was there to get Jill's dog. The woman who shall henceforth be called Hater Bitch (HB), immediately told me that I couldn't get him, because she would have to pick him up herself. The other saintly woman, henceforth known as Terri, cause that's her name, said that "her daughter is only 17, so we can do it." Me being me, and being honest, cause I'm a preacher's kid, I said "no, she's 18, but she's 3 1/2 hours away at college."
Well then it was on like Donkey Kong. HB recognized her opening and said nope, she's going to have to fax us her ID AND a letter saying blah blah blah blah blah, to which I responded, you know, I can tell you ANYTHING about this dog. No matter, HB wanted ID and a letter, blah blah blah. So I informed her that I was gonna call Jill and SHE could tell her the whole thing, and why she wouldn't let me have her dog. "I see no reason why I should talk to her," says HB, to which I responded "You don't live with a teenaged girl. I'm not taking the blame here, and YOU can listen to what she has to say about all of this." And so it was that I handed her the phone and let Jill get her instructions. When she handed the phone back, Jill was pretty frantic because, beind new on campus, she didn't know where a fax machine was. I reminded her that she only had about ten minutes before Animal Control closed, at which point HB said "No. She has EIGHT minutes."
If looks could kill, HB would not be here today.
I sat there fuming, waiting for The Brat to call me back or fax or something, when Terri came over and said "why don't I go ahead and get your id and copy it, just to get things started?" That was when I knew it would be ok. So we're chatting whilst she does this, when my phone goes off. It's Jill, who is beside herself, because she had run all the way across campus, barefoot, nearly mowing over The Hot Guy in her dorm in the process, but the library didn't have a fax. I told her to run to the Bursar's Office, and she said she didn't have time to get there before they closed. At this point, she yelled "let me talk to that lady. I want to talk to her." At which point, I told her to be nice, because we were now dealing with someone reasonable. I handed my phone over to Terri, who listened, handed the phone back, and said "I'll be right back," and headed right to the manager's office.
"Oh God, girl, what did you say to her," I asked, to which Jill replied "I yelled at her. I want my damn dog back." That's the point at which I realized that my darling Bratty Girl has turned into her mama, cause she ain't taking no crap offa anyone. Good thing Terri has teenagers in her house, cause she was feeling my pain, I'm sure. She came wandering back over, looked at me with a purposeful look and said "OK, is the dog's name Rocky?" "Yes." "Is he neutered?" "Yes." "Is he microchipped?" "Yes." "Ok then, I guess he's your dog," she said, with a wink.
So that was how, after a week of being gone, driving probably fifty miles through a neighborhood that's only a few blocks square, hanging up flyers all over, and putting up with a lot of guff from The Brat, that Rocky returned home, after a week of being gone. And also, I might add, how the microchip information got changed to my name.