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The Dognapper

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If you steal your roommate's dog, make sure it looks like a run-away scenario. It should go down like this:

Step 1 : Ensure the roommate is out of the house at the time of the heist. Step 2 : Leave all the dog's belongings behind, especially the kennel. Step 3 : Leave the door ajar when you leave to create the illusion that the dog left of its own volition. Step 4: Buy a kennel on the way to the airport. Step 5: Check as luggage when you get there and fly far, far away.

I had this chance when I rescued my roommate's Chihuahua, Peanut, but I was so flustered by the prospect of taking the dog that, in the heat of the moment, I left a note instead. It read, Tabby*, I've taken your dog to the pound. It's better for everyone concerned. Don't bother trying to find him - you've neglected him for too long . I slid the note under her door, and boarded a bus to the Toronto airport.

On the plane to Vancouver, with Peanut's kennel stowed in the luggage compartment below, I developed the comprehensive system of dog-napping mentioned above, realizing that I should have developed it the day before. Oh well. I decided that I would change his name to Patrick Swayze, thereby altering his identity so he could live on the lam together forever. In a perfect world, Peanut and I would live peacefully by passing our days in the abundant British Columbian meadows under vibrant double rainbows while deer and squirrels marveled at our exquisite frolicking skills.

Instead, I returned home to find a series of frantic, caps-locked Facebook messages from Tabby stating that OH MY GAWD I LOVED THAT DOG SO MUCH HOW COULD YOU TAKE HIM U PSYKO!!!! and that she SERCHD ALL THE POUNDZ AND PEANUT ISNT THEIR!!!!

Here was a person who locked her dog in a kennel in the hallway for the first three days he lived with us, and then talked incessantly of getting rid of him every time she opened her mouth. But now that her eccentric former roommate had whisked away her beloved Peanut... well, I guess her reaction was understandable. As power-ballad powerhouses Cinderella philosophized in 1988, "You don't know what you got till it's gone."

Tabby and I got along fine at first, but she was the sort who liked little accessories that fit into her vast collection of purses - and that included Peanut. It was clear from the way she regarded her pet that all she wanted was something fluffy to hug on occasion, without any of the icky responsibilities that came with owning a dog.

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