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  • Writer's pictureThe Rough & Tumble

The Day We Thought We Lost You Forever Then Didn’t AKA Dillsburg for President

Plastic bags, traffic cones, small dogs, cats, sudden movements, the Pacific Ocean and, now, trucks pulling trailers. This completes the list of things that Butter is afraid of to varying degrees of utmost panic. These sorts of things can make traveling with the world’s largest ‘Fraidy-Dog a bit of an inconvenience (Scenario 1: “Can we actually have that in a paper bag? Otherwise we can’t put it in the backseat with our dog.”), but after what happened in small town Dillsburg, PA, we’ll take every quirk she has as long as we can just keep her alive.

Over and over again, we were assured that if she was going to go missing in any town, this would be the right one. We had every hardware store employee, the postal worker, neighbors’ of friends’ neighbors, and all those in between keeping a sharp eye and an open ear out for our 97-pound-band-dog. And with those efforts, she is back to us again. But now that you are reassured, we will tell you about the day we thought we lost Butter forever, then didn’t, and in hindsight named October 30th:

The Day of Butter’s Great Adventure Until All of Dillsburg Brought Her Home.

The Craigslist post we put up consisted of describing Butter’s squishy face and responsiveness to food.

After spending our last bit of Grandma money at the thrift store and hitting up coffee at The Square Bean with the wise and wonderful Isaac Tucker, The Rough & Tumble began a walk back to the Tucker abode in preparation to grab Butter from the backyard and head down to Virginia. But Butter was nowhere to be found, and before we could whistle her to us, our phones were buzzing with a call from Isaac: Butter had bolted– he saw the whole thing– directly into the street.

Evidently, a truck pulling a Bobcat hit our pooch with a horrifying crack and crunch, and left her underneath with the entire world holding its breath for hope.

Scoop Tyler (Scott’s reporter name) would recount the event with one finger in his ear and an invisible microphone (we don’t give him a real one except for shows) standing on S Baltimore Street as follows: “Witnesses say that Butter then, in the fashion of a fiery spawn, resurrected her own body and fled the scene faster than a cheetah.”

And the search began. The folks at Ace Hardware retold her quick trail as many times as we asked. The postal worker was notified– as Butter has an affinity for the USPS– and took a few extra rounds to find the dog he had only met a day earlier. Isaac Tucker– who we will now refer to as King of Central Pennsylvania– called every person he knew, posted every detail on his Facebook, and created Missing Dog posters within the hour, which peppered the town on every telephone pole and business window. Strangers approached us in hopes that a new development had surfaced, and consoled us with as much sympathy as our hurried feet could wait for. We walked and cried then drove and hoped. Every bark was a clue, every phone call was a maybe…

The posters that the King of Central Pennsylvania created for us and hung everywhere– that we were thankfully tearing down on our way out of Dillsburg.

We beat the world record for yelling the word “Butter” the most times in a day.

We cancelled our gig that night and kept searching. We avoided Highway 15, because to start down that road would mean we gave up. But the ominous and busy freeway kept looming over us like a dirty secret.

Finally, a phone call. Someone spotted her two hours earlier in a field somewhere by the Highway. We scoured the field, scaring up a black cat, but no Butter. We went back to the house. We set out her food. We watched the sun get more sleepy. Then, another car, another stranger’s friendly face, another tip: go to the woods. An hour til dark, four hours into our search, and we went to the woods.

We scared up an animal we didn’t recognize and twenties of squirrels. Squirrels are the most difficult evidence to take. Butter and squirrels simply do not coexist. We left the woods. We drove to the water tower. We entered the woods. We split up, we walked, we yelled. Somewhere around the time that Scott scared up a goose and a family of deer, and Mallory had hit her knees is total despair, they mutually decided to head back to the car in the last light.

Butter hates when she can’t go with us in the car. She is a touring dog after all. And that is exactly where she waited. She gobbled her food down and sloshed water and drool all over us, but we didn’t care. To the vet, to the Tucker’s, to the bathtub, and Butter slept another night in Dillsburg, completely in one piece, but the sorest she’s ever been.

She’s a bit crankier than usual, still a little out of sorts, and spends much of her time licking her paws and sleeping, but we got our dog back. We owe a small town in Central Pennsylvania a thousand dollars each and free cookies for a year, plus a ton of rewards otherwise. But all we have for now is a couple of words and all the gratitude we can muster. Thanks, Dillsburg.

After our exit, we were told by the Tucker’s that a little Trick-or-Treating neighbor girl, who had seen the whole thing happen, had woken up from a dream the night after the incident, yelling, “Run, doggy, run!”

We will keep on running, full speed (with a little limp) ahead. All three of us will see you again real soon.

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