For as long as it keeps ticking, and however strong the attachments it already has are, it’s capable of finding new things to adore.
Which brings us to this sordid tale — one that is also partly uplifting, and, if you want to be all technical about it, also partly shoplifting.
My dog Ace has always been No. 1 in the eyes of my father, a lifelong dog-lover.
My dad was able to quickly detect what a special beast Ace truly is. Watching them snuggle on his couch when we visited always made my insides glow.
For years now, the first thing my father asks when he calls has always been, “How’s Ace?” The first thing he asked me when he came out of a coma, that followed a heart attack, that followed some stomach surgery, was “How’s Ace?” When I visited him in Arizona a few months ago, without Ace, the first thing he asked was, “Where’s Ace?”
Since his lengthy hospitalization, my dad has mostly resided in a skilled nursing facility in Mesa, where, at one point, he was having physical therapy sessions with a dog named Henry, who belongs to one of the therapists. While those sessions are no longer part of his daily regimen, he still sees Henry — full name Henry Higgins — regularly, and apparently they’ve grown quite attached.
According to my sources, after dinner one night last week, my father rolled into the therapy gym unnoticed and snuck off with a photo of Henry that hangs there, planning on taking it back to his sparsely furnished room. It was reportedly his second attempt to steal the framed photo. After getting caught the first time, rolling along the hallway with the picture in his lap, he stuffed it under his shirt the second time.
I found this news upsetting — not because my father was engaging in larcenous behavior, but because I’ve done my best to keep Ace first and foremost in his mind. I’ve made sure his room had a “Travels with Ace” calendar. For his birthday, I sent him a sweatshirt with a giant photo of Ace emblazoned on the front. I’ve supplied him — even though my father’s not doing any traveling — with an Ace travel mug.
For some reason, whatever else he forgets, even temporarily, I want him to remember Ace eternally.
I realize it is petty jealousy, and that it’s likely limited to me. Ace, in all probability, wouldn’t mind a bit that my father has another dog to entertain, comfort, calm, console and warm him.
And in truth, I am far more grateful than I am jealous when it comes to Henry, who I got to meet when I visited, and who is pretty special and wonderful himself.
On my dad’s 89th birthday, Henry was there; Ace and I weren’t.
I can understand my dad being smitten with Henry, and I’m glad he is. Dogs and love, if you ask me, are among the top five reasons to go on living. (The other three are books, music and pizza.)
It makes me want to get Ace — not to mention myself — out there for another visit.
Once he was confronted — when he was noticed, after the second attempted theft, with a bulge under his Maui t-shirt — my father confessed and revealed his ill-gotten bootie.
No charges were filed.
And the framed photo of Henry, according to Henry’s owner, will be placed in a new location:
My father’s room.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 22nd, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, aging, animals, bill woestendiek, dog, dogs, elderly, henry, henry higgins, jealousy, love triangle, mesa, nursing, pets, photo, physical therapy, stolen, therapy, therapy dog, william woestendiek
A Pomeranian in a tuxedo, taking the train back home from an SPCA fundraiser in San Francisco, was stolen after his owner fell asleep.
Kerrin Lanahan was riding a BART train back to her San Bruno home Wednesday night when she dozed off — her purse on one side of her, her Pomeranian, Archie, in a travel bag on the other.
When Lanahan, 31, woke up, she found someone had snatched the bag containing Archie, who is trained to help her cope with anxiety.
“If only they had taken the purse,” she told the San Francisco Chronicle.
Lanahan says she has struggled with extreme anxiety, especially while traveling. She survived a plane crash as a child.
She said Archie was trained to be ”really calm in public in general. When we’re out, it’s all about me and him. He goes everywhere with me. When my anxiety level spikes, he knows to jump into my lap.”
Lanahan said she and Archie left the San Francisco SPCA Bark and Whine Ball fundraiser at Fort Mason late Wednesday, taking a cab to Montgomery BART station and getting on a train at about 11:15 p.m.
UPDATE: Archie is back with his owner, ABC 7 reports. After receiving an anonymous text message, Lanahan passed the address on to BART detectives, who found the dog at a home near the Balboa BART station. They were able to confirm it was Archie through his microchip. Police were questioning a person at the house and said charges were pending.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 25th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, anxiety, archie, ball, bark and whine, bart, dog, dogs, event, fundraiser, kerrin lanahan, owner, pets, pomeranian, san francisco, search, service, sleeping, spca, stolen, taken, theft, train, travel bag, tuxedo
The woman, named Audrey, said she was about to get into her car when a suspect assaulted her in front of her home, snagged her 7-year-old shih tzu, Sugar Daddy, and tried to steal her second shih tzu, Baby Doll.
“He caught Sugar Daddy, and he tried to get Baby Doll,” the woman, who wasn’t identified by her full name, told WXYZ. “He couldn’t get Baby Doll, she fought back. He took Sugar Daddy and left.”
