“When no one you know tells the truth, you learn to see under the surface.”
― Cassandra Clare, Lady Midnight
It was a mixture of drizzling rain and sleet combined with a steady northerly wind, discouraging even the hardiest of trick or treaters. This Halloween I did not have to worry about the weather. I’d been grounded since I’d snuck out a couple of weeks earlier. Honestly, my punishment was tolerable. My homebound isolation was worth every minute it in exchange for the fun and freedom I’d had that exciting, if unwise, night.
I had another worry nagging at me as I stood looking out the back door. Fanny, my big goofy dog, had been missing for over a week. As I’d walked down the alley from school that afternoon, I did not see her waiting for me at the end of the driveway. Sometimes she fell asleep over to the side of the house–but her dog time clock had always been accurate. As I got closer to home, I could see her chain stretched across the drive–she was gone. My dog was gone.
I had begged for a dog forever. As a way of stopping this constant nag, Dad told me a friend of his had puppies she was giving away. If I still wanted a dog, he told me to go up and see if she had any puppies left. Well…I took off–running as fast as I could to her house. What I did not know was Dad had already talked to her and knew she had just given away the last puppy. What he did not know was in the time since he’d talked with her and I got to her house, the person who’d come to pick up that last puppy had changed their mind.
Needless to say, when I got home with that ball of black fur, he was speechless. What could he do? He’d already said I could have the dog. Not only that but by the size of her paws, she promised to be one very large dog. Because of that, she would have to be an outside dog. And–Dad said firmly, her name would be Fanny–named after the lady who chuckled as sent that promised puppy home with me.
The garage became the home of my most loving and loved best friend. I’d head out to talk to her when I was sad or happy or just needed a place to go. For years, she’d always been there for me–until now.
Every minute I was not at school I looked and called for her. Halloween made me very nervous thinking someone could do something mean to her. My searching and calling intensified that night. I finally gave up when the window in the back door began to frost up. Coming through the kitchen Dad and Irene had little encouragement for me–stating the obvious sad facts–if she had not come home by now, someone had probably found her or something had happened to her.
Time moved on. My search continued–until a week or so later.
It was noontime on a warm fall Saturday, our new family unit altogether for lunch when the phone rang. Since I was not grounded from the phone, I rushed off to grab it.
The female voice on the other end asked if this was the Burton residence. I said, yes. She then asked if we were the people who were the previous owners of the black poodle she found at the Waterloo Humane Society? She wanted to make sure that the dog was current with all of her shots.
I don’t remember saying much. I’m sure I was polite and answered her questions. There was so much I wanted to say and ask her–the words would not come–she thanked me and I slowly hung up the phone. I walked back to the kitchen table and told Dad and Irene who had been on the phone and why she had called. The needed to know. That would be all I’d say to anyone for a very long time.
I don’t remember even walking back to the table. I quietly told Dad and Irene who had been on the phone and why they had called. There was no response and Fanny was never discussed again.
Like so many things in my life, Fanny had simply disappeared.
I told myself I now knew Fanny was safe–she had a home–hopefully she had another kid to love and care for–I could stop searching and rest.
One phone call had turned what was left of my world totally upside down.
Yes, my friends, trust is hard-earned and easily, often forever, lost.
And then all of a sudden she changed. She came back a different person with a new mindset, a new outlook, a new soul. The girl that once cared way too much about everyone and everything no longer cared at all.
Love you and wish us all peace.