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If It’s Closed, Leave It Closed. Simple.

, , , , , , , | Working | November 25, 2021

Several years ago, we had a tree fall on our house during a pretty bad windstorm. This happened in roughly February, and being that this was Washington state, it was pretty rainy and miserable, so while crews came out to get the tree off the roof and everything, we ended up with patches — mainly tarps — over the holes because it was too wet and rainy still to fix the roof immediately.

When the incident first occurred, we didn’t have a dog, but between the time of the tarps being added to the roof and the weather clearing up enough to allow them to start repairs, we happened to get a rescue lab-retriever mix. Now here’s the thing with that lovable goofball: when we first got him, he was still young enough that he could have hopped the fence. What we didn’t know was that he wouldn’t — that dork had some interesting quirks, but that’s a story for another time. So, when nobody was home, we’d leave him in the yard, but he’d be on a lead — it was like a ninety-foot thing so he had a decent run of the yard, but again, we were trying to prevent him from potentially escaping.

It was getting to the point where the repairs are starting, and our landlord had reached out to his insurance company about getting repairs covered, so they had to send out an investigator. He managed to show up while no one was home, so he just wandered around the back of the house examining everything. We had gates on both sides of the house, and we didn’t know it at the time, but he left one of them open — the one on the far side of the house that we never used.

I got home from school and was the only one home. The rule was: get home, let the dog off his lead, play with him for a bit, and then go do homework. When I went to go back inside, he didn’t want to come in, so I left him in the yard because he didn’t mind it, and I went off to do my homework.

Sometime later, my mom got home and the landlord showed up and wanted to take a look at some reports he’d gotten from the investigator. He and my mom went into the backyard and my mom asked me where the dog was. Any guesses? He’d managed to find the open gate and slipped out. Unfortunately, I had no idea how long he’d been gone. We started looking for him but couldn’t find him anywhere. My brothers and I were kind of devastated.

My dad called the investigator.

Dad: “Why did you leave the gate open and not say anything about it?”

Investigator: “Well, the dog was tied up, so I didn’t think it mattered.”

Dad: *Pissed off beyond belief* “Okay, first of all, do you think we just keep him tied up all the time? Second, forget the dog for a moment. You had no way of knowing if there were small children here. What if one of them had gotten out of that open gate and then gotten hit by a car?”

We lived off a street that intersected with a main drag, so we’d get people speeding down the street all the time.

Investigator: “Oh, well, I guess I never thought of it like that.”

Dad: “Of course, you didn’t. You’d better hope we find the dog; otherwise, you will be buying a new dog for my kids.”

The investigator started sputtering about that not being fair.

Dad: “Maybe keep that in mind next time you’re wandering around properties.”

It took a couple of days, but we finally found the dog. We got really lucky and one of the families near the school had managed to grab him. We had started putting up Missing posters, and then a friend called having seen a Found poster. We’d put the Missing on one side of the pole and the Found posted was on the other side; you wouldn’t see it unless you turned around.

We got our dog back, and I don’t know what happened with that investigator, but knowing my dad, there was definitely something to the guy’s manager.