Wishing This Was A Shaggy Dog Story

, , , , , | Friendly | November 19, 2018

(My husband and I are returning to our apartment after picking up some dinner when a large dog runs up the car. We park and get out of the car with the dog jumping up on us excitedly. We see someone standing there watching from in front of the apartment building’s security door.)

Husband: “Is this your dog?”

Random Guy: “No.”

Husband: *trying to calm dog down* “Let’s see your tag, girl…”

(The dog has a very chewed-up, plastic tag on her collar, listing a number. He goes to call on his cell phone while I try to keep the dog calm and with us, as she keeps racing around and I’m afraid she’ll run off.)

Husband: “I’m on hold.”

(Five minutes later.)

Husband: “I’m still on hold.”

(A few more minutes later:)

Husband: “Hello. I found this strange dog running around our street and— Okay, I’ll get a pen.” *writes down number*

Me: “What’s up?”

Husband: “The number on the tag is the tag’s manufacturer. They sold it to [Local Vet Clinic]. They’re giving me the clinic’s number so I can call them to get the owner’s number.”

(He then dials the vet clinic, who puts him on hold for another five minutes before looking up the owner’s number. Keep in mind we’ve got a rambunctious, strange dog and it is below freezing outside where we are.)

Husband: *on phone* “Hello, I’ve found a— The phone disconnected.”

(He redials and get’s the owner’s voicemail. During this, the dog is getting more and more impatient, and she suddenly lunges at me, jaws open. I freak a bit and let go of her collar, and she takes off running.)

Husband: *on phone* “Hello. I think I found your dog at [Street]; please give me a call back.”

(He hangs up and sees that the dog has run off.)

Husband: “You want to look for her?”

Me: “Yeah… It’s freezing out and I’ll worry all night if we don’t try. Did the clinic give you her address?”

Husband: “Yeah, it’s only a few blocks from here; let’s start looking that way.”

(We troop along that way, and after a block or two the dog comes back bounding up to us. This time both of us grab her collar, and my husband tries calling the owner again and again. No one picks up. Finally we get to the dog’s supposed address. The lights are all on, and the door is open, although the screen door is shut and locked. We knock, no answer. We knock again, loudly. No answer. Pissed off by now, we start loudly yelling into the house, “Anyone home? Anyone here lose a dog?” Finally, a middle-aged woman comes and opens the door and stares at us.)

Me: “Um, is this your dog?”

Woman: “Oh. Yeah. My kids let her out. My daughter is out looking for her.”

(She abruptly grabs the dog and disappears back into the house.)

Me: “Wow. You’re welcome I guess.”

(We walked home to our very cold dinner, happy we found the dog’s home, and incredibly annoyed at the owners.)


Dear readers,

We would like to issue a retraction on the original title to this story. In short, we really messed up here, and we’re sorry.

Some of you felt that we were mocking people who genuinely suffer from anxiety, or taunting readers who have asked for trigger warnings for potentially upsetting stories. We would like to explicitly state that this was not our intention.

The original title was a reference to a Hollywood trope where no harm comes to animals, and it was very poorly crafted. Adding “Trigger Warning” in front, and the unfortunate reality that there are other stories we have posted where animals are in distress makes it clear how bad this was. There’s simply no other way this title could have been construed but as totally awful. Looking back now, we are horrified at the result, and we are so, so sorry for how tasteless and insensitive this was to you.

You deserve better, and we promise to begin enforcing, in earnest, the following steps to prevent this from happening again:

Trigger warnings will only be used in a serious and respectful way. This was not done consistently in the past, and we’re sorry for this. Moving forward, we’ll be issuing Content Warnings which will serve as a warning to protect readers, and never to demean them. We absolutely respect that for some readers, certain types of content are difficult and distressing to read.

To this end, we will also begin tagging any stories about animal cruelty or abuse with the tag “Animal Abuse” – regardless of the outcome of the story. We will attempt to go through our archives and retroactively tag stories that are appropriate for this tag, but please do message us if you feel we have missed any.

Thank you for calling us out on this mistake, and our sincere appreciation for your support. Please let us know if you have any additional feedback. We deeply wish to make Not Always Right a better experience for you, and hope you can continue to enjoy our site.

Sincerely & humbly,
The Not Always Right editors

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