• houstontxteddy

    I must admit it, I too went right to the ending of this entry. Reading this made me sick to my stomach with anxiety! We are SO glad Chuck is safe.

  • http://www.theolster.net theOlster

    Man thats great news. The bit about you controlling your spiraling out of control… Oh and Chuck being found.

  • http://table4five.net Elizabeth

    I don’t know Maggie (although I did glimpse her at BlogHer and her hair is indeed amazing), but she seems like a good friend to have. I understand what she means when she says that it’s possible to worry until what you’re worrying about actually happens. And although I wish you didn’t have such bad anxiety, the fact that you worry so much about people who are less fortunate than you shows what a good heart you have.

    That being said, I’m so glad you found Chuck! You’re lucky to have such kind, congressman-loving neighbors. Oh, and by the way, my husband flew to Salt Lake City today on business, and I jokingly said “say hello to Dooce for me”, and he said “WHO’S DOOCE?” And then my head exploded. As IF.

  • http://www.leality.wordpress.com leahbee

    I too suffer from irrational worrying and worst-case-scenario-itis.

    In high school every time I had an exam or paper, the trajectory of my life would look like this:

    I am going to get a B on the paper, this will bring my grade average down to a B, I will not get into a good college, I will never have money or be happy, I will die alone in a gutter.

  • marnie

    OK, I have never actually lost my dog, my my stomach was up in my throat until I heard Chuck was safe and sound.

    I just try to kill my dog by feeding him razor blades… well, I didn’t actually force it down his throat, but he ate a razor blade none-the-less.

    Glad Chuck was out shagging the neighbours dog and not… well eating razor blades or something horrific like that…


  • http://www.between3boys.typepad.com Heather Edwards

    Aww! So glad you found your furry wonder.

  • http://lifeofshoe.blogspot.com shel

    ok, i was on the edge of my seat, slighty nauseous and on the verge of tears. because of chuck, i live vicariously through you as a dog owner. i’d kill to have a kickass dog such as master c.

    i am sooooooooooo glad that he was found and is safe and back home. give him some hugs and kisses from northern california, would you?

  • http://thisiskrys.blogspot.com Krystl

    You know, I have a spiral, too. Two, actually. One is called The Question Factory–that’s the one that cannot stop exploring depressing possibilities. The other one is what my boyfriend refers to as The Shame Spiral–that’s the one wherein I feel guilty about negative feelings. (e.g., I get after myself for getting irritated with someone.)

    The Question Factory has been mercifully quiet lately (Yay, Wellbutrin!), but The Shame Spiral has stuck around. The funny thing is that every now and then, the Shame Spiral has me so beaten down that I can’t fight my own negativity anymore. I tell myself that I’m just going to feel these negative feelings because there’s nothing I can do about it, and it’s always at that exact point that they evaporate. For a while a least.

  • http://www.howtowashashowercurtain.com Ana


    this post made me tear up. That anxiety and pressure sure builds up. The release in that deep breath, when you really mean it, feels really good.

    Thank god that dog made it home. I don’t think I’D be able to sleep tonight!

  • http://eviljulie.com Julie

    I had this horrible sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when I read the part about you leaving Chuck outside – I was sure this story was going to end up with him getting hit by a car. I have never been so glad to be wrong in my entire life, because I was ready to burst into tears in the middle of my office. Hug that puppy for all of us.

  • http://www.beautifulcandy.blogspot.com Kissyface

    Maggie’s right, you are walking directly into what you fear. The timing of this is no accident; this is spirituality 101, and she just handed you the primer. You really made this one happen, and you know what? Everyone is okay. You’re a good person, a great writer, and an even greater mom. Please don’t interpret any of this as condescending, I’ve been right about where you are most of my life, maybe a little less OCD, but right down to the tooth-loss dreams, I hear you loud and clear. By the way, I understand that this particular slumber-time drama can signify a feeling of powerlessness, which sits feeding the roots of fear, and vice versa. Maybe it’s a symbiotic relationship.

    Anyway, just make your spiral an upward one. It’s clear from your blog that it’s what you’ve been working on anyway. You’re doing much better than you think.

    I’m so glad your amazing dog and lovely family are safe. No worries, Ladybug.

  • sunnyskies

    Oh! I am so glad Chuck is home! Yay!

    When our dog got out a few years ago I thought I would die. Luckily he had just gone a couple of blocks over to the park where we took him regularly for doggie play time…but that time between when we realized he was missing until when we found him were some of the most fraught of my life. Glad you had a happy ending with your pup, too. :)

  • http://dancingfoe.org Liz

    I don’t usually comment because you GET SO MANY (not bitterness, just envy) but I read this and it tugged at my heartstrings.

