• http://jaycee.typepad.com/semantics/ Jaycee

    See, all that worry about nothing. I know, easier said than done to not worry, but thank the doggod that he was ok.

    I live right near a very busy road and my dog has got out twice – once was my drunk sister leaving the side gate open, the other was when I’d just got her and didn’t have a proper side gate. Both times she was found sitting by my front door. It’s a big phew moment.

  • Zoot

    There are just so many things I read in this entry that rang true in my own life. My close friends and I have often discussed my guilt over being happy. I have learned to cope with the anxiety attacks over the recent years, going through the same type of revelations you have gone through.

    But also? My dogs are my life. And I lost one for 30 minutes one night because I left the door open by accident. Those 30 minutes were so long and so painful. I’m glad you all survived your adventure.

  • Stephanie

    Man that must have been scary. I once, in my pregnancy stupor, let my two dogs out. It wasn’t until 15 minutes later that I realized that I left the gate open. We lived by a busy street at the time and the worst ran through my mind. But there they were running around having the time of their lives. And there I was chasing after them barefoot, seven months pregnant and hyperventalting. Glad to hear Chuck is home safe and sound.

  • http://www.poopandboogies.com William

    I don’t think you letting go and taking a deep breath and the phone ringing was a coincidence at all. It was Willing what you wanted to happen, to happen.

  • tropicalpopsicle

    I lost a cat that my exboyfriend said was old enough to go outside. I believed him and my cat died. I’m so relieved that Chuck is home safe and he didn’t spend a freezing night outside alone. I read the last part of this so fast to get to the end where I hoped I would find a happy ending! I’m very happy for you guys. I’m resisting the urge to use several exclamation points.

  • M&M

    ahhh, What a relief! I have lost my dog twice & by some lucky chance, found him within the hour. I can’t imagine what you went through. So glad Chuck is back. Thank goodness for wonderful, loving dog families like the one who gave him a home that night. So sorry you had to go through all of this.

  • chefgirl

    About halfway through, I had to skip to the end to make sure you found him! So glad that you did.

  • Elizabeth

    I know what it’s like to have your dog prefer the company of someone else like that. I have 2 Labs and one of them–the 3-year old, is always going for long walks with people into the woods next to my house. I can’t let her out for 5 minutes before she takes off. She once got a letter addressed to “Tess The Bog Dog,” from Texas (2500 miles from here). Who’s crazier, the people who sent the letter, or me for letting my dog go for walks in the bog with strangers? Anyway, I worry a lot about my dogs and run the full gamut of emotions when they’re gone. I’m so glad Chuck came back. He’s a really charming dog.

  • Ryan Melzer

    This may be your best piece of writing, ever.

  • http://kimba-bremen.com kim from germany

    man, i’m glad he’s back home safe.

  • http://montanajen.typepad.com/that_jen/ MontanaJen

    I’m not going to lie to you – I totally had to skim to the end of the post to make sure that the little guy was home safe. I had a pit in my stomach the same as when my girls get out and crazily sniff and bay and poop city-wide.

    Happy Returns, Chuck.

  • http://almostlucid.com Almost Lucid (Brad)

    It was hard holding my breath for the length of this post. I’m glad I got to breathe again at the end of it. Welcome home, Chuck. And thank Utah for nice people who let strange, collarless dogs into their house to play and eat.

  • thisgirlremembers

    Man! It made me so anxious just READING about what you went through that about halfway through I had to skip down to the bottom, just to make sure everything turned out ok. One glance at “Welcome home, puppy” and I could go back to actually reading what you wrote. :)

    So glad you found Chuck! I had a somewhat similar experience with my much-beloved cat when I was a kid, right down the the person one street over taking her in, only the lapse in time between losing and finding was – I kid you not – seven years. Yeah.

  • http://deemystified.livejournal.com/ Dee

    Welcome back Chuck! (I’m expecting my calendar to arrive any day, and I can’t wait!) Thanks to Blurbodoocery!!!

  • Lori

    I was almost afraid to get to the end for fear that you had not yet found him. I’m so happy he is home where he belongs.

  • http://wifemotherninja.blogspot.com Gigi Frankenstein

    oh my god. i had to scan to the end of the post to make sure it had a happy ending before i could proceed to read the whole article. i was on the verge of tears.

    so much for not engrossing myself in other people’s lives…

  • http://whisperingsfromthewings.blogspot.com/ HappyMamatoThree

    Gosh the saga of poor Chuck and after you had had such a splendid day. When we were little it wasn’t the dogs it was the children. Undoubtedly one of the six of us would head off to the garden (vegetables not flowers) the apple orchard or the woods without telling anyone and the next thing you knew Mama was marching your butt back to the house with a switch. Yeah I’m guilty, and we weren’t even microchipped.

    Glad Chuck is home safe and sound and he wasn’t too hungover.


  • ff

    i’ve had that recurring ‘teeth falling out’ dream since i was a child. in my dream i actually grit & grind them until they fall out and can actually remember the sensation of having a mouthful of teeth. so strange. glad chuck is safe!

