Friday, June 30, 2006


In Which the Masthead Goes Radio-Silent for a Bit...


Thanks so much for all your comments and emails. They have been a great comfort to me--yes, even the ones from people who felt compelled--with varying degrees of grace and kindness--to take my family to task for leaving Blaze unattended outdoors. I take the position, because I must, that most of them are well-intentioned. But I also understand that some people have a compulsive urge to share their 20/20 hindsight with others and are helpless to control the waggling finger of I-Told-You-So. My mother is one such person, and so I have a well-practiced response to that kind of behavior. I nod once in agreement, then I tune the rest of it out.

However, on one point I realize I wasn't clear in the previous entries, but I have mentioned it in posts past: As a rule we never leave Blaze alone. He eats, sleeps, lives indoors and when I'm home he goes outside on a leash, with me. In the warmer months, when the kids and Her Lovely Self are out back, he goes on his runner out back. As a rule, when they go in, he goes in.

With me out of town and HLS left to hold the fort down, she made the decision to let Blaze stay outside while she hauled the kids upstairs. They had been helping water the plants and were covered in mud and plant matter and so she hauled them upstairs to the bath to hose 'em off. Blaze was also no small amount of muddy from all the watering, so it made sense to let him stay out and enjoy himself for the 20 minutes it took HLS to handle the kids.

I say this not blame my wife, and not to be defensive. I would have done the same thing. Yes, I suppose the choice could have been made to hose Blaze off first and clean the mud out of his paws and towel him down and let him in before the kids. But that’s not what happened. On balance, my parental software--and HLS’--is set to "kids first" on most things.

And that's all I have to say on the subject, except to add that what's done is done and it does me no good to allow myself to dwell on it. Trust me when I say it does you no good to dwell on it either.

Meanwhile, I have more important things to attend to, but I don't see the point in putting you through an agonizing hour-by-hour account of it. Mostly, I've been making lots of phone calls, calling in or promising lots of favors to certain people, and knocking on a lot of doors I never expected to knock on. All this has allowed me to do is to rule out certain possibilities and point me more clearly in one direction.

As I write this, I'm waiting on a call from someone who, against his better judgment, is going to try to get me into a place I have no business being in. I don't want to talk about it, because I don't want to jinx it. But yes, where I'm going is not a wise or safe place for me to be. Yes, I'll be careful. And yes, I'll be back to tell you all about it as soon as I can.

Meanwhile, I want to share one last thought: Just a couple weeks ago, I came across one of those surveys research groups like to do. Coincidentally enough, it was about family pets. Specifically, respondents were asked whether they considered their pet to be part of the family or merely property. An overwhelming majority--more than three-fourths, for sure--said that yes, their pet was a part of the family. Which is nice and all, but always makes me wonder: How much did the respondents think about what the phrase "part of the family" means?

For me, it means simply this: If you are part of my family, there is nothing I will not do for you, there are NO lengths to which I will not go to help or comfort or support you. If you are in trouble, I will be there for you. If you are lost, I will come for you. If you are in mortal danger, I will use every resource at my disposal--including my own life--to save you.

I wonder how many of the people in that survey shared the same definition of "part of the family." And if that definition of "part of the family" was articulated to them, I wonder how many of those survey respondents would still have said yes, their pet was part of their family.

What about you? How would you answer?

How far would you go for your pet?

Feel free to answer in comments below, or in your own blogs. And by all means, if you have personal examples of the lengths you've gone to, I beg you not to be embarrassed to share them.

I'll be back as soon as I can.

From Somewhere on the Masthead


MM, Bless you and be safe. I have been sending out as much positive mojo I can muster. If there's a way to trickle luck through the ether, you surely have a bunch from me.

As for lengths, I'd do just about anything for my pets. Not that it meant putting my life in danger, but I helped my cat, Ben, though lunch cancer, chronic renal failure and all the medical proceedures that ensued.

