It’s been an exciting week, but not in a good way. First, I thought I was losing my mind. Then I realized I had been robbed.

I’m still not sure which was worse.

But before I go further, let me assure you: Both Frankie and I are fine.

It all started Monday when I came home from a brief shopping excursion to Trader Joe’s to discover a melting ice cube on the kitchen floor, an ice tray and coffee cup in the sink, and a bandanna near my microwave.

Now I’m not so tidy that I remember every last cup or ice tray to enter my  sink; quite the opposite. But I didn’t remember taking out ice and, especially, moving the bandanna — the one worn by Bad to the Bone Frankie — from the corner of my living room devoted to Frankie’s possessions.

Frankie wearing the suspicious red bandanna
Frankie wearing the suspicious red bandanna

On the other hand, Frankie had greeted me at the door in his usual perky, enthusiastic fashion. If there had been anything wrong, surely he would have acted freaked out, right?

Nor did my home look messier than usual. TV? Check. Desktop computer? Check. Nothing seemed disturbed.  The notion that someone had come in, had an iced drink, and then departed? Absurd!

So I chalked up my sense that someone had been in my house to stress and settled in with a glass of wine. (Perhaps I should mention that the Trader Joe’s near me has begun doing wine tastings; it’s possible that partaking in that excellent new service added to my sanguine — or was it addled? — state of mind.)

The next day I began discovering missing stuff: My laptop. My camera. My digital tape recorder. All had been in my office, on my messy desk top (I would post pictures of just how messy but my camera was stolen.)  Since I’d had no reason to use any of those items, I just hadn’t noticed.

I began looking around for other evidence of a break in. The entry point? An old back door that often sticks — and would be easy to jimmy.

The police were called. The insurance company was contacted. The former were very helpful and sympathetic, explaining there had been a rash of meth heads in my neighborhood; the latter not so much, explaining that everything I own has depreciated dramatically.

The mystery of the cold drink imbibing was solved by Clare, my always helpful and ever clever best friend. People often ice their ice, she explained: Hide their jewels in the freezer.

So, only a single mystery remains: What was Frankie doing while the robber was in the house?

He couldn’t have been hiding under the bed because — well, it’s long story that involves back problems (his) — we sleep on a mattress on the floor.

He barks at every stranger who comes into the house — or, I should say, every one who isn’t me, whether he’s met them before or not. My guest house tenant. My good friend Karyn. Even his rescuer, Rebecca (the little ingrate). People he’s met dozens of times.

But that’s when I’m at home. And I’m told by pet sitters that when they enter, he ventures out, looking hopeful, then sees it’s not me, and goes back into the bedroom, lies on our bed, and mopes.

So that’s what I’ve decided. Frankie came out, saw the thief, and thought darn, Not Edie. Just another pet sitter raiding the fridge. The thief may not have even noticed him. He was on a mission, Frankie is small, and meth heads are not all that observant.

That’s my Frankie, a pup who moped his way, unobserved, through a home invasion. And, boy, am I glad he did, even though he won’t be much use identifying the perp, should the police ever find him.

17 thoughts on “Frankie Doodle: International Dog of Mystery”

  1. Great story! My husband’s childhood neighbors kept their valuables in their freezer — not jewelry — their dead dog (they couldn’t figure out what else to do with it).

    1. I love that idea: A line up with an array of criminals that dogs have to identify through scent… Not that I’m certain Frankie got close enough to sniff!

  2. I had that same feeling of losing my mind when we came home to find our house burglarized many years ago. “I don’t remember leaving the closet door open,” I thought. “How did that cabinet get moved and where is the… ! We’ve been burgled!” And where were our shepherd/lab and our husky/lab? We’d left them confined to the laundry room due to the husky/lab’s destructive tendencies. Needless to say, we figured out a different strategy to deal with the destructiveness and have always had our dogs patrolling the house since.

    1. At least it didn’t take you an entire day to realized you’d been burgled. I’m glad you solved the destructiveness problem — and now have good guard dogs!

  3. I don’t even know how many days it took me to realize I had been the victim of an attempted invasion two weeks ago. I hope it was only one or two. But here, my dogs did alert me that something was wrong — I was just too stupid to notice. I just thought they were being really obnoxious, what with all the barking and all!
    Enlightenment dawned the day neighbors started knocking on my door and telling me my little black dog (a mostly dachshund) was out running around the neighborhood. Each time, I looked behind me at that innocent face and said, “No, he’s not. He’s right here.” A particularly interested neighbor finally conducted her own inspection and informed me my (allegedly deadbolt-locked) metal gate was far enough open that dog was slipping out, then zipping back in so he could look innocent whenever anyone came to the house. (There’s a reason his name in Bandit!)
    My inspection showed that the metal plate on the outside (street-side) of the gate had been bent back at a 45-degree angle, and the two halves of gate separated just enough to open the lock.
    So much for the idea that no burglar would be stupid enough to attempt to rob a house patrolled by 5 very loud dogs!!!!

    1. Oh dear — but did you discover anything missing? It looks like your pack might have averted an actual robbery after all. At least I hope so…

    1. Thanks, Roxanne. It was scarier in retrospect, if you know what I mean. Frankie seemed absolutely fine, which was one reason I didn’t think there was a problem.

  4. I have to say I’m glad to know what Frankie was probably doing. It seems fairly certain he wasn’t following the perp around waiting to be petted. Still scary though.

    1. Well, just an educated guess — but definitely more likely than shadowing a stranger around. Yes, it was definitely frightening to contemplate.

  5. So far, just a very large flower pot in the backyard found smashed and pieces scattered. I am thinking maybe the greeting committee discouraged my meth head from attempting to enter the house.

  6. I recently read about a condition that many dogs have (mine included) that I think Frankie may be showing symptoms of. It’s called CGD (chronic greeting disorder). Take my dog Cass. We’re expecting company. They arrive, she runs to the door, barks at them, runs to me barks at me. This happens for a minute or so. The guests realize they have forgotten the wine in the car. Out they go, returning one minute later. Cass runs to the door, barks at them, runs to me, barks at me. It’s either early onset dementia or her way of telling me our friends are here. I too have been told that if no one is home, she doesn’t bark. Our landlord finally asked if we no longer had a dog. Whenever he’d come in there would be no sign of her. Well, we never asked her to be a guard dog.

    1. Ha! The writer Merrill Markoe described a similar disorder (wish I could recall the name! it was, typically, very funny). And yes, guard dog was never part of Frankie’s job description though body guard — or at least warner — apparently is.

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