  • http://www.crazymadmomma.blogspot.com DDM

    *phew* I stopped breathing about halfway through that story. I am SO happy for your happy ending!!!

  • http://www.parenthacks.com Asha Dornfest

    about 1/3rd of the way through your post I was forumating a comment along the lines of “you deserve all the good things in your life, many of which you have created, many of which are pure blind luck. If there’s guilt and regret for those who are less fortunate, you can involve yourself with any number of organizations that help. But no matter what you do, please know that just by writing what you do, you help people, either by making them feel less alone, or just by making them laugh.”

    But THEN this turned into a “We lost Chuck” post, and now, my only comment is this: Whew. Thank goodness you’re all home safe.

    Life sure knows how to make a point, eh?

  • http://blueeyezz.livejournal.com Mel

    Awww…The perfect (wo)man’s best friend…found. :)

  • Andrea-cat

    I think I held my breath until I learned you found Chuck. PHEW! We accidentally left our back gate open and our enormous Irish Wolfhound decided it would be an awesome idea to explore the neighborhood. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to spot a 150 llama-sized dog and a few people pointed us in the right direction. I’m so glad you found Chuck and by the way, I love the calendar! I cannot wait to put it up in my office!

  • AmyFrances

    I seriously sat here in my office at work and cried while reading this post. I’m such a wuss. But thank God you found him! What would we do without Chuck Fridays?

  • http://randomoutlaw.typepad.com Lisa C.

    Heather, I’m so sorry that you lost Chuck, but super happy that you found him again! Take deep breaths.

  • Sherri

    THANK GOD YOU FOUND CHUCK, HEATHER!!! I would have had to shut my office door to cry, if he hadn’t turned up. Maggie is the guru!

  • http://www.nortonink.com/weblog/ kerewin

    The non-religious side of me says that your letting go of the spiral and maybe projecting a happy ending had nothing to do with you getting a call in 10 minutes. That they were both just good, happy things to happen in a short period of space.

    Except that the rest of me is sure they are linked and I am really glad you got your dog back without any problems. I am sure it was very heartbreaking for you to go through that.

  • at

    i have a red tick hound who was impossible to keep locked up in any kind of way. the houdini of hounds, i ended up making hundreds of copies of lost dog posters and keeping them in my car. by the time he was a year old everyone on lookout mountain knew my dog and had my number programmed into their phone to tell me he was over playing at their house and not to worry. he just turned six and prefers sleeping 20 hours a day now.

  • http://www.globaljen.com globaljen

    That is awesome news – I read the start of your post with my heart in my mouth, so I am so pleased that you found Chuck.

    I have a similar anxiety problem (though for different reasons), and every time my cats are gone for more than 5 minutes, I assume they’ve been squashed by a combine harvester (we’re rural) or eaten a poisoned mouse. But the panic and terror take hold every time, even when I know that one of my cats goes on 24 hour benders and comes back every time (with a mouse tattooed on his butt).

    So I can feel your pain. And I also know that like you have experienced, as soon as I persuade myself to relax, that the cat will be fine, he saunters through the cat flap moments later, with a big smile on his chops. It’s always the way.

    Give Chuck a big cuddle from me. I’m not normally a ‘dog person’ but I SO LOVE Chuck!

    What I want to know is – how the hell are we meant to cope when our kids start going out by themselves? Time for some SERIOUS tranquilisers, I reckon ;)

  • http://www.asmalltowngirl.com Ang

    Glad he’s home!

  • http://pamsdogmobile.spaces.live.com/ bigdogmompam

    I’m so glad that Chuck is home safe and sound after his Big Adventure. I stopped breathing halfway through the story because I was afraid that he was still lost. I do The Spiral thing, too, and it’s something that I inherited from my dad. Thanks for sharing this post. I’ll have to remember this stuff for the next time that I’m worrying myself silly.

  • Keita Rae

    My heart stopped for a moment. Really.

    Children and Animals. How deeply a person can love these precious creatures is very revealing. Your regard for Leta and Chuck make you world-class, Heather. Although you are open to blog about your shortcomings, I challenge you to consider that your love is perfect.

    I also agree that the moment you gave up worry and the moment you received the phone call were not coincidental. God bless you, lady! hehe But I’m too late, because you are clearly blessed indeed. :-)

  • t*love

    Oh my goodness! I’m so glad that the outcome was good. I was getting really worried that you hadn’t found him yet. I’m also very happy that you’re able to identify the “spiral” and work to change those feelings. Best of luck, Heather!

  • http://wealhtheow.typepad.com wealhtheow

    I am SO HAPPY Chuck is ok. Don’t beat yourself up–all’s well that ends well.

  • http://www.worldwiderolves.blogspot.com Nancy

    My word. I read that thinking I’d have to break it to my little almost-3yo Chuck fan that there’d be no more Chuck photos! I’m so glad you found him – glad enough that I signed up for typekey so I could leave a comment.

    The deep breath reminded me of a keynote speaker I once saw at a conference. He compared stressful (parenting) events to flying on a plane experiencing turbulence – you put the oxygen mask on yourself first and then help others.

