I accidentally kidnapped your dog the other night.
That’s probably a fine place to start, but let me preface it by saying that I’m a really good person. I send care packages to friends, I teach yoga to cute old ladies and rarely steal things that don’t belong to me.
I had been visiting a friend who was home for Christmas. We were reminiscing about days past, like when he toilet papered my house in high school and my brother chased him, when I kicked him in the nuts in 2nd grade and when the Drama room was THE place to be.
We shared sad stories too, about horrible people that ruined our lives in middle school, about embarrassing things that happened as teenagers, and compared notes on the people whose lives never improved after high school.
We watched hilariously bad rap videos made by the classmate that threw ketchup on me in the cafeteria in 7th grade, ruining my favorite sweater from Buffalo Exchange and laughing with his friends as I ran to the bathroom to cry. No matter how bad things in my life might be, knowing that this guy is still trying to write rhymes about hanging out at Desert Ridge and how it’s hot in the desert trumps any failures you or I might ever have.
But back to your dog.
I was leaving my friend’s house around 2 am and I saw your dog running down 64th street. He just looked so cute and I couldn’t bear the thought of him running around in the cold. So I did what any slightly intoxicated woman would do. I pulled over and yelled “Hey, what are you doing?”
Sensing that I am a decent human and the type of woman who keeps snacks in her glove compartment, your dog ran right over to me. He was like, “hey, you seem fun”, and he jumped right into my car. I patted him and asked him some basic icebreaker questions that you ask dogs like “What’s your name?” and “How you be so fluffy?” He didn’t respond, but wagged his tail and made himself at home sniffing around my 2004 Corolla. He wasn’t wearing a collar which I took as a possible sign from the Universe that he might be my new soul mate so I looked into his eyes and asked “Can I keep you?” He wagged his tail and happily discovered an almond wedged into his seat.
This all still seemed like a good idea when I drove off with your dog in my car and started to head home, forgetting that
due to some poor life choices, my home is currently at my parents’ house. My mom would likely not appreciate her otherwise rational daughter showing up slightly (slightly) inebriated at 3 am with a dog she “rescued”. Perhaps she would be excited? Sure, she had recently gotten a new dog of her own, but maybe she wanted another dog running around her house and she hadn’t fully realized this yet.
I brought him in and gave him some water and a dog treat from the cabinet as he happily sniffed around the house. Your dog’s sweet face stared up at me, like OK, Crazy Lady, you brought me here, now what?
Meanwhile, Mattie, the family dog who rightfully lives at my parents’ house, heard me come home and started banging his head into the bedroom door because he wanted to come say hi. Once he figured out I had come home with a new friend, he went bonkers- running into the door, crying, and generally blowing my cover.
Oh and did I mention that my adorable niece and nephew were having a sleepover on my parents’ bedroom floor? Yeah, I done fucked up real good.
Aside from peeing on my copy of, ironically enough, Jenny Lawson‘s Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, your dog was perfectly delightful. He probably would have been fine to sleep on my blanket until morning when I could find a place that would scan him for a microchip and I could return him to you, thus maintaining my status as a reliable human.
But Mattie was having none of that. Overcome with the burning desire to sniff your dog’s butt, Mattie continued to bang his head into the door, threatening to wake up my sleeping niece and nephew, giving my otherwise kind and loving mother motivation to murder me.
Finally, my mom had enough and demanded that I take your dog somewhere. “I don’t care where”, she said through gritted teeth, “just get that dog out of here.” She might have said the F-word, I don’t remember.
“But mom, it’s Christmas, no one should be on the streets,” I tried. My mom gave me the look of death and so at approximately 4 am, I loaded your dog back into my car.
My mom suggested I take him to the nearby police station, but no one answered the door. I looked around the empty parking lot, contemplating sleeping in my car with Clementine (Sorry, I forgot to mention that I had named your dog Clementine by this point). I started to dial the Silent Witness hotline posted on the wall, but remembered I was standing outside a police station with a small amount of alcohol in my system holding a dog that I had stolen and I wasn’t wearing a bra. I usually wear one, but I took it off because I thought we were going to bed before SOMEBODY (Mattie, I’m looking at you) ruined my plans of saving your dog from the bitter Arizona winter chill.
Clementine seemed unfazed by this entire adventure, happily sniffing around the many bushes and trees available to him outside the police station and then taking a shit, a move I felt truly captured the spirit of “Fuck The Police”.
I knew what I had to do next, but I really didn’t want to do it. I looked down at your dog, whispered “I’m sorry, Clementine” and then drove off leaving him behind.
I know, I am the worst. I felt really horrible, but I didn’t know what else to do.
A week later, I confided to my sister in law racked with guilt, that I was still checking lost dog postings to see if anyone reported Clementine. She shrugged it off and said, “I’m sure he’s back with his family. A normal person probably found him and just took him to get scanned.”
Clementine’s family: now you know how your dog traveled 5 miles from your home. Please forgive me. I may not be perfect, but at least I’m not trying to be a rapper.