The Fast & The Furriest

Over the course of an outing with a new friend, I learned she liked to swipe random items from unassuming storefronts. Our first and last afternoon together earned her a cheap pair of fake silver hoops and some lipstick. She never stole anything valued at over $4, but the notion of such debauchery snowballing quickly to a place at The Clink seemed obvious. Free fancy lips today. Hard drugs and the sex and some prison time tomorrow. I didn’t make eye contact as she chatted with me through the shiny halls of the shopping mall. My eyes were antsy and dancing about. I waited for the full force of Mall Law to fall heavy on the guilty, and stayed a minimum of four steps diagonally behind my new thief bestie. I was nervous, spent  those agonizing minutes trying to formulate a legitimate reason to leave. I was, purse tucked by my side to keep the kleptomaniac from storing treasures in its pouches, ready to tuck and roll from authorities. I’d never actually encountered authorities, let alone had a reason to flee from them, so I worried a masterful escape  might not go as planned. My only other tactic was to cry, beg them to call my youth pastor or the school’s principal for character references, and immediately turn state’s narc on the shoplifting “stranger”.

That was a 24 hour friendship. I’d watched too much Law & Order and knew down what dirty path such association with hardened criminals would lead me. When I think of that fateful girl’s day part of me shivers knowing how close to being caged with the other heathens in the cold, damp back office of a country mall. I think of the bad girl now and hope for a little  justice, at least guilty ear lobes stained green from those cheap earrings like a bank robber facing a dye bomb when he sneaks a peek inside his million dollar getaway tote.  Mostly when I reflect on the experience I’m just confused. I cannot comprehend wanting a particular shade of Fruity Tooty pink lipstick enough to risk getting in trouble. Even with my after-school job, I’d surely had a whopping $5 to loan the girl. I was born generous like that. Had we been friends longer than 12-and-a-half minutes she’d have known this about me.

Over the weekend we got lost trying to find a modest home on an unnamed road in one of those in-between towns in the sticks. When my son and husband and I finally arrived a kind woman led us down a hill and into a small shed. Before me were a few dogs, panting and begging to be stolen immediately. I tried to be subtle when she let the large male from his crate. “Get in my pocket, why don’t you,” I asked the 80-pound fur ball. I giggled at the tail end of the whisper. Try to make the unsuspecting breeder assume I’ve got a weird sense of humor and not a stealing streak. She locked the door to the dog house, to make sure the dogs didn’t accidentally dart out she said. I’m pretty sure she got one look at my crazed eyes, heavy-panting drool mouth and just had a gut feeling about me.

As my husband talked paw size and lineage with the breeder, I noodled over logistics of the heist. Two grown dogs, one puppy, three large crates, tennis balls, water bowls. We’d need to leave my son behind to fit everyone. This is just as well, I assured myself, as the boy is too distracted by the cat in the front yard to make a proper getaway. Also his legs are rather small, not made for mad dashes into already moving vehicles.

Then there was the looming obstacle of distracting this stranger long enough to physically haul my new dog children away. I’d need Tom to fake a medical emergency, but he’s far too dignified to feign seizure. I fantasized changing the dogs’ Social Security numbers. I’d be ready with plausible explanations  when they grew older and started doubting my biological ties to them: “I used to be blonde, Golden Retriever. Yes. I dye my eyebrows black now, too.” In all reality I knew I lacked the strength and stamina to pull off such a daring plan. Too many witnesses, too. And I wasn’t, I don’t think, prepared to hurt people. Also problematic was that I didn’t pay attention on the drive up, had no clue what area I was in or which gravel road would best take me to civilization. When it became clear that it was not the day for dognapping, I settled onto the floor and let the puppy chew my grabby fingers.

Lipstick and dangly jewelry seemed ludicrous, but these golden pups made me ready to change identities and cross state lines with stolen plates. It occurs to me now that what’s kept me from a life of crime is not so much a flawless moral compass or heart of gold. I just hadn’t, until the other day anyway, met cute enough loot.


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42 thoughts on “The Fast & The Furriest

    • They are just like human babies. If my son wasn’t adorable I’d have a harder time handling the poop and tears and sleepless nights, you know? I’m convinced God creates puppies so sweet and precious so you won’t kill them when they poo on your carpet and chew your furniture down to sticks.

