Dognapped ~ a Photostory

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I’d taken the dogs out for a walk, making the most of the sunny afternoon. The rainy weather had finally blown over, and it was delightful to be outside again!

The five dogs in my custody barked and bounded about, tugging on their leashes. It was a challenge, keeping a hold of all those dogs, filled to the brim with energy. Let’s just say that they weren’t the only ones who got a workout.

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Ivy had generously let me borrow her iPhone so I could take pictures on my outing. I had what I called a photo-diary, so I took pictures of everything I did to add to it. It was basically a scrapbook, but I thought photo-diary sounded cooler.

I fished Ivy’s phone out of my bag so I could photograph the dogs horsing around in front of me. I had to shift all of their leashes into my non-dominate left hand so I could open the camera app, which turned out to be a very, very bad idea. The dogs strained on their leashes while I fiddled with the phone, and as I was waiting for the app to open, the pressure of the dogs on my hand went away. Once I’d set up the camera app, I triumphantly held up the phone and tilted it this way and that as I searched for the dogs so I could photograph them. But they weren’t on my left. Panic rose in my chest as I slowly lowered the phone away from my face, dreading what I might see.

Emptiness.

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I spun around, searching for the missing dogs. I caught a glimpse of them racing away from me, leashes trailing behind them, just before they veered off the sidewalk.

“Stop!” I hollered, sprinting after them. “Leo, Boo, Coconut, Chocolate Chip, Rembrandt! Come back!”

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I reached the spot where I’d last seen the critters and paused to catch my breath.

What if I never find them? I wondered miserably. What if they don’t want to be found?

I squared my shoulders and tried to figure out what to do. “Well, I have to find them, obviously,” I muttered to myself. “Searching in the direction that they ran in would be the best way to do that, I suppose.”

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But I’d been so shocked when they ran off that I could hardly remember if they had leaped off the right or the left of the sidewalk. Glancing around for a hint, I spotted a few crushed leaves lying in the grass on the right side of the path. A person could have done that, sure, but it was my only lead. Hoping that I was on the right track, I stepped over the leaves and walked along, calling the dogs’ names.

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After a few minutes, I stumbled upon Leo, Emily’s brand new teacup puppy. Being so tiny, he must not have been able to keep up with the larger dogs.

I crouched beside a panting Leo and stroked his soft fur. “Where are the others, hmm, little guy?” I murmured, grabbing his leash so he couldn’t run off.

In response, Leo gave a high-pitched bark and pressed her snuffling nose to the ground. He’d caught the scent of the runaways!

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Holding tightly to Leo’s leash, I let him lead me to what I hoped was my sisters’ unharmed pets. I followed him through a park for several minutes before he barked again and pulled me toward the road. There were the four missing dogs, gathered around an old woman in a shapeless floral dress. Despite the sunshine, she was bundled up in a brick red scarf, cream sweater, and cozy-looking black and white boots that she shouldn’t have worn with her shortbread-colored dress. Old people were always cold.

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“Hello!” I called, jogging toward the old woman, with a wide smile of relief on my face. “Thank you for finding my dogs. I hope they didn’t cause you any problems.”

Upon laying eyes on me, the woman scooped up Coconut and stuffed Isabelle’s fluffy white dog into a green bin strapped to the moped behind her. With stunning speed, she shoved Chocolate Chip and Rembrandt into the bin with Coconut. She crammed the smallest dog, my very own Boo, into a cotton candy-pink pet carrier tied to the moped.

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I hardly had the time to think She’s dognapped them! before the elderly woman gunned the motor and sped away on her pink and limegreen scooter.

“STOP!” I screamed at the top of my lungs, standing there helplessly as she drove away with my pets. “Someone, help me! That woman stole my dogs!” I glanced desperately around the park, looking for someone who had heard my plea. But the park was empty.

It was up to me to save the pets.

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Before I really knew what I was doing, I’d whipped out Ivy’s phone and taken a picture of the woman puttering down the street with my dogs in tow. The photo captured her license plate: OG<3GIRL. It probably stood for Old Granny Girl or whatever. But I wasn’t interested in figuring out what her license plate meant — the police could track her down with the information I’d gathered. That was the reason I’d taken the picture.

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At the speed she was going — she’d only just pulled away from the curb — I guessed that I might be able to run alongside her. Then I could follow her home and rescue the dogs myself. That seemed to be the better plan, so I sprinted down the sidewalk that ran along beside the road, almost keeping pace with the old lady’s scooter. Leo whimpered and raced after me.

As I turned a corner, still trailing the woman, I decided that if I lost sight of her, then I would call the police. Only then. Because I, I was sure, could save my pets without the help of the police. She was just an old woman, after all.

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The woman turned onto a private drive after awhile, and I slowed down. If I drew too close, she would see me, and heaven knows what would happen then. She might start going ten miles per hour, and I didn’t have the energy left to keep up with her much longer.

