Sunday, October 05, 2008

A Dingo ate my baby

Last known photo of Baby Kate - Dear Alex was just dumping her on the hood of the car...

Well, actually it was more like a golden retriever ate Dear Alex's baby. It was one of those weird things, that simply confound and amaze. Dear Alex and daddy are playing outside on this first very-fall-like day in the country, with the girl going in and out of the house, each time taking a toy out, then back to be replaced by another toy. this went on for a while, as anything with Dear Alex can these days as she tests and tries her abilities and my patience with her new skills and confidence. We'd been at this game for a while when she brought out Baby Kate, a non-assuming little blonde-haired baby doll, that Dear Alex has no particular attachment to, other than the occasional ministration and imitation of mommy. While we were out Dear Alex put the doll on the hood of the car so that she could go for a ride - at that moment we were surprised by the rush and tumble of a friendly golden retriever that came seemingly out of nowhere through the trees at the edge of the property, all wagging tail and eager- for-play affection. Dear Alex was delighted, though I was just a little bit alarmed by the dog's sudden appearance, so I stepped forward to see the dog turn from Dear Alex and in in a fraction of a second take the doll in it's mouth and run. Just like that it was over - the dog bounding away through the woods with the doll in it's jaws and Dear Alex standing silently with a look on her face that said something like "what the hell just happened?" There weren't any tears, Dear Alex simply said with something like quiet amazement "the doggie took Baby Kate away". That was it. I told her to go inside RIGHT NOW! and find mommy and tell her what happened, so that I could take off in pursuit - of course, by that time, the dog was long gone. Once Dear Alex was safely inside, I went off in luke-warm pursuit, following the path that the dog had taken. After walking through a few lakefront properties, I came to a home with a bit of commotion, and found the owner of the dog with leash in hand desperately trying to corral the wayward animal. She said she'd seen the dog run by with something pink in it's mouth, and had thought that that meant trouble... well, yeah. I'm not really sure what to make of things at this point, as she's no more responsible for the wayward dog's behavior that I am for my own dear girl's occasional missteps.
If I were I more tightly-wound New-York-City parent, there would have been police and counseling and animal control involved, but as it is, there's really no harm done. The woman promised to try to search the dog's usual hiding places, would be more than happy to replace the doll, etc... I left it at "let me know if the doll turns up. We're a couple of houses down the lake." We'll be sending out search parties tomorrow morning, and with any luck, we'll find Baby Kate. I am, of course, wondering how Dear Alex will process this event, but for now and for me, It's just another weird and slightly scary episode in my learning to be daddy.

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