    I have a new puppy who already is a part of our family in a major way, we got her right after we had to put down our other dog, and now we just had to have a surgery on our OTHER dog, Milo, because he tore his ACL (read: knee) and required a rather complicated surgery because he is just TOO FAT to have a less complicated one. Whoops.

    But Milo is now not doing so well, he’s not eating, can’t hardly walk, and yelps if you come near him. He must have some infection somewhere which is usual because the incidence of infection in these surgeries are rather high, however Milo is in such a state that we’re having to decide whether to keep him alive or to let him go to Doggy Heaven, and figuring out if we’re doing best by him, not us.

    I guess this post just made me thing about Milo, and I am really really glad you guys have Chuck back because I know how hard it is to lose a pet–even for a day it’s difficult.

  • sunnyskies

    Oh! I am so glad Chuck is home! Yay!

    When our dog got out a few years ago I thought I would die. Luckily he had just gone a couple of blocks over to the park where we took him regularly for doggie play time…but that time between when we realized he was missing until when we found him was probably the most fraught of my life. Glad you had a happy ending with your pup, too. :)

  • http://www.jonsagara.com/blogs/easilyamused/ Jon Sagara

    Glad you got your boy back.

  • http://www.weehob.com Charmaine

    I was also really worried about half-way through the story! We put a chip in our dog recently because we’ve gotten into the habit of taking her collar off while she’s inside. Sometimes I worry so much that if someone broke into our house or mistakenly let her out, or the fence gate blew open in a gale, she wouldn’t find her way hom. Which is why I was very happy to learn that the animal control agent in town requires that the vet scans all the dogs she picks up. Anyways, glad he’s home safe and sound.

    Your illustrations reminded me a bit of the scenarios that Amelie plays out in her head in the movie.

  • Stephanie

    Oh my god. My dad did that with our dog in the morning this August. We drove around and finally found him, one street over, with his WHORE! Every time he goes out in the front yard he starts trying to walk up the street to go see his whore. I never realized my dog was such a pimp. I’m glad you found Chuck!

  • http://misha-pooh.blogspot.com Mish

    I dont have a child, but i had a wolf/husky/lab mix that escaped at every available chance. Once I found her at a concert at an island FIVE MILES UPSTREAM. She stank like smelly fish but i was so happy to see her. There was another time when I think someone stole her. When they let her out in their yard they must have taken her collar off and she ran straight home. Though it was winter i left my window and of course my gate open. At 6am i heard barking but gloomingly looked out the window only to see the white curly tail – my MISHA! She had run straight home because did i mention she was part homing pigeon also? She must have a few while she was on the streets before i found her for the first time. RIP my baby girl Misha. Though I now have a beautiful husky Jackson (who is MUCH better behaved than you ever were) and a rat terrier mix (those were one of your favorite to play with), and I know you are turning over in your beloved ashes abouy this – TWO CATS! But you will ALWAYS have a special place in my heart and i will love you FOREVER my beautiful baby girl.

  • http://b-may.com b-may

    This whole thing did make me want to buy a calendar.

  • danika

    I have tears sliding down my face. TEARS, Heather. As I was reading, I realized that my lungs were screaming for air — since I was holding my breath — so I had to scroll down to the end of the entry and make sure that he was okay, before I could take a deep breath and continue. My God, I’m so glad he’s back.

    And now I have the urge to go toss back a shot in Chuck’s honor. Welcome home, Chuck.

  • http://www.yarnpirate.com georgia

    i suffer from extreme dog related anxiety. i worry and fuss over every aspect of my dog’s health to the point that i’m convinced i gave him cancer. yep, my 2 yr old mutt got cancer and some part of me thinks i caused it (he’s ok now though).

    i was so worried you were going to say chuck had been hit by a car or something i almost closed the window. i’m glad i scrolled down and found out he was ok. that dog goes on some crazy adventures. it makes me wish he had his own blog. i bet he’d post lots of his angsty poetry he writes in the basement.

  • libby

    That was a tough one, Heather: I, too, was tearing up and had to read faster and faster to make sure Chuck was home. Phew. Cheers…

    …and, yeah, letting go is a gigantic helpful concept that I’d like to posit is applicable to the religious and non-religious alike. To wit: some of the Christian persuasion liken it to “I’m gonna let it lay where Jesus flung it” while Buddhists would just smile in agreement to just about any suggestion of letting any thing go.

    I speak from experience: I found myself gritting my teeth so tightly just a few hours ago while reviewing the news of the day from Iraq. Very difficult, very sad. And not a whole lot that gritting my teeth will do to improve it.

  • Jaxie

    First: glad you found Chuck.
    Second: the entire time I was reading the first half of this, I couldn’t help but think of this book I just read to my 4th grade class. It’s not the greatest book ever, but oh my goodness did this post make me think of the book. I do believe that if I had your physical address, you’d be getting the book as a christmas present. So, if you get the chance the next time you’re shopping, you should check out the book “Just In Case” by Judith Viorst. I do believe you’d be able to relate…a lot!

