Friday, July 24, 2009

The Whole Dog Drama

Monica's 12-week-old black teacup Chihuahua was stolen but miraculously returned.

On Thursday July 16th the weather was very hot and a lot of folks came to our place to swim. Monica is a very friendly little girl, who loves the Chihuahuas and enjoys the attention she and the dogs enjoy when she carries them around and plays with them or watches them playing. We try to be generous in sharing this magnificent lake property and at the same time keep it safe for our family. A young lady was here with a friend on Thursday. We eventually learned that her full name was Alexandria Wallace, but in visiting with her Monica simply was told Alex. Since I was mowing the lawn I noticed her holding Little Lily quite a lot on a bench down on the dock. Alex asked Monica a lot of questions about the dog, like how old she was, if she had her shots and what she ate, etc.

Debbie and I had a Relief Society quarterly enrichment activity to attend that evening. T.J. was left in charge of Amy and Monica. The day before David arranged to come by after work and pick up all the kids for a movie night at his home. A few days earlier Debbie had been asked to present a mini-lesson based on an article in the Ensign magazine “Becoming Self-Reliant – Spiritually and Physically” by Elder M. Russell Ballard Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Debbie prepared laminated bookmarks “As a woman thinketh in her heart, so is she. Prov. 23:7 A grateful thought is the seed for change“, and a worksheet for sisters to list 5 things they are grateful for and of their strengths. She also purchased little individual plants to remind the sisters that they can grow in their self-reliance. Since we picked up one of the older sisters whom I visit teach, we left about a quarter after six. Debbie did a great job on her presentation. As soon as we left the building she checked her phone for messages and one said “Monica lost Lily.”

When she called to find out more, Debbie was told that shortly after we left Monica couldn’t find Lily. Everyone pitched in looking for her and asking everyone if they had seen her. Monica saw Alex heading up the hill and asked her about Lily. Alex opened her purse and said, “See, I don’t have her.” Learning of that later, Debbie thought that was a strange response. David actually went to the neighbors searching. In meeting them, he discovered a woman, whom he knew from Naval Ave. Elementary School. During the hunt a couple with their son came down the driveway. They instructed their son to tell our family what he had told them. He said when he was walking home he saw a lady with the black puppy’s head showing out of her handbag. This was the first indication that Lily was stolen. Alex was the only one carrying a bag. David said Monica couldn’t stop crying once she realized Lily was really gone. Everyone was upset.

Debbie had a plan by bedtime. Debbie phoned the police and reported the disappearance and suspected theft. Naturally we all started a safe return in all our family, couple, mealtime and personal prayers. Early the next morning we created a reward poster. 1) Will insisted that since Monica knew the girl’s name was Alex, that her name be included on the poster. Amy and Monica helped mount them on construction paper and then Debbie and the girls posted them. They started with one at the corner of our house by the breezeway, where anyone coming to swim would see it. They mounted a couple at the top of our street sign, one at the stop sign up the road, one at the Red Apple grocery. They took one to each of the pet stores in town. They told extended family members and requested they all add their prayers.

Debbie had planned on leaving Friday in order to be in Pahrump Saturday for Allyssa’s birthday. They changed plans to remain through Monica’s birthday on Monday the 20th.

We had heard nothing concerning Lily’s possible return by the end of Sunday. At 11:20 PM we received a phone call from a woman, who said her daughter knew where Lily was. The woman said she would get the dog and bring her to us. I got up, took a book, turned on our yard light and went to sit and watch and wait. At 1:10 AM I gave up and went to bed again. About a half hour later the woman phoned again. Since Daddy B.J. was slow to pick-up, most of the 2) conversation went to the answering machine and was recorded. Margaret gave us this report. Her daughter Laura, who is engaged and living with her boyfriend, told her that evening that her friend Alex had a new puppy – a teacup chihauhau. Margaret got to thinking about being at our place on Friday, seeing the poster which asked for information about a girl named Alex, and talking to Monica, who shared all about having her puppy stolen. Margaret asked her daughter what color the dog was and when she replied that it was black and there were pictures of it on Alex’s “MySpace” website, Margaret felt sure it was the missing dog. She made her first call to us then.

Margaret went to the website and 3) printed out five pages of the entry about Alex’s new dog. There were several pictures taken at our place the day she was here with the lake in the background! Alex’s final comment was, ”I stole the dog from a little girl Ha!” Margaret then called Alex and told her she was giving her five minutes to bring the dog to her or she would be calling the police. Alex hung up on her. Margaret waited. Nothing happened so she called the police and explained about discovering the stolen “Gent” puppy. The officer checked and couldn’t find any such theft reported and said if the Gents didn’t care enough to make it report there was nothing he could do. She made her second call to us.

Margaret explained more of her story. She said last Friday she wanted to take her sons and their friends, Jesse and Jacob Fry, swimming. The drove to Belfair and found it clouded over though the sun was shinning when they left Bremerton. She decided to cancel the outing, but the Fry boys said they knew just the place to go swimming – at the Gent’s. Margaret was hesitant. She doesn’t like meeting strangers and didn’t want to be a bother. The Frys insisted it would be just fine with us. So they came and played for a couple for a couple of hours. Margaret enjoyed helping Monica blow up balloons. She felt sad for the lilttle girl’s loss.

Margaret told us about calling the police and that fizzling. Margaret said that she would be heading to work in Gig Harbor within a few hours and could come by our place with the printout from Alex’s “MySpace” about 6:30 AM. Daddy B.J. and I decided not to bother Debbie about it until there was something positive to share. I waited by the door at 6:30 and met Margaret on the driveway. I realized while I waited why the police couldn’t find the report. It was made by Debbie Gordon, not Debbie Gent and I explained that to Margaret. I was open-mouth amazed at the pictures and heartless comments. I had Margaret write down her name and address and her daughter’s name and phone number. I thanked her profusely and she said she really felt it was miraculous how it had all come about – a change of plans bringing her here Friday, her daughter happening to know Alex, Laura’s passing on the news about Alex’s new puppy.

Daddy B.J. was also dumb-founded by the printout and told me to get Debbie right on it. I woke her up, but not the kids. I went straight to my computer and tried to find it on the web, but Alex had closed her website! Debbie called the police and explained what had been happening. The officer on duty found her report quickly. Debbie asked what to do next and the he replied that 4) the policeman, who took her report was just coming on duty and it would be turned over to him. Shortly there was a return call from the police, then the officer came and picked up Margaret’s printout and the information she wrote out for me. I wished I had made copies! He also listened to the answering machine recording.
About two hours later as I was headed out to run errands, a truck pulled in. It was Margaret and Laura with Lily! I got all teary eyed and ran to bring Debbie out. The officer made it all happen. So Monica woke up to the best birthday present possible. Lily was back. Truly our prayers were answered.

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