    • Haha! Most days my son is my favorite person to hang out with. Then other days he acts true to his 3-year age and I’d be lying if I didn’t wish some babysitter would come handle the tantrums!

  1. So, no dog-napping? At least not yet! I once had a friend who shop-lifted. Somehow the friendship seemed to be over once I discovered that. I don’t understand why people do it. I’d be much more inclined to steal a dog than a lipstick.

    By the way, I was just about to tell you how much I love your new background when I saw Lisa’s comment. I love Lisa, but I love your new look, as well. I’m all about the black and white!


    • Ah! So you’ve had the weird thieving friend, too. I don’t know if shoplifting was normal to everyone but me, but it freaked me out. To me it was like learning this funny, pretty, nice new friend had a secret hankering for smacking babies. Like, what’s wrong with you?!? Also, I really was just so terrified of getting in trouble by Mall Cops!

    • Haha. I didn’t have enough time to properly train the dog to follow and jump into my moving car. We’ll have to pay a deposit, face an adoption interview from the breeder, and wait for a puppy coming this Spring. Sounds so much less exciting than dognapping.

      • “adoption interview?” Isn’t that funny. Any cretin with the proper working bits and an equally-but-opposite equipped partner can make a human being, but you have to be qualified by a Supreme Court panel to get a dog.

      • It’s ridiculous. I was watching Teen Mom the other night (it makes me feel like a superior parent) and thinking it should not be so strenuous to get a dog.

  2. :) you guys are going to get a golden retriever puppy?! He/she could replace your son in the ‘love you the mostest’ part of your heart, if you’re already prepared to abandon him to allow for kidnapping of aduld dogs. awesome story, I can already see you becoming more hardened and criminal as you plot dog-thievery.

    • Haha. I will keep my son. He’s way too cute to leave on the side of the highway. But we ARE hoping to get a golden retriever when the new little comes this Spring. I am beyond excited and so ready to (creepy) smell that puppy breath.

    • I had every intention of snapping a lot of pics of the actual dogs we met. But Escape With Large Dogs Tactics took up too much time. Also? Thanks. I never really know what I’m doing for titles. I’m always tempted to just call the posts “This One’s About My Period” or “This One’s About A Dog”.

  3. Kindred spirits, you and I. (I’m feeling a little Yoda today. He’s right here on my desk!)

    Brown eyes and fur. That’s all it takes to win my heart and turn me into a cult member.

    • Men and dogs, alike! Dark and handsome. I seriously have not felt so absolutely crazy in a long, long time. I was sweating and just completely focused on making every dog there my new furry baby.

    • It’s dangerous. Tom knows just to avoid them. Occasionally we pass by a rough part of town where a bunch of cars will park near the side of the road and sell puppies out of a big cardboard box. I refer to them as Box Babies and it KILLS me every time I can’t take all 100 of them home.

  4. I passed a slightly sketchy little pet store on my way home the other day and got distracted by the beyond-adorable kittens by the window. I was tempted to take one home and just call it a rescue because who knows where those kittens came from, given how tiny and sketch that store was? ;)

    • TWIN! Thankfully Tom is taking the reigns on this one. If I was the boss I’d have already adopted every animal with a sad back story in all of Tennessee. This lady was a legitimate breeder, so there is a little peace of mind knowing the dogs are incredibly well cared for, but old habits die hard. She kept wanting to explain their champion blood lines and I was just like “Ok, ok, ok. But which one was abandoned and beaten. I want that one”.

    • Haha. No! Totally kidding. (So, maybe I thought about it, for a minute or thirty, but came to my senses). The boy’s definitely staying… but adding a dog child to the mix sounds great :)

  5. Hey, I’m not sure you’re showing up in my reader… I’ll investigate. Maybe I just missed it.

    My wife always wants to volunteer at the animal shelter. This noble and good and worthwhile and a horrible idea because she’d bring home all of them.

    • Tom won’t let me anywhere near an animal shelter. I stopped by Petco one day and they were hosting an adoption drive outside the store. I’d been kept from puppy hoarding for so long things almost got dangerous. Everybody needs 3 pitbulls a few birds and a one-eyed cat, right?

    • I was ready for prison just to get a puppy, but Tom’s all level-headed and wise. We’re waiting until a new litter comes this Summer, so hopefully I’ll get a legal dog child soon!

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