  • laurajeans

    Not meaning to be cheeky but did you register the microchip you had put in Chuck? I only ask because my cat Daisy went missing a few weeks ago at my parent’s house in American Fork, UT – I had forgotten to call and register the chip manufacturer’s database. She’s still up in Utah somewhere. Sigh.

    Glad you got Chuck back though.

  • Dia

    I can’t tell you how glad I am to hear that Chuck is safe at home once more. I panicked when I read that he was missing and almost stopped to email my best friend a tragic “CHUCK IS MISSING! OMG, WE MUST DO SOMETHING!” email. I can’t even begin to imagine how horrific it must have been for you.

    Also? I have that same dream about my teeth falling out. Drives me nuts and I always have to check when I wake up just to make sure that they’re all still where they belong. *shudder*

  • ashley

    i’m so glad you found him. so, so glad.

  • http://cauri.wordpress.com Cauri

    Heather, that story went on too long!! I just needed to hear that he was home safe! I’m still recovering from that scare. I can’t imagine how you must have squeezed him, how you must be squeezing him still.

  • melissacg

    Oh, how scary. I’m so glad he’s home safe.

    Are you able to stop kissing his little face off yet?

  • http://www.afunkdiddy.blogspot.com onegirlmanyideas

    this is the bestest entry EVER!

  • Nat W.

    So glad someone found him! Losing a dog is the worst feeling.

    Yay, Chuck!

  • Mrs. Bickerson

    If you haven’t seen the movie My Life as a Dog, you might like it. The little boy goes through hell and keeps his positive attitude by comparing his life to the first dog sent into space. He imagines that anything he (the boy) endures is better than being that dog, sent into space, all alone, no food, etc. Quite the good movie. Funny and sad.

    When I was 6 or 7 in Iowa our dog, Barney, ran away one December. He was gone three days. My mom and dad drove miles and miles around our town with my brother and me yelling his name out the windows. And then one day he poked his head out of his dog house in our backyard. We never knew where he had been. Perhaps Las Vegas?

  • Jenn

    I’m so glad to hear that Chuck is back home, safe and sound!… I’m also very glad to hear that you were able to ward off some of that vice-grip anxiety. I can tell you what a monumental feat that is, especially in such a scary situation.

    I like to refer to it as good ol’ Catastrophic Thinking, and I’m only the latest in a whole line of women in my mom’s family to perfect this skill. It’s had a particularily tight vice-grip on me lately, and it’s so awesome to see someone not only explicitly spell out the exact train of thought it creates, but also to see that it doesn’t always have to get the better of you. Thanks for the encouraging (and, as always, hilarious) story!

  • jaclyng

    Hey Heather; glad the pup is safe. Regarding the Spiral of Worry, I was the same for years; guilty that I had so much when so many had so little. Then I learned the concept that we all create our own existence ENTIRELY. So now I am thankful I have created a wonderful life for myself and enjoy it fully. For those who haven’t created the same kind of life, they are on their own path and their lives are exactly what they have chosen for this time, for whatever reason. Thank God I chose love and luxury!!!

  • DanielN

    Wow, I can’t believe those people called animal control so quickly.

    Remember the days when we all just let our dogs roam freely around the neighborhood? I’d stand out on the back porch yelling Cinnamon….Cinnnaaamooooonn…Ciiinnnnaaaamoooonnnn! and she’d never come. My Dad would step out and call once and she’d come zipping around the corner and into the yard.

  • MarkDM

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME? It happened *again*? Geez, well, now that Chuck is back safe and sound, I’m sure calendar sales will go through the roof. If he was ever really gone, that is.

    Seriously, great post, and I knew it’d have a happy ending when I saw your very funny Nascar graphic near the top. I can’t imagine you’d do something so whimsical if the extremely handsome Chuck was still missing or if something terrible had happened.

  • http://alithinks.typepad.com Alison

    I found myself holding my breath halfway through this post. Glad Chuck is home safe!

  • Angela

    Hey, what’s wrong with Republican NASCAR fans??? LOL!
    Love your blog, and I’m glad that Chuck is home safe!!!

  • Jamie

    Oh man, I was totally teary-eyed. I even scrolled ahead to the end to see if you’d found him, and even though I saw that you did, I still got more and more teary-eyed as I finished reading.

    I’m so sorry you had to go through that, but if it’s any consolation, it made a great, heart-wrenching story.

  • leslieruth

    Didn’t know I could go through so many emotions in one blog reading. Glad to hear that Chuck is back safe and sound! Sound like Maggie was a much needed help at the perfect time. I’m a little jealous you have friends like that. Any tips on how to make friends when you move to a whole new frickin’ state?

