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Dog Diaries

The Case of the Missing Family

by Ron Powell

My name is Prince Frecklebum, Greyhound Detective. I wasn't always a detective. I was a racer once, before I retired. My track name was Occam's Razor of Lightspeed Doom. You can call me Prince. Most of the humans around these parts do.

Something strange was going on around here. My humans are acting all weird and just when I thought I had them all trained properly, they go all goofy on me. It all started several days ago... when the mystery began...

It was sleep in day, but the house was all abuzz with comings and goings. Dad loaded the family and a lot of bags up into the car and off they went. I tried to go with 'em, but they just muzzled me up and left me behind. I was sure they were going out for ice cream without me. I did the only thing I could do. I found my favorite spot and began to do my best thinking. After several hours of deep, wonderful, relaxed thinking, Dad came home alone. Mom and the kids were no where to be found! They were missing! It was up to me to find 'em. I checked their rooms, the bathroom (and stole a drink from the big white water bowl!), the kitchen, the basement, the garage...everywhere! Just when I was gonna check the back yard... well, ok, AFTER I checked the back yard, I heard Dad on the talky thing in the kitchen.

"Hi honey, I'm glad you and the kids made it to your mom's. Prince and I will be fine. Don't worry. Yes, two tablets twice a day. Yes, yes. Of course, 3 scoops, twice a day. Jeez, do you not think I live here? No, I didn't mean it like that. Yes, I appreciate you. Sorry, honey, gotta go. Someone just called. It's an emergency!"

Then dad went and put on his smelly old striped half-pants he puts on when he's watching the glowy box on the wall. Trust me, do not put your nose near them. He made us each a sandwich (I'm sure he meant to share the first one, it was delicious after all) and sat down in his favorite spot. I thought maybe he was sick or something cuz he started making the noises he makes right before I nose-poke his eye in the morning. He didn't move or do nothing all day except let me out and feed me. Ok, those are really the most important things, but wow.

The next day was also sleep-in day, except Mom and the kids were still gone. Dad looked lonely so I hopped up on the bed and lounged around on Mom's side of the bed. She would be so proud of me for keeping such a good eye on dad. He seemed surprised when he woke up and saw me there, but lumbered off for a minute. I respectfully waited for him by laying in his spot. He was SO happy when he got back. You can tell by all the big noises he makes! I don't know what "geddownyousillygoofball" means but he said it like 5 times before he opened the door and took me outside. It's really not like him to keep me waiting like that. Anyway, I found the missing goods again (I'm really quite expert at this now), checked for some inside rainstorms over by the smelly treat bin and went back outside to check the garden for the proper amount of holes. When I got back inside, I found dad in the same spot in front of the glowy box. He didn't move all day again! Except for the 4 hot dogs he made us for dinner and potty breaks, we just sat there.

The next day was wake up early day. Except Dad didn't wake up early. I nose-poked him a few times, but he wouldn't budge. All he did was get up, grab the talky thing next to the bed and said all sorts of things! Stuff like "No, I can't possibly come to work today" and "really sick" and he even made the same noises I make when I eat my dinner too fast. Then, we did the same things we did on the sleep in days. We found our spots and enjoyed a really good, relaxing, deep think. For hours. I kinda wish he'd change the smelly pants though. Doesn't he know that even though I'm a sight hound, my nose is still sensitive? sheesh.

The next few days were pretty much the same, except Dad left the house every day. I pretty much had the run of the house and Dad left all sorts of goodies around for me. Plates with last night's dinner on them to lick, cups half full of yummy stuff to drink, bags of chips to put my head in, smelly socks to play with and all sorts of things like that. He even turned off the inside rain and kept the smelly treat bin full! It was the best time ever... well, except I still kinda missed Mom and the kids.

Yesterday was the first sleep in day since Mom left. I was really starting to get into the routine when Dad got up early and left the house again. He forgot to muzzle me, but you know what? I won't remind him by chewing on his shoes or nothing. He took extra good care of me this week, so I'll cut him a break. Right in the middle of my mid-day thinking session, the car rolled up to the house and the whole family got out! I knew if I just let him look long enough his detective training would kick in and he'd make me proud. He helped me solve the Case of the Missing Family.

Anyway, Mom was REALLY REALLY happy when she got home. You could tell by the REALLY LOUD sounds she made!

"OH MY GOSH. You didn't lift a finger around here!"
"Clothes everywhere!"
"...trash not taken out??"
"Did you even check the mail??"
"...what is that smell????"
"Why in the world would you leave all these perfectly clean plates and cups all over the floor around your chair?"
"How did chip bags get in the dryer?"
"I leave for one week!!..."
"You didn't give him a single pill, did you??"
"How does one man eat 7 pounds of cheese in a week?"
"EWWWWW, change those god-awful shorts, will you?!?!?!?""

Mom was good and happy for like a solid hour. When she stopped making all the noises, she took me and the kids out for ice cream! Dad did all sorts of things while we were gone and all night last night and all day today while Mom and I got to think together on the couch. She's the best! I still don't know why Dad was laughing so hard while he put the plates and cups back in the cupboard. He didn't even use the loud boxy thing he usually puts the dishes in, either. I swear he was crying...

Greyhounds aren't just dogs, they are a way of life!