One chemo treatment date had a huge snow storm hitting cleveland, with me five minutes to close in order to pick him up from the vet, and traffic as far as the eye could see as my husband and I drove to get him. Knowing we'd never make it by driving, I got out of the car, and walked in the blizzard to make it to the vet. I made it, and Ben didn't have to spend the night at the vet.

So, ya, I am with you. 100%

Blaze would do the same for you.

And for the "I told you so's"

... is all I have to say to them.
MM, please be safe. I'll be saying a prayer for you--rather two--one to St. Francis as well.

As far as the lengths we'd go for our pets? Thousands of dollars worth of surgies, including one which required a much-sought-after specialist. More spent monthly on medications and treats than we spend on ourselves most of the time. An expanse of patience over ruined carpets and accidents because our rescue dog will never be normal.

And it's all okay. Entirely worth it. What did I do first thing today on my day off? Got up at the crack of dawn and took the pups to the park before it got too warm for them. So here's one reader who'd gladly accompany you to the dark, scary places. Because a furry, innocent life is entirely worth that--and more.

Be careful out there. Good Luck.

Mag Man, go get 'em, eat 'em up. Do what you need to do, and don't look back. If I were there, I'd have your back, with a baseball bat.
I agree with you MM, I would do anything for my pets, anything. They are my family, they give us unconditional love and the least I can do for them is give them the same love, care, and apprecition back.

Please be safe, I want blaze to come back home! I am sending positive vibes your way and I wish I could search the streets with you and not feel so helpless.
MM, I'm thinking of you, Blaze and the rest of your family, and hoping for the best. And as far as any critics, there's nobody, not a soul, who can say they've always taken every step possible to protect everyone and everything they care about from any potential harm. It doesn't happen. It can't. How could a person live like that? So, anyone who's got a problem with the call HLS made (and I'd have made the same, in a heartbeat) can go to hindsight hell as far as I'm concerned.
MM, please just be careful. Remember the other parts of your family who need you at home. :) You're a smart guy, I'm not worried about you...just concerned FOR you.

I have been blessed to never have a pet or family member (one in the same, to me as well)in such a state that I have had to go to great lengths to save one...but when that day comes, I'll be fighting tooth and nail for them.

As for the finger-waggers...that irritates the life outta me. It's easy for THEM to say, but I daresay they'd be just as hurt/annoyed if someone did the same to them in a similar situation. Just remember - what goes around comes around. The only scolding I saw didn't even have the balls to put a name/link after consider the "anonymous" source.

Bless you and your family...
Here's keeping my fingers crossed for you, Blaze, and the rest of your family. If good wishes can work miracles, you have a miracle or two heading your way.

Regarding the lengths I'd go to for my Reggie-dog...well, not long after I'd adopted him some eight years ago, we were walking down a residential street, and Reggie pulled from his leash into the path of an oncoming car. Without even thinking, I automatically lunged into the street, lost my balance and *fell* right in front of oncoming car, and pushed Reg out of the road.

Had the car not stopped, I would have been hit, but Reg would have been fine. Does that count as "family"? You betcha.
When I had my two cats, they were a huge part of my life. They were family. Sometimes more welcome than my own human family. I have not owned a pet since they died because I feel like it's just not right. I feel bad about it. The "replacement" family members. I can't do it.

What you said about the lengths you would go to for a member of your family is the ultimate definition of love. It gets no better than that.

I'm still holding out all hope that Blaze will come back safe and sound. And, whereever it is that you are going, please be careful. Go with God... and a friend or two.
Be safe.

I know I would do the same as you for my furry family members -- anything I possibly could.

Praying for you and the safe return of Blaze ... and arrest and punishment for the dog fighters who stole and killed the innocent Buddy.
MM, I saw the comment yesterday I think you are referring to, and it made me ill that someone would write something like that during an obviously painful time for your family.

our current family dog is about 1/2 in, 1/2 our in our fenced yard. I worry about her getting out, but you have to do the best you can with what you have to work with. HLS was certainly not irresponsible by having him out on the run while trying to get everything else done. It wasn't her fault, it wasn't anyone's fault but the degenerate ass that possibly took him.

