Friday, September 01, 2006

Mrs. Gallagher's Dog

Hi, everyone, it's Leslie. I'm doing fine. And I want you to know Paige is OK too. She's kind of quiet and HATES publicity, but she did give me permission to tell you hello.

Kanner Lake is getting back to normal, now that it's been over a month. No more national reporters in town. Regular tourists these days. Some days I can close my eyes and almost feel that Kanner Lake's like it used to be--the days when it was so quiet, and I thought I'd never have something serious to report about.

In those days, not so long ago, my reporting centered on lost pets and fender benders. Like the story I wrote about Mrs. Gallagher--just three months ago.

Mrs. Gallagher, who happened to be my first grade teacher, called the police to report someone had stolen her black lab. So my editor calls me into his office and sics me on this nail biter. Charlie may be cute and doggedly affable, but he's dumb as a broken toenail. Now if he were one of those little Chihuahuas you could tote around in an equally adorable bag, well . . . but I digress. Mrs. Gallagher prattles on for ten minutes about my lady-like printing and imaginative writing, exclaiming, "I just knew you'd turn out to be something really special." Finally I manage to get the story out of her.

She'd run Charlie's leash around her laundry pole in the backyard and clipped it to his collar while she went in to wash and set her hair. When she came out he was gone. We searched the backyard together. Looking for clues the police might have missed. Apparently Frank West had come on the call. The general, if not unanimous, consensus is that he's Kanner Lake's most eligible bachelor. The rumors abound--women blowing past Frank's cruiser, practically daring him to pull them over. Or staging flat tires when they know he's on duty. Pathetic, I know. But desperate times call for desperate measures. Competition's tough in our sleepy little town.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, Mrs. Gallagher's dog. Well, under the laundry pole I found one clue Frank had missed. The clasp to the leash. No leash, just the clasp. It seemed odd that the thief would take time to cut the leash from the clasp when he could just undo the thing. It wasn't like Charlie was going to bite him. Lick him to death, or maybe knock him senseless with that nonstop battering ram of a tail.

I get a hunch and decide to test it. I ask Mrs. Gallagher to get out Charlie's food and dump it into the bowl as loudly as she can. She does and sure enough we hear the clackety-clack of his claws running down the sidewalk. He skids around the gate to the backyard and drops something next to his bowl and digs in. I bend down for a closer look, careful to steer my freshly manicured nails clear of dog slobber. And guess what it is? His leash. Or, I should say, what's left of his leash. The dumb dog had chewed it to bits and run off to explore the neighborhood.

And that was my big investigative piece--before July 22 hit. We were certainly excitement challenged here in Kanner Lake. Not that it was a bad thing. It's exactly what made this a great place to come for a quiet vacation.

But we are getting back to normal. Although I know that will reverse in a few months when the reporters return . . . But Bailey doesn't want me to talk about that.

So come see us in quiet-and-getting-quieter Kanner Lake. Have one of Bailey's mochas or lattes. Talk literature with Bev and fishing with Jake, giggle with Angie, visit Sarah and Paige at Simple Pleasures. Have Carla show you some houses.

Just turn your head when Wilbur starts to raise his shirt.

-- Leslie

Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 7:00 AM
I can certainly see how your life has changed, now that I've seen you on TV so many times. What is that old saying--Be careful what you wish for.
Posted by Anonymous elizabeth monty : 8:55 AM
I've seen you on TV a lot too. You look so pretty so camera. I think you ought to forget writing for newspapers and go for TV full time.
Posted by Anonymous carly suggs : 8:56 AM
Listen, after all the stuff that's been filling the Kanner Lake Times pages lately, I'd be happy to go back to stories about Mrs. Gallagher's dog. Life was a lot simpler then.
Posted by Anonymous burt laroy : 8:58 AM
I guess I haven't been giggling as much as usual but I've lived long enough to know that time heals all. It thrilled me to be mentioned in your post. Thanks sweetie.
Posted by Anonymous Angie B. : 6:06 PM
Your town still sounds great to me. Y'all are making my mouth water for that latte!
Posted by Blogger Gina Holmes : 6:07 PM
Leslie, you're cute, but I think you were far too hard on the dog. Any self-respecting canine's going to ditch a leash the first chance he gets. That ain't dumb in my book.
Posted by Anonymous fred wiley : 8:37 AM
Well, Leslie, I thank you personally for solving the case of Mrs. Gallagher's missing dog. I will mark the case closed.

Bailey's the one who sent me over to check out this post. Now I see why. As for being Kanner Lake's most eligible bachelor, I'll get back to you on that one.
Posted by Anonymous Frank West : 1:43 PM
Um, honey, you don't have to ask me twice. I'll take a mocha, thank you very much.

I'm feeling sorry for this Paige gal. To find a body like that must have been . . . Beans! I can't imagine what it would be like. You tell her she's on my prayer list. I gotta get going though, promised one of my little neighbors a huge pot of chicken and dumplings.
Posted by Anonymous LaTisha Barnhart : 4:44 PM
Frank, you ARE the most eligible bachelor in town. And I'm going to get you. (You just don't know it yet.)
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous : 9:07 PM
Hey, how'd you jump in before me? Keep your hands off Frank West. He's MINE.
Posted by Anonymous Another, Prettier Anonymous : 9:08 PM
And just what are YOU TWO doing on this blog on a holiday weekend? Don't you have better things to do?

Frank West is MINE, and don't you forget it.
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous # 3 : 9:50 PM
lol - my black lab chews everything too.
Posted by Blogger The Curmudgeon's Rant : 3:44 PM
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