If life's about the journey, does it matter how many bathroom breaks you take along the way?

About a month ago, I posted a silly and somewhat irreverent blog (“Have You Seen Goldie?”) about the disappearance of my daughter’s alter ego/better half/can’t-go-to-the-bathroom-without-her, perfect puppy.

As time passed, however, Essa’s sense of devastation as she accepted that her bestie had vanished became immeasurable. Hard to quantify, that is, unless you compared it to mine.

After Goldie disappeared, I began to experience increasingly alarming symptoms of an unnamed, yet if you know me, fairly predictable cause.  Daily anxiety attacks, searing potential-freedom-deprivation pain, recurring, sweat-drenched dreams involving a subzero, 2:00 a.m. training trek into the snow, nasty coyoteitis (jackals love puppies around here), and hairball heart palpitations were just the beginning of my woes.

In short, I’ve been a complete mess since Goldie dissolved into our thin Colorado air, never to be seen or heard from again.

Why, you ask, would Goldie’s disappearance affect me so profoundly, other than the obvious fact that she was my daughter’s best friend?

Because Goldie wasn’t real, and for Essa, the only thing that will ever come close to replacing her is a living, breathing, slobbering, canis lupus familiaris.

Hence my total freak out.

Goldie, wrapped in Essa's blanket the night before she disappeared.

But yesterday morning, up before the ankle biters and sipping a cup of tea, I heard a tiny tap-tap-tap at the base of our back door.  Still bleary-eyed from my perspiration-soaked, sleepless night, I wrenched myself away from the Demi Moore meltdown articles I’d been carelessly trolling, to see what was going on.

And this is who I found:

Our puppy!

Goldie.  With tears of joy in her eyes.  Shivering from the cold.

Without a second thought, I threw the door open and scooped her into my arms.  After a month of being who-knows-where, she was back, wagging her sweet little tail, running circles around the kitchen, and covering my face with her signature Goldie kisses for minutes, and maybe hours, on-end.

Once I recovered from my shock, I immediately whipped up a chai tea latte, served it in her favorite Tim Tebow mug, and settled down to find out where she’d been for the past thirty days.  I had about a million questions racing through my mind that only she could answer.

Goldie believes in Tim Tebow.

But before she even took a sip, Goldie was at the back door again, jumping, whining, and pawing at the glass to get out.  Confused, I slid it open as she bolted for the bushes, and turned around to face me with a “Duh.  What are you waiting for?” kind of look.

“Spring,” I muttered to myself as I threw on some boots, tucked in my super-comfy sweats, and chased her outside.

Following her to a tiny, ice-covered tree, I found two adorable, frightened little friends huddled together to stay warm.

Brownie and Spotz.

Reunited as if they were long-lost littermates, the three immediately began to bound around the yard…jumping, flipping, flying through the air, and playing Duck, Duck, Goose (which is harder than you’d think on four feet and a sizable amount of snow).

One by one, my husband, Scot, and our two eldest children ambled outside to see what was going on, each more surprised and elated than the other.

As usual, Essa was the last to rouse herself from her cozy, stuffed animal-strewn sleep.  When she rounded the corner of the patio dressed in puppy pajamas, eyes filled with tendrils of drowsy hair, and no shoes to fight the biting cold, a yelp, no, a full-on bark of excitement exploded from her mouth.  Before I could turn around, Goldie leapt from the snow, flew eons and eons through the air, and expertly landed in my daughter’s open arms.  The two stood together and slowly twirled in a soft circle, eyes locked on the other with a look of love so profound it was impossible not to stare.  Or cry.

And now?  Goldie’s back.  Our family is complete again, and with the addition of Spotz and Brownie, even better than before.

I’m still not sure why Goldie ran away.  Perhaps she needed to venture out into the world to realize what she had, or maybe it was because she knew I wouldn’t understand her value until she was gone.  In life, you don’t always get a second chance to make things right, but when you do?  Hold on tight and don’t let go.

Either way, what matters is that we’re a unit again.  Solid.  Impenetrable.  Strong.  Goldie and her friends are as real as our imagination allows them to be.  And for the moment?  My coyoteitis is completely under control.

The Three Amigos in Goldie’s Winter Wonderland

Making snow angels.

Deep powder snowshoeing.

Sledding down the mountain.

Tree hopping.

Tubing over a ginormous crevasse.

Building a snowman.

Catching some serious air.

35 thoughts on “Have You Seen Goldie? Part II

  1. filmonista says:

    I’m looking forward to the days of the “invisible friend”… of course, my daughter is a Gemini and you guys are born with at least one, right?

    1. Yes. My middle is a Gemini and the other two bookend end her on either cusp. It’s gonna get CRAZY around here in a couple of years. Thanks for commenting, we’ll console each other on our poor timing down the road….

