Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Find Toto, uh, Flurry, in Faribault October 23, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 10:01 AM

FIND TOTO, my caller ID reads. I hesitate. We’re not in Kansas and I suspect a scam. But then I push the green button anyway and answer my phone.

While I can’t recall the exact words, an automated voice spews out information about a pet alert in my neighborhood for a dog named Flurry. I’ve heard enough. This can’t be for real. I push the red button, click, and end the one-sided phone call.

That was Wednesday afternoon.

Thursday morning a silver boat of a car pulls up in front of my house. A woman exits the passenger side and tacks a sign onto a corner utility post. Likely not a garage sale sign, considering the rainy weather. But then I remember. Could this be Dorothy, looking for Toto?

Later, I step outside, bested by my curiosity. Donna, not Dorothy, is searching for her missing white Bichon Frise. Flurry was last seen on Oct. 20 along Northwest Seventh Street in Faribault. The 12-year-old dog has seizures and needs medication.

Donna wants her dog back, and she is offering a $500 reward. Now I’ve seen plenty of stray cats in my neighborhood. But a dog? Nope.

When my son arrives home from school, I tell him we need to find Flurry. He could use the $500 to pay for a Spanish class trip to Spain, because the expected flurry of fundraising never materialized.

Heck, I could use the money to help pay for our new heating and cooling system, an updated kitchen, new bedroom windows, a new front door.

I know, money shouldn’t be my motive in searching for a lost pet. But, well, $500 is a good chunk of change.

“So what’s this dog look like?” my 15-year-old asks.

“Kind of like Benji,” I say, envisioning the posted photo.

“Who’s Benji?” he replies.

Yeah, OK, then. This ought to be easy. I tell him to go outside and view the photo of Flurry. He doesn’t.

There is no search for Flurry, except on the internet. I google www.findtoto.com because, by now, I figure that earlier phone call was legit. Findtoto.com, I discover, is an Amber alert system for missing pets. I type in my 55021 zip code and find information about Donna’s missing dog. She has also posted information on Craig’s list and on FidoFinder.com.

If it wasn’t raining cats and dogs as I write this, I might be out searching for the run away Toto, uh, Flurry, right now.

© Copyright 2009 Audrey Kletscher Helbling