A few years later, upon realizing that my life sucked, I decided to repent and make restitution of all the things that I had done wrong in my life–as much as I was able. I remembered the dog that I had stolen. I wondered if it was still in that attic. I borrowed my dad’s dolly and drove my recently purchased minivan ($75) to that old house.
I tried the door. It was open. It looked like no one had lived there since we left. I let myself in and looked around. Oh the memories. Up in the dingy attic, almost all the way in the back stood the silhouette of a proud german shepherd just waiting to cause injury.
I got him on the dolly and tied him down. I’m not sure why I let myself do this by myself. My habit of not thinking things through didn’t go away when I quit drinking. But, I got him down the stairs and out the back door of the house without disaster, although I could see that the dolly has bent. I opened the sliding door of the van and I figured that I could tilt the dog against the van and just hoist and slide it in there on its side. Which I did. But as I did there was that knife in the belly again. This time real sharp. And with my limited medical knowledge I figured that I had given myself a hernia. (I hadn’t)
So I returned the dog and everything was great.
Not really. Not yet anyway.
The dog still had red spray paint with warriors tagged all over it. Back at my parent’s house my brother Ben helped me get it out of the van.
“You moved this by yourself? What were you thinking?”
I thought about the knife in my belly.
“Whenever you need to move this again you call me ok?”
Now I just needed to get the red paint off and finally get this dog out of my life. I didn’t want to use any chemicals because I figured that would remove the original paint as well. At first I tried to scrape it off with a flathead screwdriver. I’m not sure why I thought that was a good idea. But I ended up chipping part of the nose. I figured that I would spackle that part later or something like that.
I decided that chipping wasn’t the best idea. So, I got my dad’s pressure washer out of the garage and started spraying. I assumed that the red paint would come off easier than the real paint and I was right. Although, I had to be really careful so as to not take off too much. I started on and around the nose that I had chipped. I watched as the pressurized water caught the lip of the chip I had created earlier, and caused the majority of the nose and snout to pop off and fall to the ground.
The noseless shepherd was hoisted back into by minivan and remained there for several months while I procrastinated finding a solution. Fast forward to me seeing a place from the highway that had hundreds of lawn decorations next to a barn. On the side/ roof of that barn was painted in all capital letters: HEAVY CRITTERS. I called them up and asked if they could fix the dog and how much it would cost. They said they could fix it and that it would probably be $90. (They actually ended up doing it for free. They never said why. Probably because they are awesome.) But before they could start they needed a picture of the dog so they could make sure to get the repaint job correct. I didn’t want to tell them that I stole it so I just found a picture of a german shepherd on the internet that looked close, printed it out, and brought it there with the statue. I came back a week later (maybe, I don’t remember how long it took, this was like 12 years ago) and picked it up. It looked great. The nose was back, the paint was correct. And the time had now come to get that 300lb albatross out of my $75 dollar minivan.
I wrote a note to the owners. I don’t remember what it said. Probably stuff about being sorry for being an ass. We, Ben and I, put the dog in the owner’s front yard by the door. I put the note partially under the statue so there was no way it could blow away. My mom had advised me not to apologize in person. I think that was a good decision. I drove by the house the next day and the dog wasn’t there. I assume they brought it inside so safe keeping. Otherwise some other dumb drunk teenager and his roommates have stolen it and have started their own weird stupid journey with that heavy dog.
Here is some info from the webpage of HEAVY CRITTERS, the people that made the restitution part of my repentance process more possible.
Our Products and Services
HEAVY CRITTERS specializes in unique, exciting, and unusual items. Designed for both indoor and outdoor use, our statuary is of the highest quality. HEAVY CRITTERS is known for its life-like wildlife items and its gorgeous airbrushed stepping-stones. Our products have been featured in Better Homes & Gardens, Country Women, Plow & Hearth, Country Sampler, and McCall’s magazines.
Always by appointment, always by chance, always with YOU in mind.
Year round by appointment – (920) 235-2864
Open April 1 – December 23
11:00 AM – 5:00 PM Monday – Friday
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM Saturday
12:00 PM – 2:00 PM Sunday
Call for EXTENDED SEASONAL HOURS – (920) 235-2864