  2. Love it. Hysterical. Great photos, too! Goldie doesn’t need a press photographer when she has you. Can’t wait to hear where Goldie went during her “vacation” and whether or not her new friends are platonic. I wonder if Essa’s getting any of the story or if Goldie is on the down low.

    1. We are so on the same page. For now, I have them each sleeping in separate rooms. Just to be safe.

  3. I’d take a quick trip to the vet for a little operation, otherwise she may proudly present you with a litter of Beanie Babies in a few weeks.

    1. You’re so right on! None of those puppies have parts, so I have no idea if Brownie or Spotz is capable of making our family A LOT larger than planned….

  4. Cute Cute Cute! Loved it! The pictures are a riot (great effect with the border). I think Goldie needs her own blog/fb page/linked in profile (ha ha) – sounds like there’s more adventures to be had! Hmmm…children’s book perhaps?

    1. I like the way your mind works Lisa! Thanks for taking the time to comment. You never know where Goldie might go… =)

  5. Kate says:

    When my friend’s daughter was 18 mos or something, her dad was carrying her in a backpack across a soccer field and she dropped BUNNY. Dad didn’t notice…and that was that. But my friend COULD NOT BELIEVE that her husband hadn’t noticed. This was BUNNY, after all! Thanks for the post.

    1. Thanks for the comment Kate! Love reading your work BTW…

  6. Bryan says:

    Excellent! I especially like the part about giving her tea in the Tebow mug. I’m a big fan.

    1. Me too. Thanks Bryan!

  7. Beth says:

    This is wonderful. It kind of reminds me of the time my children brought flat-Stanley home from school. In case you don’t know who flat-Stanley is – He is a cut out of a boy (based on the book Flat-Stanley) who travels to a friends house, ideally, in another state. The friend you mail Stanley to is supposed to take Stanley everywhere they go while documenting his travels with pics and story. When the kids’ get Stanley back, they share his travel experience with the class. Anyway, your story is a lot better than any of the 2nd grade, Flat-Stanley, stories I’ve had the pleasure of reading.
    I can’t wait for my kids to read this. You’re an amazing story teller.

    1. Thanks so much Beth! I really appreciate both your comment and your support!

  8. Misslisted says:

    sweet! I just had a flashback on those “Lonely Doll” books of my childhood where the doll spanks the teddy bear…do you remember those? kinda creepy! I feel a blog post coming on some day about that…

    1. Totally creepy! I’ll be looking for that post from you asap…. =)

  9. Darcy Isla says:

    This made me so happy! I hope I have your imagination when I start a family. 🙂

    1. I’m sure you will! One of my fav quotes “Creativity begins when you can’t have what you want.” (Unknown) And as a parent you’ll want sleep…time…etc, that you won’t get…hence the creativity. Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  10. CJ says:

    Love this! Great pics and what a beautiful story. I can’t wait to find out what’s next.

    1. Thanks CJ…I have a feeling I know where it’s going, but am afraid to look. =)

  11. annewoodman says:

    I never had an alter ego/best stuffed friend, etc. so I was surprised when my daughter got so attached to hers.. BearBear. That little bear is our third child. One time we really did think she was gone forever, and my husband and I were as grief-stricken as our daughter! Strange how attached we get to our little security items!

    1. Funny how little, fake animals take on the personas of big, real people! Thanks for your comment.

  12. nice and funny, love cute pics…xxxx

  13. sweetmother says:

    you must read this post from my friend: you have similar animal issues!

    1. Thanks! I’ll check it out. =)

  14. Brenda says:

    Sweet, cute……you have the ability to write for all ages! Maybe a book about Goldie’s adventures would be in order! Essa has to be elated!!

  15. Ahem! Guess who got nom(nom nom)inated for A MAJOR AWARD? You, that’s who. 😉

  16. Laura says:

    Fun post, Stacie! Love the pics. Made me feel like I was really “there”!! Also stopped on the word CHAI! Yuuuuum! One of my favorite things to make int he winter. If you need a good recipe, let me know–

    1. Anonymous says:

      Thanks Laura! I’m a chai-out-of-the-box-with-milk kind of girl. But I’d love you to teach me how to create your beautiful clay pieces. =)

  17. Holy crap! That’s too funny. I would have payed to see you taking those pictures…

    1. Awwww, thanks for taking a walk back in time with me, SSG. Good thing my neighbors already know I’m a nut job. =)

      1. I had a blast. With a little bit of luck, I’ll be taking more of those walks with you… If I can get my brain to remember…

  18. I think I saw Coyoteitis open for Faster Pussycat at the Worcester Centrum in 1988. They were okay.

    1. Yeah. Way too emo for me.

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