I hope you find him soon, and have a story to tell us soon about the triumphant homecoming. It makes me sick to think of any family wondering where a loved one is. I can't count the number of time I drove around her neighborhood in the middle of the night shaking a box of milkbones, trying to find out little beagle we used to have, crying.

Thinking of you.
Be safe... My pup and I are pulling for you and Blaze!
Good luck MM. We're thinking of you and your family.

As far as animals go, no, I don't think I'd ever put myself in danger for them. I eat meat, so I wouldn't say I have one standard for one type of animal and another for another type of animal. I understand that having a pet can increase your life span, though, because you feel like there is another being who needs you.

But I would push my brother out of the path of cars. And I have (he was a pretty clueless kid).

I understand the need to do anything for a member of your family, and if Blaze is one, then go to it. But again, your kids ARE #1 for you, as you said yourself. I'm not sure where you're going, but I have an idea.

Just remember there's organized crime everywhere.
I've got a friend who got his dog back from a dog fighting ring here in richmond, and this is what he did:

---Create a website with a photo of the dog, and all pertinent contact information.
---Post color flyers ALL OVER THE CITY, even in places that she couldn't possibly have gotten to by herself.
---Call every rescure group and SPCA and humane society and shelter EVERY DAY and post color photos of the dog in the lobby so the clerks look at it every day.
---Post on Myspace, and ask people to REPOST.
---Post on LiveJournal communities local to you, ask people to repost.
---Post on Craigslist, both lost and found and rants and raves, repost every few days.
---Flyer, email, post pictures and a phone number, offer a reward.

DO NOT go to a dog fight. Even ATTENDING a dog fight is illegal in all 50 states, and it's a felony in half of them. And say you see Blaze there. What are you gonna do? Offer them a hundred bucks to get him home? The people at a dog fight KNOW that they will go to jail for a very long time if they get busted, so they aren't going to be likely to hand over anything, and you're putting yourself in danger by trying to rescue your dog from a dangerous group of felons. (organizing dog fights is a felony pretty much everywhere.)

I want you to get your dog back. I am rooting for you. Dog Fighting is a terrible urban scourge. Be prepared that if Blaze has been used as a bait dog, your vet bills will be in the thousands of dollars. Set up a Paypal account if you need to, people are insanely helpful.

Post the photos, post the photos, post the photos, I can't say this enough. Godspeed, my friend, and all the luck in the world to you.
and so are the gator family and our dog Dixie.
more thoughts-post and call all vets in your area. If he got away from or was dumped by his dognapper a kind person may pick him up and take him almost anywhere.

also check out the lost pet listings on

If he has a tattoo or chip, call the resgistry and let them know hje's missing.

i hope this helps
I'm a dedicated pet to my two owners, a Rhodesian Ridgeback mixed dog and an American Shorthair cat (who loves it when I sing to her). They sleep in our bed at night, and by morning I discover that I have only a tiny bit of bed left to me. Bless their hearts, there is nothing I could imagine that I wouldn't do for them. Pets understand, way better than humans, that love is all you need.
I don't know about the lengths, because I'm (thankfully) not in a situation like that, and I've learned that you never really know what you'll do (even if you think you do) until you ARE in a situation.

As far as the person who made a comment about leaving Blaze outside, it's been my experience that people that say crap like that are saying it because they're afraid. They're afraid that something equally bad will happen to THEM, and so they use rude comments to reassure themselves that it "can't" happen to them because of "x" reason. However ridiculous the reasons may be. (Have they never heard of home invasions? Or Elizabeth Smart?)

Our positive thoughts are with you & your family. Which obviously includes Blaze.
My dog Spunky was most definitely a member of my family.

Through all the times he was sick, through all the times he ate something he shouldn't have and had to be taken to the vet, through all the times he did something really bad, we stood by him and did whatever we had to.

