this is ed down the street ... your dog is doing his business on my lawn again

A friend of mine arrived at work frazzled because they realized their dog was missing this morning.

“I don’t even like the bloody dog, but my daughter was crying and it was awful,” she told me. It soon became clear no one had seen Scruffy since they arrived home the previous evening.

Her son went down the dam and checked around their two acre property while her husband tried the neighbours’ homes. “He even stopped a bloke who was out walking if he’d seen him.”

It’s sad to contemplate, but one of the reasons for having animals and pets is to teach our kids about loss and guide them in how to deal with it. Some of my most treasured memories as a kid are of times with my dog, Skye. When she died I was devastated, but that sense of loss I felt at her passing is also a memory I would be loathe to give up.

The thoughts going through my friend’s mind were along these lines. After all, Scruffy had never run off before. She really did think they were looking for a dead dog.

The morning slowly ticked by. The man who was walking past returned in his car, volunteering to drive around the nearby streets (reminding me again what a great place this is to live). Eventually, though, my friend had to give up the search and contemplate getting to work.

“You guys keep looking,” she told her husband and kids. “I’ll call you when I get to work to see how things are going.”

And suddenly the mystery was solved.

Approaching her car she saw movement through the tinted windows, and lo and behold, looking out the driver’s side window was Scruffy, up on his haunches, tongue out, body shaking madly as he wagged his tail. She opened the door and he jumped out and went for an urgent pee. She looked in the car, expecting a huge mess and stench, but was pleasantly surprised to find he hadn’t relieved himself in the car and had simply slept in her gym bag with her smellies. She felt a wave of emotions for Scruffy for holding on all night.

“I thought, maybe he’s not so bad after all,” she told me.

Within minutes the family was all reunited with their beloved dog, tears were dried and everything was back to normal.

“By which I mean I was running late for work,” my friend said.

They worked out Scruffy must have jumped into the car when they’d arrived home the night before and been locked in there.

But that was all to be contemplated later. My friend was now incredibly late. She jumped into the car and started the engine-


-as the wipers, radio and every other electronic device in the car leapt loudly and vigorously into life. It seems Scruffy had managed to push every button and turn every dial and nob on the console while trying to find a way out during the night.

“Bloody dog,” said my friend when her heart started beating again.

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