Last Thursday part of my regular routine was disrupted. For those of you who know me, you know that this can be catastrophic. As with the rest of my life, my work life has a routine and any variance on that routine can screw up my whole day. Here’s how the liquid intake portion of my work day goes, every day, without fail:
I make my to-go cup of cappuccino (English Toffee made with skim milk, I refuse to drink it if it’s made with water. Don’t try to fool me, I can tell.) about fifteen minutes before leaving for work so that it has the appropriate cool down time. This way, the minute I step out of my car, I can take my first sip without fear of having a burned tongue. An early morning tongue burning will literally mess up the entire day. As long as my beverage is in a spill-proof container I can take it to my desk. So I do. I will sip on my cappuccino, pacing myself perfectly so that by my first break, it is finished. When I go on my first break, I will then either get the soda I brought from home and pour it into my cup or I will go down to the cafeteria and purchase an overpriced bottle of soda.
I’ll be honest, sometimes I buy the soda because one of the machines, after I push the button to get my soda, has a little elevator that goes up to my selection, which is propelled forward somehow, and takes it on it’s final journey into my hands. Maybe I just don’t get out enough but I am greatly entertained by watching this take place.
Back to last Thursday, everything was going smoothly until I went to get my Mountain Dew. I dug through my journey bag to get my miniature Jordache duffel bag (circa 1980, purchased a few years ago at a yard sale for ten cents) full of change. It wasn’t there. Luckily I had a few dollar bills to get the soda so as not to disrupt my day. But still, the missing change purse was disturbing. I wasn’t worried yet though. Perhaps it fell out into the car and was resting peacefully beneath the passenger seat.
I checked the entire car. No mini Jordache duffel. I drove home, all the while going over in my head where I might have left it. Once home, I tore through the house looking for it. No duffel. I went through this routine for a few days, looking in different places as they occurred to me. Still no duffel.
Just when I’d finally accepted the fact that I no longer had my vintage mini Jordache duffel, along with a missing one dollar and eighty-five cents, I found it. I was putting Yadi’s leash on a hook by the front door where it is always kept. And as usual, it fell off the hook and landed in the brown bed that I keep for her by the front door. While leaning down to retrieve it, something maroon caught my eye.
I knew instantly. Buried under the cushion of Yadi’s plush bed, I found my mini duffel. BURIED. This was no hapless accident. This did not happen by mistake. This was foul play.
The bigger picture unfolded right in front of me. It took a few minutes for me to begin to process the truth. My dog, my daughter….my baby girl…..was a thief. I looked over at her and those big bulging eyes told me everything I needed to know. Everything that I didn’t want to believe was confirmed with just one glance at her face.
Guilt. She had the same look that she gets when she accidentally poops on the floor and I say to her “Did you poop on the floor?” Guilt.
But why? Why would a seemingly innocent dog steal one dollar and eighty-five cents and stash it away? There had to be a reason. My mind raced over all the possible scenarios. Perhaps she was plotting a get away. Maybe she was waiting for me to drop a dollar bill here and there as I emptied my pockets each day after work. Could she be hiding money other places? Was she so unhappy at home that she felt like her only way out was to run away, living off of the kindness of strangers and however many Milk bones a dollar eighty-five would buy? How would she reach her destinations? Would she try to hitchhike? How could she possibly think that she could hitchhike? She has no thumbs.
And then I felt bad for thinking the worst. I mean, maybe, just maybe she was still the sweet, innocent dog that I had raised since she was seven weeks old. Maybe she was planning on surprising me on my birthday, buying me a new squeaky tennis ball. Maybe she was going to surprise me with a trip to New Zealand. Perhaps I had been too hasty. Perhaps she had good motives. Perhaps I had misread her look of disappointment at not being able to surprise me as one of guilt.
Or perhaps I let my overactive imagination go too far either way and she really just found something that she liked chewing on and decided to hide it away to savor it. The worst part of this is that I will never know her motives.
But I’m not taking any chances. I’m keeping all my valuables at least a foot and a half off the ground.