When on a walk or at the park if another dog would growl or charge at him I'd put myself between them. When Spunky had a major stomach upset which was accompanied by diarrhea I took him in my car and with my brother beared the heavy cleaning that came after. When he ate a huge wad of paper towels soaked in food juices from the garbage and suffered a blockage I stayed by him and comforted him until more family arrived to help transport him to the emergency vet.

When he died in post-op after very invasive surgery to remove a tumor on his lymph nodes we all drove for an hour near midnight to get to the specialists to bid his body a final farewell.

And when I write this I still shake and tears come to my eyes.

Here's still hoping for the absolute best.

I'm praying for Blaze and your family! I don't know what I would do if something happened to my Lucy, but I do know I would do EVERYTHING in my power to get her back.
I found a photo of Blaze on the MM Flickr account, and made this little graphic

Anybody is welcome to copy and paste it
Good luck and Godspeed, MM. You do what you gotta do for family.
When I was young my own dog got out from the backyard and ran away. Freedom tends to do that to them. I loved that dog. She was probably my best friend, and it was very hard to deal with her being gone.

My mom helped me make flyers and we posted them around, and called the neighbors and such. No luck, though. No one had seen her.

About three weeks later she showed up on our front porch with a big gash in her back hip. You could almost make out the bone through the cut muscles. I couldn't believe it. I had to do a double take just to make sure I wasn't hallucinating. In spite of the injury she seemed happy to see me, and just happy to be home.

The vet stitched her up okay. He said it looked like she had probably had a run in with the edge of someone's car bumper. I have no idea what the cost to my parents was, they never told me. We were all just glad she had found her way home to us.

Years later, when she got too old to realy do much, we put her to sleep. She was in a lot of pain and it just wasn't fair to her to let her suffer. My parent's knew it was going to be hard for me, and offered to take her. But she was my dog. I loved her. I couldn't let anyone else do this for her.

In the end my last memories of her were of her panting happily and wagging her tail. That was over ten years ago and I still remember her. My eyes still tear-up thinking about her, as well.

Good luck. I hope and pray for a safe return of Blaze. Family dogs are just that -- family.
I can't say it enough, MM. I'm sending all my love and positive energy to you and your family.

I truly hope this has a happy ending for Blaze and the family.

And to those people who'd sooner try to place blame and scold you for the loss is rather insensitive and cynical. They are perhaps the kind of people who do not view pets as members of the family and consider them no better then furniture you spill red wine on. Pets give unconditional love without any fuss or complication; if they could speak I'm sure all they would want is to be loved and taken care of in return.

As I see it I have 6 feline siblings aside from the one human brother I have. Dusty, my big sister who is no longer with us and the rest of the crazy bunch; Mr. Kitty Tom, Cinders, Spice, Aslan, and Fiona.

I'm not going to even get into my mother's cockatiel(sp?), Nicky that died 6 years ago. She mourned him hard. He was about 13 or so when he passed. He lived a long happy life with people who scratched his head, bathed him in the rain, and sung to him daily.

We had one dog in our lifetime named Berry. She was a black lab mutt. The friendliest pooch ever who loved to play and go splashing into the creek. She had to be put down when she became very old as a tumor became cancerous and left her in so much agonizing pain. This makes me tear up still years later.

You're not alone in your unwavering love and dedication to Blaze.
I've cried tears as hot and real for some pets as I have for some relatives. No doubt - family.

Prayers said and God will be with you.
Let's hope one of the doors you knocked on was that police officer's (officer Peldon??) I am sure you have the resources to find out where dog fights occur in your city and I think that officer owes you one...I'd like to think you would not walk into one on your own
I didn't read all the comments so I didn't know some people made negative ones about leaving Blaze outside but My God. HLS did exactly what I or any other mother would have done in that situation and anyone who decides to Monday Morning Quarterback her obviously has never dealt with two kids and a dog (muddy or otherwise) on their own. Good luck in whatever you are doing to find him. Our prayers are with you and your family....all of them.
Anyone who's read your letter to Blaze knows he is a part of your family.