  • Indigopyro

    I relate in too many ways to your hillarious illustration of The Spiral. I am incredibly guilty of letting my worrywort imagination get to me. In fact, I must admit that half way through your tale of Chuck’s adventure I immediately assumed he was dead – what a terrible thing to think!

    I’m also the person who assumes that any time a strange sound comes from another room that someone/something has spilled, broken, died, etc. This is, of course, a terrible way to live and I was so encouraged to see that someone else’s mind works this way too – and that it doesn’t always have to be like that. Thank you for the laugh, the heartwarming tale, and helping me feel more normal.

    P.S. – Not to suck up, or anything, but I think you’re an amazingly talented writer and I read your blog religiously. You are wonderful! (I think we all need to hear that every now and then.)

  • http://wonderlis.blogspot.com Lis

    Whew!! I was so stressed out while reading. It’s so funny though, cause I bet Chuck had a great time while you guys were so worried. Do you think you’ll set up a play date with the dogs of the neighbor who found him?

  • http://homegrown-insanity.blogspot.com crzylady

    oh thank goodness! as most people probably did I cried for the last half of the post and just kept telling myself she wouldn’t write about it if they hadn’t found him….with fingers crossed. We are very happy about it and my daughter Aurora and husband Edison send their love and best wishes with mine.

  • http://quo.elicitbehavior.com Nopa

    Just wanted to say thank goodness you found him. I have literally nothing else to say, besides you freaked my shit out with that story. I’m so glad Chuck’s ok.


  • Beckcycle

    Not only am I relieved that Chuck is home (WHAT DO YOU MEAN THE MICROCHIP DIDN’T WORK?! Does that happen often? BUT THE MICROCHIP HELPS ME SLEEP!)but I am also secretly a little happy that my dog isn’t the only dog who would wander away under those circumstances. If Chuck-the-most-acrobatic-dog-ever would do it, then I guess I can’t blame my dog.

  • http://cathbuzz.blogspot.com/ cathbuzz

    Glad to see Chuck is home and doing well.

    I do have another theory for you about your worrying, because I too am a worrier. I am more of a flyweight to your heavyweight, but I figured out why I do what I do.

    We (you and I and 99% of the people we know) have grown up steeped in stories from TV and books. Most of these stories follow the same couple of dozen themes, one of the major ones being that a person with everything going for them is plunged into their darkest tragedy in a split second. A happily family riding home in the car with a new puppy singing Christmas carols is just ASKING to be hit head-on by a semi, for example. So, everytime things are going well, or I’m especially happy, or even if I’m just driving down the street with my kids in the car and no one is screaming mommy mommy mommy, I can just picture the story arc where everything is going great in my life and then wham! Everyone in my family is killed.

  • http://www.lostasock.com Molly Ray

    I felt sick for you as I read. I am so glad he is home.

  • http://www.StyleFix.net Lolo

    Dude, I DON’T KNOW WHAT I WOULD DO if I lost my dog. I can’t even imagine it. I try, but my brain shuts down with utter terror. Oh, and dude, if you EVER write a post like that again, wherein I don’t know if it’s going to end well, wherein it isn’t clear if that adorable patient puppy is going to be okay, I will seriously drive all the way to SLC and wrap noodles around your head. Seriously. I lost like a year of my life just now.

  • Julia

    thank goodness I didn’t know – I LOVE that dog.

    Tonight, after a stupid comment by his coach, my 14 year old ran out of the gym and was missing for 1 hour and 14 minutes. I thought my world had come to an end. he arrived home finally and said he felt better after he ran it off. good god.

  • http://www.hootiepalooza.blogspot.com Skeezeroo

    OH MY GOD that just happened to me really recently! Only it was when it was incredibly HOT here this past summer, and I let my dog out in the back but I hadn’t latched the gate after taking out the recycling crap to the alleyway. We noticed him missing around 8pm and then my husband and I took turns driving up and down the alleyways and streets in our neighborhood looking for him until 11:30pm. I drove up and down many more times the next morning, after having not slept a frigging BIT all night, fat eyes, guilt-ridden myself. And I had to wait until noon when the animal shelter opened up. My daughter (3) was all upset, worried about Floyd, and where was he, and why wasn’t he home, and I had laid his bed and water and food on the front porch in case he came home, and he didn’t, and she was a mess. And then I found him in the second to the last pen at the animal shelter, and we were all crying and beside ourselves. He was picked up a HALF A BLOCK from our house, at 8:20 pm the previous night, and had been there all night. He was without his collar due to having had a bath that day, so also, no way to identify him. So anyway. Long story. But I can relate. Glad you got him back.

  • http://www.mysterymommy.blogspot.com mystery mommy

    Welcome home, Chuck!