How to Find a Lost Dog

Nothing seemed strange at first when we walked into our house on the day we lost our dog. We were so caught up in the bustle of arriving home, throwing down backpacks and getting snacks, we didn’t notice the lack of a huge black dog greeting us eagerly at the door. I’m in the middle of worrying about what I will make for dinner and if we have hamburger for Hamburger Helper when my son looks around and says two words that make my heart sink, “Where’s Harley?” That is when the eerie silence of the house pressed in. Where IS Harley?

We called, she didn’t come. “Maybe she is outside,” I say. I’m doubtful, but trying to stay calm.  Then, we saw it. The gate hanging wide open. We call her name again. She doesn’t come. That is when it happened. The worst sound I have ever heard, my son’s heart-broken ragged sobs. “She’s gone!” he says through his tears. “She is never coming back.” Then, he yells for her, his voice broken with his sobs and shrill in its desperation, “Haaarleey! Haaarleey come baaack!”

We decide to go looking for Harley. I’m not sure if we will really find Harley, but I have to do something to distract my child from his ragged sobs. We are not going to be making Hamburger Helper tonight. I should also mention that by now it is dark out, pitch black actually.

Since are looking for a black dog in the black of night, obviously we will be needing flashlights. It turns out that in our house, we have a good number of flashlights: over twenty of them in all variations of brightness and size. There are maglites, lights with headbands, tiny flashlights, and big heavy industrial flashlights with huge bulbs. Unfortunately the battery to flashlight ratio in our house needs some work. After flipping at least eighteen dead switches on flashlights in frustration, we finally find two that seem operational and we are on our way.

We begin our search in a wooded field near our home where we take Harley to play sometimes. In the daytime, the field looks charming. In the darkness of night, it looks like a very likely place for chainsaw murderers to hang out. My son moves undaunted into the dark field shadowed with trees and lurking chainsaw murderers yelling, “Haaarleey! Haaarleey, come!” Luckily, none of the chainsaw murders seemed to named Harley because they weren’t rushing out at us with the chainsaws. We decide a better way to find our dog would be to cross a busy highway and walk through a ditch.

As we are making progress through the ditch, we notice people are playing some sort of strange game behind a church. The parking lot is lit in pools of unnatural brightness from floodlights. Teens and children are gathered in groups for the activity while parents lurk at the edges of light looking distracted and bored. “Let’s ask them if they have seen our dog!” says my son. I’m thinking they look like they are about to get us into whatever cult activity they are doing and make us drink kool-aid. “You go ahead,” I tell him. So he walks right up to the bored looking grownups, who don’t even bother to look around for a dog before shaking their heads. Luckily, his question doesn’t seem to even break their listless gaze as they go back to being distracted from whatever activity is going on around them. He walks back looking defeated.

Since the woods, and the ditch and the church have produced nothing, we decide to head back home. We cross a busy highway and walk along the sidewalk towards our house. The sidewalk seems too civilized a way to find a dog, but at this point we are out of options. Then, I notice teenage boys up ahead in jeans and wife-beater t-shirts dribbling a basketball. I want to cross to the other side of the street because obviously teenage boys walking on a sidewalk late at night in wife-beater t-shirts dribbling a basketball are gang rapers. However, against my better judgement, my son goes right up to the gang rapers and asks if they have seen our dog.

This is the shirt you will need if you ever find yourself looking for a lost dog with my son.

Then, the most amazing thing happened… The gang rapers are surprisingly helpful. “Yeah, we just saw your dog! She just crossed the street a few blocks up over there,” says one of the gang rapers as he points to the general direction of our house. “She almost got hit by a car,” another of the gang rapers adds with some concern. My son and I look at each other, yelling in unison, “She’s headed home!” We thank the gang rapers and immediately begin a sprint back to the house.

We arrive at the front door out of breath, but no sign of dog. After a brief sweep of the area, Harley walks casually up to meet us at the front door. She doesn’t even acknowledge anything is amiss, looking at us nonchalantly as my son gives her an immense hug. We all go inside where he rewards the wayward dog for exposing us to cults, gang rapings, and chainsaw massacres by giving her handfuls of treats and dog biscuits. I suppose the moral of this story is that flashlights are no good without corresponding batteries. And also, sometimes you think you are about to be gang raped when someone just wants to help you find your dog.


About lgalaviz
All of this hardly seems necessary.

22 Responses to How to Find a Lost Dog

  1. Blogdramedy says:

    Guess you were barking up the wrong tree… 😉

  2. Rich Crete says:

    I’ve checked and one isn’t enough. Please send me two of these shirts.
    (size extra round, please)

  3. debihen says:

    I’m glad you found your dog. Now go buy some batteries.

    • lgalaviz says:

      I wouldn’t even know what kind to buy. I am going to get my own flashlights. They are all going to take ‘C’ or something reasonable. Some of these things have batteries I have never even heard of. How did things get so out of hand?

  4. I feel like maybe your dog was in cahoots with the chainsaw killers and gangrapers and at the last minute decided to cut you some slack. I’d keep an eye on him if I were you. He’s a shady one.

  5. I am finding that even the roughest people have a soft spot for animals. I am so glad that your dog is home. When we lost ours, we realized for the first time the improbability of ever finding him again.

    I need one of the shirts, please.

  6. Brenna says:

    Thank goodness you found Harley! I love a story with a happy ending.

  7. Thank goodness for concerned gang rapers! And I’m so glad you found Harley again – it’s horrible losing a dog!

  8. Mom says:

    I almost couldn’t let myself read this, but then I reassured myself that it HAD to have a happy ending because of how you titled it. I figured that you MUST have actually found your lost dog if you named it HOW TO FIND a lost dog. Thank goodness that’s how it really did end!! I am so glad you found Harley, have learned stuff about your flashlights and about your neighborhood. NOW please go and FIX THE GATE so that she never gets out again!! 🙂

  9. Gigi says:

    What a good mom you are – bringing your son out amongst cultists and gang rapers in order to find the dog and bring a smile back to his face. I don’t know that I could have done that….. (oh who am I kidding? I so would have done the same!). Glad you found Harley. But I’d keep an eye on that dog – now that he knows how to get out and party he’ll be doing it again and again…..of course, his wayward ways would make for excellent blog fodder…..

  10. a says:

    Next time (although I hope there isn’t one), you should tell the disinterested parents that your dog eats children. That oughta liven ’em up!

    Teenage boys are the best at finding lost dogs – they enjoy a quest.

  11. This is why we all need a pet psychic on speed dial. Just sayin’.

  12. DogsDontPurr says:

    I was sooo confused (yeah, just like me)…I kept thinking rappers…not rapers. So I thought you had these guys in your neighborhood wandering around rapping. And every time you wrote the word “raping,” I read “RAPPING.” It just seemed so much more musical. And safe.

    Don’t listen to me.

    Also, I’ve always wondered why the word “listen” had a “T” in it, ????

    • lgalaviz says:

      Actually, I was thinking while I was writing that the two words look very similar. Also, you hardly ever see the word gang raper in plural form. In retrospect, I probably should have used the term ‘gang rapists.’ I need a better editor.

      • DogsDontPurr says:

        Oh yeah….”rapists” not “rapers,” “rappers” or “rappists.” Yeah, “rapists” would have been better….or maybe not. Perhaps “Trappists”…aren’t those monks? Even though it would be equally as weird to have a bunch of beer making religious people wandering your hood…it probably would have been safer.

        Ok…I’m going to stop talking now and go check the batteries in my flashlight.

  13. So glad you found Harley (or rather that she found you again)! I’d be heartbroken if we lost Chester.

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