Family is the strongest bond there is, stronger than love, friendship and all others. Family means you are willing to put it all on the line for that person, no matter what.

Some people would just say he's a dog. But he's not. He's your family. Go do what you have to, with winged sandals on your feet and angels to guard you.
Be careful, MM. I wish you the best of luck and all the good fortune that favors the brave.
I agree with what was said earlier about never really knowing what you would do for that pet until something happens. I have ALWAYS had at least a cat, but typically dogs too. Now, as a "grown up" we have two cats and a dog packed into our apartment. I took my dog (all 70lbs. of him) to schoo with me for our last day (I teach year round 5th grade). It dawned on me as each parent came in to say goodbye and pick up their kids that my dog became a catalyst for all of us in that room. He was a source of comfort for my students who are all admitting how scared they are to move to middle school on July 10. It created an even deeper bond between the parents and myself as we talked about our pets. The whole time my lovely Parker sat motionless while I stroked his head and the kids hung on his neck and hugged him.

Chris and I have spent nearly $1000 on one cat when we really didn't have the money to spend, having just moved to NC a few years back. We sat up and massaged his back legs in the futile hope of breaking apart a blood clot that was causing one of his back legs to die off. Thankfully, all the money and hard work paid off because Bachman is still with us and still has his leg!

We would do just about anything for our pets. They are there when things are bad and good. They are the first to greet me when I have had the worst day or when I have had the best. I miss them when I am not home. I would be doing the same thing, MM. Good luck and bring Blazey home!
How far for a pet? All the way: To the point where I'd make sure that every illegal dogfight in the state was discovered and dealt with judicially.

"my Baltic Avenue Irregulars"

(Loved that part in the face of a tragic wrong.)

This is a community issue: People will help if you enable them.
I have 4 dogs and two horses....and other horses, before that...and dogs that have spent their whole lives in our family. For one horse, I spent more on vet bills and operations than I did on him..and he wasn't cheap. I was compelled to ease his pain. I did, and never used him for his intended purpose...finally finding him his perfect home on 100 acres running free in Northern Colorado. I watched him gallop off into the sunset... and join his new family.

I feel just as you do. But MM, as much as we love our family, we can not keep them safe from everything. Life is fickle and sometimes cruel. I can not stand to think that real evil has befallen Blaze. I hope all will be well in time. I pray for you and your family.
I'm pulling for you all, and especially Blaze.

I take care of 12 feral or semi-feral cats at our farm, 3 in our shop, and one housecat. One of the feral cats had kittens last summer (in the battery compartment of a loader tractor!) and wasn't taking care of them. I brought her and her 5 kittens to live in my mud room for 2 months and hand-fed the babies to aid the very small mother until I was sure all were going to live.

Afterward, it was harvest time at the farm, and we were afraid the kittens would be run over by the equipment, so we kept them in the milk house. One of the kittens got its leg caught and wrapped tightly in a string and in just over a day, chewed part of his leg off. When I found him, I was up all night (because the vet said it wasn't life threatening and the cat wasn't in pain due to the tightly wound and still-attached string, the vet wouldn't come in on an emergency night call -- but I couldn't sleep with the poor injured kitten in a box on my bed), and took him to the vet first thing in the morning. With an amputated back leg, the kitten was otherwise fine, and came to live at my house for several months, much to my husband's chagrin.

Then I convinced my sister to keep him (Whitey) as a house pet. I rent her my house, so the landlord is pretty amenable to pets. She has also adopted another of my semi-feral kittens to round out the household.

My vet bills are sometimes staggering, but they are so worth it for the unconditional love those cats show to me. And I haven't even mentioned my dalmatian, Lucky. I know Blaze is at least as special as all of them. He just HAS to come home.