Fortunately, at that moment, she parked next to a beige plant reaching up from a flower bed. I stopped jogging completely, stopped breathing, even, waiting to see what she would do next.

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The woman eased off of the moped and lifted the dogs out of their cages. She gripped the leashes like her life depended on it, dragging the dogs toward her house. Chocolate Chip and Coconut, who’d had the best seats in the house, surged ahead, while Rembrandt and Boo nervously lagged behind. No wonder; Boo had been trapped in a pet carrier, which bumped against the moped with every pothole, and Rembrandt had been squished beneath Chocolate Chip and Isabelle’s dog.

“Puppies,” the woman cooed, meandering up the walk to her porch. “Sweet puppies, puppies . . .”

And that was when it occurred to me that she was going to lock them up in her home. I might never see them again, ever. I needed to act now.

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I dashed up to the porch and shouted, “Stop right there, lady!” I waved Ivy’s phone at her. “Give me my dogs back, or I’ll call the police!”

She shot me an unconcerned look and continued walking along.

“I’ll do it,” I threatened. “I’ll call them!”

She strolled along, unperturbed.

I tucked the phone into my purse and clenched my fists. She was just an old, frail woman, and I was a strong, healthy ten-year-old. If she refused to return the dogs, I would fight her for them.

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Plucking a piece of mulch off the ground, I commanded, “Fetch!” and the dogs (all except Leo, who was cowering behind me) bounded after it. The woman fell to the ground and lost her grip on the dogs’ leashes.

“Good dogs!” I praised, throwing another chunk of mulch for them so they wouldn’t instantly come running back to me, begging for something else to fetch. I needed the time to confront the woman.

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I pounced on her, pinning her down. She was whispering about her old, creaky joints, and then, randomly, she cried, “Sweet puppies!”

I looked her in the eye and demanded sternly, enunciating clearly, “Why did you take my dogs?”

“Sweet puppies . . .”

“Tell me! Why did you take them?”

“Sweet, sweet puppies . . .”

After that went on for five minutes, I sat back on my heals and sighed. I wasn’t getting anywhere. The newly-freed woman scrambled to her feet and rushed into her house, locking the door behind her.

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I stumbled off the porch, collapsed onto the ground, and was immediately surrounded by the dogs. They covered me in puppy kisses, and  suddenly my eyes filled with tears. I’d almost lost them all. For good.

Maybe the woman had just lost her marbles. That was the only explanation I had for her strange behavior.

But I didn’t care anymore. I was so glad to be reunited with my dogs that nothing else even seemed to matter.

Family Game Night ~ Part 2

The Percy Jackson insult battle that Tracy and I were in only stopped when Caroline offered us blue cookies. In my opinion, blue cookies — or any blue food, at that — could solve just about anything. Seriously. Take a plate of blue cookies onto a battlefield and see what happens. I dare you.

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After the game of Monopoly Millionaire had been cleaned up, Briar excused herself, saying that it was time for her beauty rest.That was fine with me; our next activity didn’t have teams, so Briar wasn’t exactly needed any more.

We all curled up on a makeshift (although very comfortable) couch to watch a movie. So I guess you could say that family game night had changed to family movie night. If we were going to do something like that again in the future, I was going to call it family entertainment night.

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Of course, everyone wanted to watch something different. MJ wanted Teen Beach Movie, Tracy wanted a Ninjago or Ultimate Spiderman marathon, Isabelle wanted the Swan Princess, and on and on it goes . . . In case you were wondering, I suggested a Doctor Who marathon.

But we all finally agreed on something when Savannah shouted out, “Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast!”

Disney Fairy movies. Yes.

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 I was sobbing my eyes out by the time the movie ended (as was Loren), so Caroline went to get some ice cream for me to make it better. She flicked on the lights on her way out, not leaving me in the dark with all my movie-induced feelings. Caroline also didn’t leave the room. Instead of being my servant that gets me ice cream whenever I cry, she got Loren to move the laptop.

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Caroline stood right in front of us, where the laptop had been moments before. She cleared her throat and began to speak. “I recently learned that there were two birthdays in this house that we didn’t celebrate. The birthdays of Isabelle and Molly.”

I gasped. How could I have possibly forgotten my best friend’s birthday?! The date came to the front of my mind: April 22. And Isabelle’s birthday . . . that was May 2nd.

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Molly and Isabelle looked at each other.

“We didn’t forget,” Isabelle started softly.

“We thought that maybe you didn’t care about our birthdays,” added Molly.

“Of course we care!” we all chorused.

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Caroline sat down next to Molly and took her hand. “You remember the couple you pet sat for?”

Molly nodded, a tear tracing its way down her cheek.

She had gotten her first pet sitting job in January. Some newlyweds were going on their honeymoon to Europe, and they needed someone to take care of their puppy, Boo.