  • http://reebeckisupergirl.blogspot.com ReeBecki

    OMG! I was almost ready to go to SLC and find Chuck myself because this world wouldn’t be right without Dooce and her dog.

    Also I wanted to say that your diagram reminded me of my mother. Could the spiral be caused from living in Utah? She lived there for almost 11 years. Just a point to ponder.

    OK give Chuckles the love he deserves!

  • Grunt

    I loved today’s post! The line about your child being adopted by republican nascar fans made me spit out my coffee. Chuck is an almost spitting image of my daughter’s dog “Moose”.

  • http://www.andtherestishistory.com Julie

    Oh. My. God. My stomach hit the floor as I hit the middle of this post. Thank God you found him, or I might have spent the rest of the night staring at my pooch, crying my eyes out. And of course I’m extremely happy for you, too ;)

  • Erin

    I started panicking when I read Chuck was missing, which I think defeated some of the purpose of your post. I’m so very relieved he is found.

  • Hets

    Oh, Heather! Before I finished reading, and saw that you told yourself to “let go”, my heart sank! I am so glad he is back. My other thought was that someone who had been reading your blog took Chuck because they know how amazing he is! I might have been hard pressed to give him back myself.

  • http://marriedjensinglejen.blogspot.com/ Married Jen

    When I first started reading about Chuck, I had to scan all the way to the end to make sure you found him before I could keep reading… YAY!!!!

  • Kristen from MA

    jeezus, Heather, i just had a small heaart attack at the thought of Chuck being lost forever!

    i’m so glad that he’s safe and that your ordeal is over.

  • http://www.kirida.com Ramona

    How awful and frightening that must have been. I’m glad you have him back. I would have extended that reward to Maggie and Bryan, too, sans sexual favors, of course.

  • Russweasel

    I have a cunning plan… Reverse spiral. Start at your front door, with the former congressman on his leash and circle the block visiting each neighbor. Introduce yourself, and Chuck, then explain that he has had two adventures already and that he may be paying his respects on some future date. Give each neighbor one of Chuck’s business cards and wish them a happy holiday. Repeat in expanding loops until dog-boy looks tired. This should be roughly equal to his random wander range.

    It will either help in the event of a future escape, or alter your awareness so indelibly that it never happens again.

    BTW, I had to do this after “losing” my dog several times one summer. He got out once more, but had only been “missing” for about 2 hours before I got a call.

  • http://thatcupoftea.blogspot.com a cup of tea

    From one chronic worrier to another, I’m so happy your stomach has unclenched and your dog has come home.

  • http://moonlight.gamerzunderground.com/ Zazzy

    First, I’m so happy Chuck is home safe and sound. Like others, I had to skim to the end to be sure. When my Freddie used to get loose now and then I was afraid not only that he would get run over or something – but that he’d eat someone and I’d end up in prison for manslaughter by canine.

    Second, your insights and the spiral really speak to me and it’s something I need to really contemplate. The idea of not feeling bad because I don’t have it worse is somehow potentially life changing. Thank you.

  • http://herladyship.blogspot.com Her Ladyship

    Oh, so very glad that you found him and he came home!

  • sarilla

    I too loved the story though knowing that it was real made it more scary along with how heart rending it was. I love how much you really love Chuck. He certainly is irresistably adorable.

    On the worry side–it’s so reassuring to know that others have irrational fears that plague them. I have recurring nightmares about being/becoming bald. Or leave the house and panic several blocks later that I didn’t turn the oven off.

  • http://rivetergirl.blogspot.com rivetergirl

    Thank you for sharing this tale. The way you incorporated your new-found realization was really poignant. And I’m so happy for you and your family that Chuck is home.

    My neighbors lost their dog while camping and despite the fact that I could see that they have eventually found their dog (as she was sitting at my feet) while they were telling me the story, I was filled with dread and fear for them. That supreme feeling of loss is so powerful.

  • http://www.lawyerish.com lawyerish

    I’ve recently concluded that I suffer from a similar anxiety-spiral because I am afraid of letting myself be happy. Because if I am happy, I am simply inviting tragedy. So when things are going really well in my life (like now — eep!), my brain invents ways in which I will somehow end up, in a very compressed period of time, being fired, disbarred, publicly shamed, divorced, friendless, and destitute. It’s pretty amazing, really, the power of the mind. Because I’m able to tell myself that this is a perfectly plausible result, even though plenty of other people live their lives just fine without some cosmic retribution. But my life is different, because it’s me. And I apparently haven’t earned the right to be happy like everyone else.

    Anyway. I’m glad Chuck is home safely. The thought of a dog, any dog, wandering about alone and sad is too much for me to bear, and if that had been my dog — who can barely go outside when it’s below 75 degrees as it is — I would have had my head in the oven.

  • Bensmom

    We have been thru the lost dog nightmare as well. It really is heart stopping. So glad that Sir Chuck is okay.
    Holy crap, I have that tooth nightmare all the time, and I HATE IT. What the heck does it mean?