A suspect, described as in his 20s, was waiting in the woman’s driveway, where the attack took place, and another suspect was waiting nearby in a car.
Surveillance video from a nearby school showed a car backing up to Audrey’s house on Detroit’s West Side, and what appears to be two men trying to steal the dogs.
Baby Doll ran from the men, and almost got run over by a garbage truck as she fled.
Audrey and her family members have put up flyers about Sugar Daddy’s disappearance and are offering a reward his return.
An Iowa couple whose dog was stolen when they were visiting San Antonio has gotten her back — though exactly how isn’t clear.
James Maschmann and his wife were visiting the city in February when they stopped to eat, parking their car at a Cracker Barrel and leaving their 4-year-old shih-poo inside, with the windows cracked.
When they returned, Katie Jo was missing along with Maschmann’s cellphone, according to the San Antonio Express-News
Last week, the couple posted an ad on Craigslist, offering $1,000 for the dog’s return. San Antonio police also issued an alert last week, releasing surveillance video of a white pick up truck seen in the parking lot and asking people to come forward with any information about Katie Jo.
Police haven’t said how Katie Jo was found, or whether anyone was charged in the theft.
But according to a Facebook page dedicated to Katie Jo’s return, the animal was recovered and returned early Monday:
“Katie Jo is home safe and sound!! Thank you to everyone for the thoughts and prayers! We are absolutely overjoyed to have her back!”
Posted by jwoestendiek March 19th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, cracker barrell, craigslist, dog, dogs, facebook, iowa, katie jo, owners, parking lot, pets, police, poodle, recovered, returned, reward, san antonio, shih-poo, shih-tzu, stolen, surveillance, video
A heartless soul stole 7-year-old Mia Bendrat’s dog on Christmas Eve — scooping him off the sidewalk in front of a store in Manhattan where her owner’s left him tied.
Fortunately, a good-hearted one was out there, too.
Tina Cohen, a teacher, saw a man a couple of neighborhoods away trying to sell a dog on the street, circumstances that made her suspicious. She purchased the dog from him and, on Christmas day, returned the dog to the owners.
New York City police arrested the alleged thief, who they say took the Cavalier King Charles spaniel, named Marley, from outside a shop in Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood, all under the eye of a surveillance camera.
“Thank you, the people of Washington Heights … Those great Samaritans… And now we got him on Christmas Day,” Mia’s mother Angie Estrada told WABC-TV.
Cohen, a high school Spanish teacher came across a man on Monday in another section of Manhattan standing on a street corner and yelling that he had a dog for sale.
“I said that’s not right. I said I’d like to buy the dog. I only have $100,” Cohen said.
When the man demanded more cash, Cohen went to a nearby Staples, bought some merchandise with her credit card, then returned it for cash.
She paid $200 for Marley and took him straight to a veterinarian, where he was identified through his microchip.
On Tuesday Cohen watched Marley jump into Mia’s arms.
“You guys belong together,” she said. “I’m so happy you are together.”
No word on whether Cohen got her $200 back, but — in the event Santa is listening, and maybe is willing to make a return trip — we’d say she deserves that and much more.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 27th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: arrest, bought, child, christmas, christmas miracle, dog, king charles cavalier spaniel, manhattan, marley, mia bendray, miracle, paid, returned, reunion, reunited, selling, sidewalk, sold, stolen, street, surveillance, tied, tina cohen, video
A collar belonging to Warren G. Harding’s Airedale terrier, Laddie Boy, was stolen this week from the former president’s historic home in Ohio.
Strangely, it was apparently the only item taken in the Tuesday heist at the Harding Home and Museum in Marion.
“I don’t think there is a single item in this collection that matters more or is more important or special to the thousands of schoolchildren who pass through this home each year,” Sherry Hall, site manager, told the Columbus Dispatch.
“It’s a real connection to history for them” added Hall, who has overseen the site for nearly13 years. “They see that collar and learn about Laddie Boy and say, ‘Look. I have a dog, too. I’m just like the president.’”
On Tuesday morning, a groundskeeper found a ladder leaning against the home and a second story window open. A pry bar was found close by.
Hall, when she arrived at work, found a jewelry box belonging to Harding’s wife, Florence Kling Harding, broken and on the floor and other rooms in disarray.
Marion police distributed photos of the collar, hoping that if a thief tried to pawn it or sell it, it would be reported.
“I would say whoever stole it had been in there before, knew what it was and where it was and went in to get that and only that,” Marion Police Lt. Mark Beaschler said.
The dog collar, made from Alaskan gold nuggets, was fashioned especially for Laddie Boy, whose name is written in raised letters on the center.
During Harding’s term as the country’s 29th president, Laddie Boy had his own chair at the White House, which he sat in during cabinet meetings.