I remembered when Molly had given Boo back. It was April 22nd . . . her birthday. Instead of receiving presents, she had given away something close to her heart. I knew that even though Molly had put on a brave face, even though  she’d only shed a few tears, that a little piece of her heart had stayed with Boo.

Caroline continued, “They decided to move to Europe. And the apartment –“

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“Flat!” I called out. “In Europe, it’s a flat.”

“Um, OK, thank you, Emily,” Caroline said. Then she looked Molly in the eye. “The flat they’re going to move into doesn’t allow pets. So they gave Boo away.”

“Whoever got him is very lucky,” Molly said, wiping away her tear.

An idea was starting to form in my mind. It was confirmed when Saige got up from the couch and dashed out of the room.

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She returned with a little dog in her arms, dressed in a soft white coat with a hood.

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Molly sprang up and took Boo from Saige. The pup covered her face in wet doggy kisses.

“Boo!” Molly was crying freely now, her face buried in her dog’s head.

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Saige left again, then hurried back, a red shopping bag in her hand. She placed it in Isabelle’s lap, and we all crowded around her, eager to see what was inside.

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Isabelle pulled a pair of red shoes, a beige and white striped scarf, a floral jumper, and a red sweater from the bag. Everyone oohed and aahed over the outfit.

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“Thank you!” Isabelle said. “I love it. And I’ll share it all with you guys.”

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“That’s really kind of you, but you don’t have to do that!” protested Ivy. “It’s your birthday present.”

I should have felt the same as Ivy, but I couldn’t help imagining myself in the outfit.

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“That’s right,” Izzy agreed, gathering the clothes up in her arms. “So I can do what I want with it. And I want to share it with you!” That was just the kind of sweet person she was. “But first . . . I want to try it on!”

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After Isabelle had changed, she modeled the outfit for us. She looked great. The reds went with her blonde hair and the scarf with her eyes.

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Finally we were all sleepy, and we stood up to get ready for bed.

“We should do this again,” I said.

A chorus of “Yeah”s, “Uh-huh”s, and “Totally”s met me.

I asked, “But next time . . . do I get presents?”

 

What is She Doing?! has Returned! #4

Hey guys! So it seems to me that you all have been missing What is She Doing. Well, it’s back!

I have created a really crazy scene this time . . .

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*caption this picture*

hehe! All the dolls are in it =)

I took close-ups of all the dolls so you’ll know what they’re holding and stuff.

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Tracy with her bathrobe and DS.

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Savannah and Ivy with their giant Nerf sword and Captain America shield.

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Saige with her sunglasses and skateboard.

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Emily with her cup o’ tea.

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Isabelle and Boo.

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And Molly helping Caroline with handstands (or whatever you think this is).

If you don’t know how to play “What is She Doing?!,” here are the rules:

Leave a comment with one or two captions for this photo.

On January 27th, I’ll announce the winner.

There is no prize, this is just for fun.

~~~~~~~~~

SO CAPTION THIS PICTURE!! ARRGGH!

~Loren

Molly’s Surprise

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We stood by the humans’ big glass door, talking as we waited for Molly to come home.

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Then we spotted her walking through the yard, carrying a big pink box.

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“Hey, guys!” she hollered. “Come out here. I’ve got something to show you!”

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I looked over at Ivy. What had Molly brought home? She just shrugged, as if she’d read my mind.

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We trudged out to where Molly was waiting, and plopped down on the ground when our sister motioned for us to sit.

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Molly had stashed the pink box behind her.

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“What’s up, Molly?” Emily asked in her crisp British accent.

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Molly grinned. “Well, you know that poster I put up in the post office? The one for pet sitting?”

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I nodded. “Yeah. Did someone call you?”

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Molly nodded enthusiastically and said, “Yes, someone did! They wanted me to keep their pet until April while they went on their honeymoon to Europe.”

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“OK, so here he is . . .”

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Molly sat down and started fiddling with the latch of the pet carrier.

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“So you . . . got a . . .”

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“PUPPY!” Molly exclaimed.

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The tiny dog stepped timidly out of its carrier. It was possibly the cutest thing I’d ever seen.

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“Oh, wow!” Isabelle exclaimed. “He is SO pretty.”

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The puppy trotted hesitantly over to Molly on dainty paws. They gazed at each other lovingly.

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Molly was amazing with animals. The trust in that creature’s eyes . . .

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“Boo,” Molly cooed to the pup. Boo wagged his tail happily.

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“We’re gonna have lots of fun together,” she promised.

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Molly scooped Boo up in her arms.

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They were just . . . meant to be.

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Molly had always wanted a dog of her own.

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I just hoped that she wouldn’t get too attached to Boo. I didn’t want her to get super-emotional when we had to give him back.

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But at least they were together for now.