That’s Where They Went!


My black dog Chico’s tags were gone, just gone. All four had disappeared. It had only been a week or so since I replaced them, but now, instead of jingling, he walked in silence. After a diligent search of the yard, I gave up and wrote his name and phone number on his actual collar. He had jumped the fence a day earlier, so I figured the tags were lost in the forest, never to be found again.

Surprise. Returning from the Willamette Writer’s Conference yesterday to two excited dogs and mountains of poo, I started cleaning up the yard and discovered something shiny sticking out of the uh, stuff. Oh my gosh, his rabies tag. In another pile, his license. In yet another, his microchip tag. Annie, Chico’s tan sister, ate them! What a stomach that dog has. She not only ate them, but digested and excreted them. Wearing plastic gloves, I washed off the poo and analyzed what was left. The license has lost all its color, and the microchip tag is illegible, but the rabies tag looks nice and clean now. All we’re missing is Chico’s name tag.

The question is: Should I bother putting the tags back on? Annie goes straight for them every time they wrestle, which is all day long. The last time Chico lost his license, a spokesman from animal control told me it wasn’t necessary to wear the tag as long as his license information was on file. Ideas?

Meanwhile, Annie has all her tags because Chico isn’t into eating non-food items. He’s into running and jumping. Oh, and he did break open the zipper on the big green cushion of the only chair I let them sit on. While Annie was soaking up affection in my office, Chico was quietly shredding yellow pieces of foam rubber in the living room. Arrgh.

People keep telling me they’ll mature. If they live another week, they’ll be 18 months old. Meanwhile, it’s like having two kids in the terrible twos. They are so sweet when they’re sleeping.

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Author: Sue Fagalde Lick

writer/musician California native, Oregon resident Author of Freelancing for Newspapers, Shoes Full of Sand, Azorean Dreams, Stories Grandma Never Told, and Childless by Marriage. I have published hundreds of articles, plus essays, fiction and poetry. I teach writing workshops and offer individual editing and mentoring. I'm also pretty good at singing and playing guitar and piano.

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