My Dog's Identity

Heidi, my dog, does strange things. For a few days there she was running away. She wanted out of the backyard--I don't see why, it's spacious--so bad she broke through a wall, and two gates. She moved an arm chair that I had a hard time lifting. Recently, she's climbed rocks on the Oregon Coast and swam across the dangerous Sandy River.

At the river Heidi tried to shake her identity. Or maybe it was an accident that she slipped out of her green collar. Either way--I don't know, I wasn't there--she lost her only accesory, which had attached to it three metal twenty-five-cent-sized tags: personal identity (her name, my number), a license and a rabies shot proof. I was upset that she came home without these tags because they would be a hassle to replace. Also, she has been strolling the neighborhood without me, as I've mentioned. But again, I didn't go with her and there was nothing I could do about it. Like any good father I was just happy she came back from her river rendezvous safe.

The next day my cellphone rang with a number I didn't recognize. I let the unknown caller go to voicemail like I do. On the message the caller identified herself as Amanda. She said she found Heidi's tag, and wanted to know if she should get it to the owner, or, if it had been replaced, she should toss it.

I called back the next day--I'm busy--and, on Amanda's voicemail--I'm not the only one who screen's unknown numbers--identified myself as Heidi's owner and the one responsible for the tags.

She calls back and this time I answer. It turns out Amanda works at a downtown restaurant not far from the downtown location I'm currently working (for free). She says she's working on this day at four would bring the collar with her to South Park restaurant. I say I'll stop by, meet her and pick up the collar.

So I did.

At home, I place the collar over Heidi's head and strap it one notch tighter than it had been. She looks the same to me: tail wagging and tongue sweating out of an open-mouthed grin, sitting and awaiting a walk, or her next trip to the beach.

That's the Heidi I know.

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