So I was getting ready to tell you a story about our dumb dog and had just typed “Stupid Gertie” when I thought, huh. That sounds familiar. Veeeerrrry familiar.
I did a search and lo and behold, that was the exact lede* I used a year ago telling a story about Gertie running away. She eventually came home, but not alone — she was lugging what looked to be a very large, fatty piece of something dead that left a very large, greasy spot on the driveway. It was gross, and you can read all about it here.
Well, this time Stupid Gertie was actually DOGNAPPED!
Woink woink! (That was the “Law and Order” sound, if you couldn’t tell and I wouldn’t blame you if you couldn’t because it is hard to translate that sound into letters.)
Yup, she was swiped, lured right out of our own driveway with bacon bits. I don’t know if they were real bacon bits or the gross dog treat kind, but if they were real, heck, I would have climbed into the back seat of a stranger’s car, too.
But I guess I need to back up a bit, set the scene first.
Anyway, I was going about my life one morning when I glanced at my phone and saw this text from my husband:
As you can see, Gertie escaping is not anything anyone gets worked up over. She has done this her entire life. Ingrate. Now that she’s older and fatter, we can usually grab ahold of her before she lumbers all the way out the door. On this particular morning, she made a clean break. The two kids who were still at home when Gertie got out reported hearing a barrage of ultra loud curses as their dad was getting ready to leave for the day. They opted to stay in their rooms. We pieced together later that this was the exact moment Gertie escaped while Joe was going in and out of the house — door wide open and F-bombs a blazing — while he was cleaning the cold brew he spilled all over the leather interior of his car.
Since almost an hour had passed by the time I saw the text, I assumed she’d be sitting on our front patio, looking indignant, by the time I made it home.
Gertie was still gone at 10. At 11. At noon. At 1 p.m.
I cruised the neighborhood, figured I might spot her napping in someone’s yard, waiting for a second wind and by that, I mean her noxious gas building up as opposed to actual energy because she is a foul beast.
At 3 p.m., the phone jangled with a message from a friendly woman who reported that her friend had found Gertie. No. 3, a freshly minted adult, decided to take the reins.
The woman said they’d been posting on Facebook and NextDoor, frantically trying to find her owner. She’d stopped two lanes of traffic as she ambled along and people kept getting out of their cars to try and coax her to safety.
“She’s really sweet,” the woman said.
“Oh, well then maybe it’s not our dog,” he joked.
No. 3 reached out to the rescuers, which is what we thought they were at this point.
The woman who answered the phone, asked us to describe Gertie.
“Uhhhhh,” No. 3 looked at me, “when you pet her, lots of black hair comes out.”
“She has a vacant look in her eyes,” I offered.
This was not especially convincing.
“Can you send photos of her?” the woman asked. “I just want to make sure she’s going to the right home.”
We scrambled to find photos to send … There was one of her in someone’s glasses, another where she sat looking dejected with a Mickey Mouse hat atop her head.
The woman explained that they’d bathed Gertie, fed her, and she was chilling in their guest room.
Daaang, I thought. These are such nice, thoughtful people. Maybe Gertie should just stay with them.
Of course, they also revealed that they followed her in their car as she wobbled on down the street and trotted up a driveway, almost like she knew the place. Because she did! Turns out tThey followed her up OUR driveway and teased her away from our front door with the promise of bacon
Ultimately, our photos were deemed legit. Since we passed the test, they sent us a proof-of-life pic back — Gertie was lounging happily on a dog bed looking like she owned the place. When No. 3 went to retrieve our crazy canine —with a bouquet of flowers for the “rescuers” — she initially didn’t want to leave. He snapped another photo of her, gazing longingly at the house where people fed her bacon. It’s priceless. Guess we’ll hang onto it for next time.
* newspaper speak for the first line of a story. Look! You learned something today!)