(Photos: Ohio Historical Society)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: airedale, alaska, animals, burglary, chair, collar, curator, dogs, gold, harding home and museum, historic, historical, home, investigation, ladder, Laddie Boy, manager, marion, museum, nuggets, ohio, pets, police, president, presidential, presidents, pry bar, sherry hall, site, stolen, terrier, warren g harding, warren harding, white house, window
No one is sure how she got there, but a legally blind 5-year-old girl’s therapy dog showed up on her family’s front porch in Kansas, two weeks after she was stolen.
According to KSN, Andrea Taylor, who has cerebral palsy, couldn’t stop smiling.
Millie, a pit bull trained to serve Andrea as a therapy dog, was found outside the family’s home in Hutchinson by Andrea’s father around 3:30 a.m.
Andrea’s mother said her daughter woke up, came out to the living room and upon seeing her dog said, ’”There her is. It’s my Millie.”
Millie had been missing for two weeks. She was seen jumping into a white car in front of the family’s Hutchinson home. A reward of $450 was being offered for her return.
Andrea’s mother, Lana Taylor, believes pressure from the media and the Reno County Sheriff’s Department led whoever stole the dog to have a change of heart.
Millie had scrapes and scabs around her face, neck, and belly, leading Taylor to believe she might have been taken by dogfighters.
Hutchinson police say they are continuing to investigate the case.
Taylor said the first thing Millie did upon her return was to go to Andrea’s room: “She went right to Andrea’s bed, put her paw up on the bed, and sat there …”
Posted by jwoestendiek April 14th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: andrea taylor, animals, back, blind, cerebral palsy, dogs, found, home, hutchinson, kansas, legally blind, millie, news, pets, pit bull, pitbull, returned, returns, stolen, therapy, therapy dog, video
A blind, five-year-old girl’s therapy dog was apparently stolen from her front yard in Hutchinson, Kansas.
Millie, a pit bull trained as a therapy dog, was given to Andrea Taylor, who also has cerebral palsy, in March.
Less than a month later, someone in a white car stopped in front of the home, called the dog, and drove away with Millie, KSN reports.
The sheriff’s department is investigating.
“She absolutely loves Millie,” said Lana Taylor, Andrea’s mother. “She has always been a good night’s sleeper. She’s not sleeping at night, she’s crying all night long.”
The dog enabled Andrea to have more independence, her mother said, but since she was taken, Andrea spends a lot of time staring out the front window.
Anyone with any information with any information about Millie’s whereabouts is asked to call the Reno County Sheriff’s Department at 620-694-2735.
The family is offering a cash reward for Millie’s return
Posted by jwoestendiek April 12th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: andrea taylor, animals, blind, cerebral palsy, dog, dogs, girl, hutchinson, kansas, lana taylor, millie, pets, pit bull, pitbull, reward, stolen, therapy dog
Apparently the $40 reward offered for the safe return of a lost Dalmatian-pit bull mix named Papa Bear wasn’t enough for three Akron men.
They called the family, repeatedly, and demanded $500, according to News Channel 5.
Papa Bear got out of his family’s back yard last week. The family posted fliers, with their phone number. Friday night, they started receiving phone calls from a man who demanded $500 and, according to some reports, threatened to kill the dog if the money wasn’t paid.
After repeated calls, over the course of four hours, the family called Akron police.
A team of undercover officers arranged to meet the dognappers at Emerling Park with the cash. When three men approached, officers arrested one man and eventually tracked down the other two.
Papa Bear was found safe and unharmed at the address of one of them.
“He was smiling. He was looking around,” said Shannon Alexander, the dog’s owner. “He jumped into the driver’s side door of the van and got into my daughter’s car seat and rode home in the car seat of the van.
Two of the men were charged with theft, phone harassment and receiving stolen property, police said.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 500 dollars, akron, animals, arrest, dalmatian, demands, dognapped, dogs, held, kidnapped, lost, missing, mix, ohio, papa bear, pets, pit bull, police, ransom, reward, sting, stolen, undercover
Last week, police said, someone broke into a house in the 100 block of Cameron Way in the Bayview neighborhood and ransacked it, stealing a laptop computer, a television and all four puppies.
During the burglary, the parents of the puppies were badly beaten, apparently with some kind of blunt object, according to the San Francisco Examiner.
The day after the burglary, someone contacted the dogs’ owner, offering to sell the puppies back for $200. The woman told police she didn’t have the money to do so.
The four-week-old puppies are tan and black-colored miniature Doberman Pinscher and Beagle mixes, and were still nursing, according to police.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Sgt. Neil Cunningham of Bayview Station at (415) 671-2300 or the station’s anonymous tip line at (415) 822-8147.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, bayview, beagle, beaten, burglary, crime, cruelty to animals, dogs, kidnapping, min pins, miniature pinschers, mixed, pets, puppies, pups, ransom, san francisco, stolen, taken, thief