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Doering column: Where has my little dog gone?

A couple months back, I wrote a story about my Shih Tzu, Chance. Last evening, my first Shih Tzu, 9-year-old-Snickers, pulled a caper on Don and me that merits this story.
Snickers is a brindle (black) Shih Tzu I purchased from private breeders in Pittsburgh the end of 2002. I had never seen the brindle breed of ShihTzu before and I immediately fell in love with her. We would find out soon, though, that she is the most expensive dog we have ever loved.
Before Snickers and Chance, we always owned mutts who would see the veterinarian very seldom, or only on their vaccination anniversaries. When we brought Snickers home, we soon learned that we had made a very expensive investment.
For those of you who live in Salisbury and are familiar with the animal hospital on Innes Street, purchase stock in this business because I can affirm that Snickers keeps it in the black! If Snickers does not have allergies, she has a stubborn gland that needs expressing, or stomach problems, or ear problems, orÖneed I go on? Itís a good thing we love her so much and have come to the realization, that some ěchildrenî cost more than others!
Don had to take Snickers to the vet again recently for terrible allergies, another ear infection, and that same old gland problem. He walked out one half hour later with a very relieved Snickers and a very sad pocketbook! Once she was dosed up with her meds, she was raring to go, making up for lost time.
Last evening, the entire family, Don, Snickers, Chance, and I were sitting in Donís man den watching a TV show. This was the first evening Snickers had felt good enough in the past three nights to even come and sit with us. At 10 p.m., we put our feet down, got up, turned off the TV set, and walked out of the room.
Don wanted to head towards bed since he had to work the next day, arising at 5 a.m. He told me it was time for Snickersí medicine and since I was already sitting down on the couch in our living room with my store-bought leg off, I was not able to do a look-see around the house for Snickers. Don called and called, but Snickers has never been a dog to come when she is called, unless you say the ěT-R-E-A-Tî word; notice how Iím even afraid to write the word down with Chance sitting underneath this computer right now! Don did use the word, though, and of course, Chance came flying in, with a goofy grin on his face, but no Snickers.
Don looked and called; he starting searching in all of the places Snickers likes to hide when there is a thunderstorm, like behind our water heater in the laundry room, or in my closet under my clothes, with no luck.
In desperation, he even looked out our mud room garage door, and I exclaimed to him, laughing, ěDo you think Snickers went through the door by osmosis?î After about 15 minutes of futile searching, he finally gave a big sigh and gave up. I told him that she had to show up sooner or later, so back to his man den he went. He continued calling for Snickers after he sat down, and finally, he heard a very muffled, ěEhh, Ehh, Ehh.î He wondered where on earth Snickersí whimpers came from. He opened his closet door ó no dog. He looked behind the TV set ó no dog. He looked behind the couch ó no dog.
Finally, the sounds became a bit more frantic and he pulled open the footrest to the couch he had been sitting on. Lo and behold, poor little Snickers was caught underneath the footrest and could not move! We could not believe that Snickers had not made more of a fuss being caught under there.
So, for you folks out there who own little dogs ó when your dog seems to have totally disappeared from your home, look under your footrest! Both Don and I were so happy to finally find out where our little dog had gone!
Jennifer J. Doering lives in Salisbury.

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