Be safe, MM. I think I know where you're going. I would do the same in a heartbeat for my dogs.

I hoping the next post will be to tell us that Blazey is home, safe.

I've gone some "out there" places for my pets and done some things for them that would look nuts to someone who doesn't understand the "member of the family" thing.

We're thinking good thoughts here and I'll hold you and Blaze in my thoughts until we hear from you again.

Someone once took a friend's dog (purebred German Shepherd pup) right from his backyard. We discovered him missing shortly after it happened. I located the culprit a few streets away (drunk and with the pup in his arms). He spent the night in jail and got a fine lesson in bad judgement.

Now, if someone took and/or harmed my dog in an intentional and malicious way, and I discovered the identity of said person (which I would), I would lay the boots to them so hard that they would be pissing bone fragments.

That being said, my advice (as a police officer) would be to go down to your local police department and speak with the K-9 handler if they have one. At worst, you should receive a sympathetic ear. At best, they'll help you find Blaze and/or those who took him, and their K-9 might deprive them of a healthy chunk of calf muscle.

In any event, good luck.
Be safe, MM.

Be safe, Blaze.
First - Be careful MM. Make sure someone's got your back, BB comes to mind. I'm sure you're covering all your bases and calling in some favors. Godspeed my friend, may the silence be brief, and with a happy outcome.

Second - To the bonehead that had the nerve to criticize: Blaze was tied securely on a run (as a safety measure), IN THEIR OWN BACK YARD! Someone tresspassed onto their property and STOLE Blaze. To me, what you're insinuating is like blaming a parent that turned away for a second to pay for a coffee when their child was kidnapped. These criminals are calculating, opportunistic, sick f***s without souls that wait in shadows for that ONE second when you turn your back. IT COULD HAPPEN JUST AS EASILY TO YOU.

Third - I think you already know where I fall in the "part of the family" category.

A couple months ago, Julieta bolted out the open door. My son dropped his end of a new coffee table we were carrying into the house and it spooked her. Panic stricken, I jumped in the car, drove up the street and started calling and looking for her. My son stayed at the house. So very luckily, she was heading back down our street and approached a woman walking with a stroller. My son asked the woman to hold Julieta there, that she was very friendly & not dangerous. I came back, right after this happened. My son asked me to take the dog, so he could throw up.

In October of 1978 (I was 14), our collie mix, Brutus went missing. He was a beautiful,lovable, friendly, goofy dog. He was found a week later, at an old abandoned airport down the street. He was murdered by a shotgun.

What would I do for a "family" pet?
What wouldn't I do.

I pray that you nail the bastards.
For Brutus.
For Buddy.
Bring Blaze & you home safely, my friend.
Be careful, MM. And good luck.
Be careful MM....we at Wilsonworld are praying for you and for Blaze.

As for what would i do for my pets?

They are family....there is NOTHING I wouldn't do for them.
I have been thinking about this all day. I sincerely hope that Blaze wasn't taken for dog fighting. I hope he was wandering around the neighborhood, and someone is just keeping him in their garage until they can find the owners.

Honestly, what kind of sick person would PARTICIPATE or even watch dogfights like that? I don't get it. I know that betting/ etc goes down, but I would think that you would have to have a vicious streak yourself to be able to watch something like that. Much less ENJOY something like that.

Sick bastards.
Good luck, Magazine Man, Sir.

I hope that you can find Blaze, alive and well, albeit dirty and hungry.

Take consolation in the fact that there are alot of people the world over who are thinking of you, your family and Blaze right now.

Be safe, Sir.
safe journeys, mm, wherever you end up going. i hope you return with blaze, and i pray to any deity who may be listening that he is okay.

my pure-blooded german shepherd is in the twilight of her life. the hardest thing i'm going to ever have to do is say goodbye, and i know that day is rapidly approaching.

when she was younger, and much more mobile, she would take off for hours, sometimes days, only to return covered in burrs and rotten fish. i'd get so mad, i thought i'd kill her. but i was so relieved to have her back that i didn't care how badly she'd smell. now, with the nerve issues in her hind end, i'd give anything to have her be able to run off and frolic with her best friend (the neighbor's dog).

please be safe. if (when, dammit!) you bring blazey home, if he's injured, set up a paypal account - he's my friend too.
MM- please add my good wishes to the pile- I'm holding out hope that Blaze is just on some crazy adventure, which is par for the course in the MM household, right?

