Feb 15, 2013

A tale about a brother, a sister, and a little dog too

“Randall?” was all I could say before I burst into tears when my brother answered the phone. “I have lost Chevy and I cannot find her anywhere.” Still sobbing, I tried to explain how long I thought she had been missing and that I had been trying to find her. On the other end of the line my brother tried to remain calm, but I could tell that he was on the verge of becoming frantic.  By the time I had called him the dog had been missing for several hours. I was beside myself and dreaded calling him with the news. That dog means more to my brother than I do, even though he says that I mean the world to him.  At that moment, I knew the truth, Chevy is his world.  If we cannot find that dog then I have no choice but to move to Siberia and I don’t know where it is.

Randall rescued Chevy from an abusive man in 1998. The owner bragged about trying to poison a two month old puppy with anti-freeze while at a party. My brother caught wind of it and tried to beat the man up for mistreating an innocent animal. Somehow Randall found the puppy and took her under his wings. He came to love his little golden Chihuahua\Spitz mixture of a dog like you would a child. She grew up to be a good natured little thing and if she liked you then she would try to lick you to death.  She was my brother’s constant companion and went with him everywhere.  

My brother asked me to dog sit Chevy while he and his girlfriend went to a retreat over the weekend.  I watched Chevy one other time and I tried my best to take good care of her. It was April 2, 2005 when this nightmare happened. I got up early to run some errands before I was to talk to Aziz on line later.  I had been in and out of the house several times that morning. Actually, I went out to buy the dog some bacon. My brother told me how much she loved it and I wanted to be a good dog sitter. I was anxious to talk to Aziz, a man that I met on the internet, and wanted to get all of my running around out of the way so that I could spend as much time talking to him as he had time for.  After we had been chatting for a couple of hours, I noticed that the dog wasn’t in the room with me.  I asked Aziz to hold on so that I could look for Chevy in the house.  She was no where to be found.  I panicked.  “Where could she be?” I asked myself.  I looked in every crook and cranny. I even looked in the dryer more than once.  Chevy was gone.  I came back on line and told Aziz that the dog was missing. He felt bad for me and blamed himself. I told Aziz that I was responsible for the dog, not him.  I said that I had to go and turned off the computer. I put on my jacket and went outside to look for her in the neighborhood. Up and down the streets I went, stopping people and asking them if they had seen a little golden dog.  I walked until I was exhausted, then headed back home to rest for a bit only to go back out again.  Once inside the house, I burst into tears.  Feelings of failure overwhelmed me. During the course of the day my brother called me several times. At 7:20 pm, my brother called again to see if I had found the dog.  During the conversation he tried to comfort me and said that everything will work out alright.  I tried to believe him. At that point, finding the dog seemed hopeless. The longer that she was gone the less likelihood we had of finding her.

I tried to sleep, but couldn’t.  I tossed and turned all night.  When I woke up the next morning, my eyelids were swollen from all of the crying. My brother came over around 8:30 that morning. He told me that he, too, couldn’t sleep the night before. I cried yet again. We walked around the neighborhood until at least one o’clock. Then he went back home to make posters, hoping that someone may have seen his dog.  I tried to talk to Aziz while Randall was home making posters, but I was too upset and worried about the fate of my relationship with my brother. Randall came back with the posters and we put them up all around the neighborhood, hoping that someone may have seen her. We walked until it was dark. As each day passed, I grew more and more frantic about his dog. He tried to comfort me, but I knew that deep down he wanted his dog back more than anything.  Again, I had another sleepless night. 

I called in sick the next day to work.  My mind was so distracted that I couldn’t concentrate on anything. My brother came over at 4pm and again we walked the neighborhood. Up and down the streets we went, calling out Chevy’s name. On the last leg of our walk we turned down Violet Street and there she was on a leash being led by a Mexican girl to a van. “Chevy” Randall shouted and the dog turned her head towards the voice calling her name. She tried to come towards her owner but was pulled back by the girl. “That’s my dog” Randall shouted, “You have my dog!” Chevy kept looking at us and her tail began to wag.  We both ran to the van and Randall demanded the return of his precious dog. Five men emerged from the van acting like they were going to do something if things got out of hand. Randall reached to his side making sure that his pistol was still there. Trust me; He would have taken out the whole city if he had to for his dog. He gave the girl $20.00 and she willingly gave up all rights to the dog. We noticed that Chevy’s collar and tags had been taken off and replaced with a different one. They meant to keep her with no intentions of looking for the rightful owner.  I have to admit that I thought we would never see the Chevy again. To me, it was a divine thing that we found her when we did.  In a matter of moments she would have been in a van going to some other part of town.  My brother says that he knew all along that he would find her. I am glad he thinks this, but I saw a little desperation in his actions to make me think otherwise. Most of all, I am just thankful that I didn’t have to move to Siberia.