I found a lost dog on Sunday and I told people about it and didn’t crack one joke in the telling. How is that possible? Remember when I lost my dog, Toby, a few years ago? I managed to get three blog posts of almost novella length from that thirty minutes of agony, and cracked one joke after another despite my overwhelming trauma (Hello? Scraped knee, remember). Here, I find a dog, and nothing: no funny, no cute, no whimsy. I think I need to plank face-first again in peak traffic to knock the funny back into me.
Here’s what happened: I walked the dogs up to the local park and we arrived and a lone dog – husky-cross, I think – ran up to us, freaked Toby out, followed us off the park, freaking Toby out more, followed us back on to the park…are you asleep yet? The man lying in the grass whose dog I thought it was and who turned out not to be dead (I seriously wondered, he was so still) was. Asleep, that is. You forgot where I was up to, didn’t you? See, not funny.
Toby freaking out plays a big part in this story, because I had to pick him up to calm him down and his toenail caught in my chunky cardigan – kind of like a KitKat made of wool – oh give me a break, I’m desperate here – see what I did there? – and he screamed, and I mean SCREAMED in panic and wriggled like mad and I happened to be wearing earphones and he got tangled in them, my cardi and the lead so he was practically hyperventilating. Trust me, a screaming, wriggling, hyperventilating Yorkshire Terrier is a terrifying sight to behold. And hold.
Meanwhile, Molly slipped out of her harness, Lost Dog capered around blissfully unaware of the mayhem he was causing by being within, oh, I dunno, three miles of Toby, Toby freaked some more, and Not Dead Man kept on sleeping, despite the fact I practically fell over his feet trying to untangle me, my dog, my earphones and my clothes.
Then I had the first of what turned out to be the same conversation with several strange men that day:
TB: Is this your dog?
TB: Oh. Okay, thanks.
Molly was already off the lead and Lost Dog had a collar but no ID, so I clipped him on and Toby almost fainted. Resignation then set in, though he did manage a couple of thin-lipped nips at the air beside Lost Dog when he got too close. Molly followed us home. Fortunately, the park sort of backs onto our street (trust me, you don’t want a topographical lesson here; I’m falling asleep in the telling as it is), so I knew she’d be safe on the short walk back.
The Hub was watching City lose the FA Cup semi-final (though he didn’t know that yet) when we all arrived home, but promised to help me find the dog’s owner once the match was done. Then it went into extra time so I marched Lost Dog out of there on his lonesome this time, Molly declining to walk if it meant her own extra time in the street and Toby reclining on his bed (actually Spud’s bed but what Spud doesn’t know Toby could not care less about), emotionally battered until dinner time.
I had a the brain wave of saying to Lost Dog, ‘Home! Take me home! Let’s go home! Where’s home, boy?’ He responded by pulling me through a hole in the park fence and running straight to a front door. I knocked and a handsome man answered:
TB: Is this your dog?
TB: Oh. Okay, thanks. Did you know you’re gorgeous?
Actually, I didn’t say that last bit (I think), but I certainly thunk it.
I was beginning to suspect that Lost Dog, though amiable, was a six-pack short of a six-pack. I repeated the home mantra and he walked me up and down many streets before leading me to another front door. I knocked and another handsome man answered:
TB: Is this your dog?
TB: Oh. Okay, thanks. Did you know you’re gorgeous? Wait, back up…he’s yours? Why aren’t you out looking for him? Handsome is as handsome does, you know. Can I leave my husband and have your puppies?
Um, everything after ‘thanks’ may have taken place in my head but, seriously, where did all these handsome men suddenly appear from? It’s like the sun came out and a shower of hunks descended on Stockport.
Handsome Man (who so isn’t because is as does, like I said) was extremely grateful but in a real hurry to get rid of me. It was odd – discounting the fact that a middle-aged, frumpy dognapper* was drooling on his doorstep, why was he so eager to be rid of me? And then I looked at my watch: aha! Extra time was almost over. He obviously wanted to get back to the match. Loving your pooch is one thing; football is quite another.
So, good deed done for the day, I headed home, where the Hub was crying into his fixture list:
Hub: Hey, let’s go find that dog’s owner.
TB: I already did, and you wouldn’t believe how ugly he was, yuk! Eurggh! Disgusting, horrible. I didn’t embarrass myself at all, honest.
Hub: That’s not funny.
*Spellcheck wants to replace ‘dognapper’ with ‘dapper kidnapper’. I’m so tempted.