Come home, boy.
It's Sunday evening MM and I am wondering if you know where your lovey dog is. I keep checking your site in hopes of a happy ending to this most horrible story.

If you read my blog, you must know how much I adore and cherish my big red ball of fur. She is resting at my feet as usual and I hope and pray yours is too. I know I'm loney-tunes, but my "pets" are part of my family and I treat them as such.

I know from reading, Super Blaze was a very big part of yours too. I am so sorry you all have to go through this. I am still hoping for a happy ending.
I realize that Four/Five days seems like more than a lifetime, but from someone who has lost and subsequently found both of our beloved furry family members after weeks...the best advice I can give you at this point is to not give up hope. It is still early in the search mission. And, Blaze hasn't given up trying to find y'all either...
and here:
is the story of how we found our cat, Mister Man, just in the nick of time...
Hope and prayers are being sent your way from here.
Oh how I hope Blaze shows up soon. My dog is a 14lb bolt of lightning. She gets out of the house, and she is gone in a flash. So far, when she has done that, she has returned home. I don't know what I'd do without her companionship, and since I am hearing-impaired, she lets me know when someone is at the door, or the phone is ringing.

Lassie come home...
Sigh, I keep coming back in hopes of a positive thoughts and prayers are with you.

Come home Blaze! We (a whole bunch of strangers spread across the US) miss you!
Take care MM, be careful. Thoughts to you and your all during this agonizing time.

Hope you get Blaze back safe.

Please be safe. I worry for your safety if you are doing what I think you are. I must say that though my pets ( I have several, 3 dogs, 3 cats a rabbit and a bird and soon a bunch of chickens) are treated well and have the luxury to live in doors and are loved by all of us. I would not put my life in harms way for them. I have children I have to stay well for and they are my number 1 priority.
I do understand your way of thinking and I commend you for it. I hope all things turn out well and that both you and Blaze make it home safely. Prayers and good vibes continued to be sent!
"hope is a thing with wings..."

still hoping and planning on reading the story of how you rescued Blaze..
Oh god, MM. I'm so sorry to hear about this! Is the Brownie able to recall what the man she saw with Blaze looked like? Can you pull a fingerprint from his runner? Good luck, MM, and be safe. You and your family (which obviously includes your dog) are in my thoughts.
Do your thing indeed, MM. If anyone can solve this mystery, it's you. I'm sending you all the positive vibes I can, all the way from Africa.

Unfortunately, I can imagine somewhat of how you're all feeling: last year, when I was living in a small village in the rainforest in Cameroon, our cat disappeared two days after giving birth. She had a history of being gone for a day or so at a time, but we thought it very odd that she would do that just after popping out kittens. The neighbour kids were on the case, however, and quickly found out that some assholes from a neighbouring, smaller village had captured our cat and killed (and eaten) her, all in service to some "black magic" ritual that was supposed to give them the advantage in an upcoming political election. Sigh. Anyway, my heart goes out to you and your family. I hope you find Blaze.
its been 4 days since the last update. Are you ok MM?

I worry easily.
I sincerely hope that no news is good news though it is hard to beleive.

I can't imagine how sickening it is to deal with this and try to keep your children none the wiser at the same time.

