A Scary Story With a Happy Ending.

On December 23, 2001, we almost lost Holmes and Watson. The day before, the man from Warner Cable had come out to install a cable system for us, and he had left the side gate open. I should have checked it, but I didn't.

That night, we went to an office party for the place where Carol worked, and when we got back home, about midnight, we let the dogs out into the back yard. About a half hour later, I called them in, but they did not respond. So I went out into the back yard, and discovered the open gate ... and no dogs. I ran out the side gate and looked around for them, but they were gone.

I went upstairs, woke Carol up, and we walked the neighborhood until 3:30 A.M. with their favorite toys, calling their names and squeaking the toys. There was not a sign of them. Carol was certain that the mobile dognappers had come for them, had sold them to the labs at the medical center, and that the vivisectionists had them staked out on dissecting trays, even as we walked the streets looking for them. She had seen some kind of television show that exposed a "ring of dognappers" that used people's pets for nefarious purposes.

We had taken the trouble of having special identification tags made for the boys. These are available at pet stores everywhere, or you can order them on line from people like Quick Stop Engraving. These tags have the name of each dog and our telephone number on them.

I had a corporate magic show the next morning at a local business, so I relayed all our phone calls to my cell phone, which I kept in my bag at the show.

When I finished my show, there was a message on my cell phone. A nice lady in Stafford, Texas, which is not far from where we lived, had found the boys, wandering down the median of the Southwest Freeway at 2:30 A.M. between Hillcroft and Fondren. She had picked them up and taken them to her sister's house.

I was overjoyed! I called her, and arranged to pick the dogs up. I offered her a monetary reward, but she refused, preferring for me to do a magic show for her niece's birthday party. I don't do kid shows, but I hired the best kid show performer in this part of the country, Trixie Bond, to do a show for her.

I repaired the gate, and installed a stronger spring in it, so it would close automatically. I also check the gates whenever I let the dogs out now.

So, if you own a dog, get a tag with the dog's name and your phone number on it. Do NOT put your address on it, as well. Some unscrupulous people will steal a dog, call your number, then visit your home while you are in transit to pick up the dog.

Most pet shops have machines for these things. Also, you can get them at Wal-Mart. Or, you can go to eBay, and visit the online store of Quick Stop Engraving. In any case, get that tag!!!!

Bill and Carol Palmer
proud parents of Holmes and Watson

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