“Lost Saint Bernard”

I saw this on some local social media recently. My first thought was, “How in the hell do you lose a Saint Bernard?” I mean, this is not a dog that can scoot past your ankles while you’re checking the mail. It’s not going to tip-toe past you while you’re binge watching Arrested Development. It’s not hunkered down beneath your shrubbery, hoping to be overlooked.

Losing a Saint Bernard would be akin to losing a baby elephant. Granted, I bet they can run really fast when properly motivated, but as long as you’re hot on their tail, it would be awfully hard for one to just disappear. I think it would take a concerted effort to lose a dog of this size.

Maybe it got stolen. But you’d have to be pretty stupid to steal a Saint Bernard. They can weigh anywhere from 140 to 260 pounds. Can you imagine how much a dog that size must eat? Taking on a Saint Bernard would be like adopting a full grown human being, but one who is prone to chewing the furniture and is a lot less discerning as to where he or she defecates.

But then, while I was busy scoffing at this turn of events, I vaguely remembered a family story. Apparently, when I was a toddler, we had a Saint Bernard. One of the rooms in our house was a step higher than the room below it, so when I’d scoot around in my walker, the dog would lie across the doorway, to keep me from falling. What a good dog.

I have no idea why we would have a dog that size when my single mother had a toddler and two other kids around age 10, but there you have it.

And, ironically, when I grew up and asked her what became of that dog, she said it heard some fire engine sirens and ran away. Hmm. That sounds a lot like one of those, “Spot is now living happily on a farm” type stories. Looking back as an adult, I bet she couldn’t handle it anymore, and got rid of it, or at the very least was kind of glad when it bolted. It wasn’t the first time she’d made up a story to avoid drama, and it wouldn’t be the last.

Because honestly, how do you lose a Saint Bernard?

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Chez Nothin’ to Steal Here

I’m thrilled to say that no one has ever broken into my house. There are several reasons for this. First, of course, is the loyal presence of my ever-vigilant barking dogs. I have this theory that thieves are lazy and paranoid, so if they’re going to rob someone, they’d much rather go next door to the house that has no noisy and potentially vicious pets.

Second, I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that I can rely on my white privilege. I’ve never lived in the ‘hood. Granted, I’m usually right next door to it, but aside from the drug dealer two doors down, I have good neighbors who watch out for each other, and none of us are particularly desperate. In that way, I’ve been lucky.

But the main reason I’ve been spared a criminal invasion, I think, is that a quick peek into any of my windows would tell all but the most idiotic of criminals that I don’t own anything worth stealing. Why would anyone risk jail time over mismatched furniture that I’ve mostly picked up off the street? And I don’t have a TV or a stereo system. Truth be told, I don’t even own a couch. Aside from sentimental value, I doubt I could get more than 150 bucks at a yard sale for every single thing I own. If you really crave my 30 year old, dented and rusty pots and pans, just ask me for them.

One thing I do find annoying, though, is that stuff gets snatched off my front porch all the time. I’m hesitant to get packages, because there’s a car that actually follows the Fed Ex truck and the USPS truck and the driver helps himself to whatever they leave behind. (The cops know about it. They’ve even been sent pictures of the vehicle, for all the good that has done.) I’ve also been relieved of an old rusty lawn chair and a plant stand. One time, in a self-defense for women class, they suggested we get some old beat up muddy work boots and put them on the front porch to create the illusion that a man was home. Well, I did that, and even the boots got stolen. Sheesh.

But for the most part, my humble abode screams, “Nothin’ to steal here. Move along.” In Florida, on more than one occasion, I was accused of being white trash, despite my college degrees. I’d like to be one of those people with matching furniture and some sense of interior design, but I seem to have been born of the utilitarian school of home décor. And that’s just the way I like it.

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