Totally different circumstances but my mum's little cat disappeared for 8 months. She resented the puppy (Bud) my brother brought home and went out on her own one spring. By mid Nov she had had enough and decided to come home. No one had seen her for months and Mum had resigned herself to the loss. sunday Bud went beserk barking at the door. I went to see what was going on, it took all my strength to hold Bud back, when I opened the door there was Baby, Mum's kitty was back. Wet, cold and barely skin and bones. It was such a shock all I could do was yell "It's baby! It's Baby!" My mum was so confused but came running to see and there she was. In about 30 seconds Mum had her inside with warm food and milk & purring as much as her tired little body would let her. She wanted affection more than food. Bud was given a time out on the back porch so that he could get a grip on himself. He was actually very excited that his kitty was home too.

It's been years now and Baby is still alive, she outlived that pesky puppy. She has never fully regained all her strength but her purr is stronger than ever and we're happy she is with us.

I hope your family will have the thrill of seeing your wonderful dog returned to you safe and sound. There's nothing like it.
"Part of the family"...gee. There are several ways I think about this. Blood relatives are part of the family, but I wouldn't necessarily 'do anything' for most of them. I mean...I don't even KNOW all of them.

That said...'part of the family' also, to me, means those whom I think of and take care of on a daily basis...those who give and receive my love and affection...those who I share a responsibility for. So, yes, my dogs are a part of my family.

As I think about...there is little I wouldn't do for my dogs. Probably I'd do more for them than I would for some of my blood relatives.
Here's a story that subtly explains the lengths I would go for my non-human friends.

My dog, Angel, is four years old. He is a large dog, a Ridgeback mix. He is as gentle as a lamb, but he is also very eager to play, to show his affection and excitement, especially with visitors. Whenever anyone comes inside the house, he jumps up on his hind legs and tries to hug them, begging them to pet him or to wrestle or play tug-of-war. He does this with everyone, and he rarely tires.

This behavior has greatly reduced the number of regular visitors. And rather than do something with our dear Angel, we just accept the fact that we have fewer friends.

Actually, I am glad for this, as I am a bit of a misanthrope. It's a great way of separating the wheat from the chaff.
Here's hoping for Blazie's safe return.

And seriously - eff the finger waggers. My Shane has free reign to go in and out of the house when I home. That means he spends his evenings lying in the (fenced-in) back yard. When he scratches on the door, he comes in, when he scratches on the door, he goes out.

I don't keep him with me at all times, because you don't expect something horrible like this to happen.

I guess the length I'd go for my Shane is summed up by the fact that, even though we couldn't afford it, we spent a lot of money on a medical procedure. He needed it, and there was no question that he'd get it. It took me year to pay it off, but that's what you do for family.
worrying about you and yours...
Go get 'em (Blaze AND the bad guys).

Spent $4,000 (over a month ago) on my puppy (8 mths old) who was run over by a car. No question on whether to spend the $ or not...

Cindy (new reader)
I'm praying for you and your family to be safe and reunited soon. What a heartbreaking story...

I have a young cat who is currently going through the legal hoops so he can move to England with me (which includes a 6 month wait, several shots, and microchipping) and have endured the "are you SURE you want to spend the money to bring him over there?" question more times than I want to count. Some people don't understand that pets are a part of our families.

The thought of him being hurt or left alone and confused is more than I could stand - I can't imagine how your family must be feeling.

hope this cliffhanger has a happy ending.
Wow. I just came over from Jonathans and your story is amazing. I have a dog that is my family. He is my child. I would do anything for him..I hope I never have to go rescue him from someone who stole him and get beat up or anything..but I would do anything.

The craziest thing I ever did was almost lose my job over my dog. I was supposed to fly to LA for a week and I was already nervous about leaving Rickey for a week. I found out that I had let him play the day before with a puppy who ended up having parvo and dying. They said that parvo symptoms dont show up for 7 to 10 days. Thats when I would have been gone. I cancelled. There was no way I was leaving him alone.

I admire you so much...and I am really happy that you got your dog back.
I just came here from Paisley's blog and my heart aches for you, your family, and Blaze. I'll anxiously await another installment, and hope that it bears positive results.

My imagination is going wild with thoughts of this mysterious place to which you have gained admittance.
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