Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Big Deal: A Puppy Mafia Mystery

Puppy, the Godfather

Disclaimer #1:  If you have no idea what the Puppy Mafia is, please read this first.
Disclaimer #2:  Warning, extraordinarily unimportant, nonmedically related post ahead.


"Mom? Tell me you'll look all over. Promise me you will."

"I have. I mean, I will. Look all over. Again. I promise."

"Thank you, Mommy. You're the best mom ever."


That's what I heard every morning for an entire week at the bus stop with Isaiah last week.  And oh, did I fail to mention? Last week, something happened that could have had me two blinks away from almost thinking that I was a quasi-big deal. And you know what? I won't even be cryptic about it this time. I'll just flat out tell you that I was on the Dr. Oz Show last week, which technically qualifies as at least kind of cool. (In fact, very cool if you are my mom or my dad and it's the third time your child is doing it. . . .)

So wouldn't you agree that this could be deemed at least an six on a one to ten "deal" scale? Okay. So just when I started dusting off my (big deal) shoulders, I was quickly tapped on one of those shoulders by my so-called life outside of Grady. You know. . .the one where my big deal status is only in the eyes of two little boys under the age of five? Love how this part of my life keeps me fully grounded in minutia. . . . .

Okay. So instead of being focused on me and my quasi-big deal status, I had to put my mind on much more serious and pressing things. Why? Because of a serious development in the Manning household.  The unthinkable. The unspeakable. The (almost) unbloggable. . . . .


Dare I even admit it?  Okay.  After one full week of denial, I am forced to confess that. . . gulp. . .


Puppy is LOST.  

Puppy. . .sigh. . .lost.  Not just a puppy. But Puppy.  As in Puppy the King Pen and Original Boss of the Puppy Mafia. Yes. The boss is lost.

And so.  I have done exactly what I have promised. I have looked. And looked. And looked. All. Frickin'. Over. I even drove through the neighborhood hoping for a merciful discovery like the one in a million experience we had with Pup Pup's great adventure.  No such luck.

The only thing worse than Isaiah asking me to look for Puppy every morning is Zachary asking me if I've found Puppy evening:

"Mommy, did Puppy get found yet?" 

"No, Pooda, Mommy is still trying to find him."

"Mommy, do you think he fell off your car like Pup Pup?"

"Did you throw him on Mommy's car like you did Pup Pup?"

"Nuh uh."

"Zachy? You promise?"

"Nuh uh."

"Nuh uh, you don't promise or nuh uh, you didn't throw him on Mommy's car?"

"Nuh uh."



"Did you?"



"Can I have some apple sauce?"

Yes. This has been my life for an entire week. In addition to being responsible for a full service of (very sick) inpatients at one of the busiest public hospitals in America.

Even with a minor procedure, The Boss was there.

Okay, so this thing has become rather complex.  Ever since Zachary has begun randomly throwing members of the Puppy Mafia onto the tops of cars, the plot thickened exponentially.  So now, although I have torn up the play room, the bedroom, the laundry area, every hamper, every possible hiding place in our home or in our cars, in the back of my head I have to wonder. . . .did Puppy, in fact, get tossed to his death off of the back of a moving Volvo?


The odds are that, even if he DID (get tossed off of the back of a moving Volvo) the likelihood of him being lost forever and ever is lower than you'd think.  Why, you ask? Because Puppy (aka The Puppy Godfather) somehow always manages to get found.

Oh yeah--and he's "already brave."

Wait huh?

Let me explain.  In addition to the complex size of the Puppy Mafia, there is this other random aspect that I will do my best to explain to you--bravery.  Bravery, as defined and originated by the founder of the Puppy Mafia, Isaiah.

Heading to run errands, circa 2007.

"Isaiah, hurry up we need to go!"

Isaiah scurrying from the living room into the playroom -- "Okay, Mommy! Here I come!"

Runs up to me with two of his Puppies, Cody and Jack.  "You can bring them into the car, but you have to leave them there. They can't come into the store with us."

Isaiah stares at me for a few seconds. Then runs back to his playroom and returns with Puppy.

"What was that about?"  I just had to ask.

"Cody and Jack aren't brave yet. Puppy is already brave."


"Puppy can stay in the car but Cody and Jack can't. Because they aren't brave yet."

"Uhhhh, okay."

So as it turns out, the "already brave" stamp is a bizarre designation held in the hands and mind of Isaiah and no one else. What deems a Puppy brave or not brave is classified information. Just when I think I fully know who is "already brave" and who isn't, I am corrected on my inaccuracy.

Okay. So if you are fully confused, don't worry.  Harry lives here and has no earthly idea how the hell the Puppy Mafia works.  He just hates hearing the kids crying, so he is willing to get involved only when a.) I am not home and someone starts crying about a Puppy, b.) I am fast, fast asleep and someone starts crying about a Puppy, or c.) I am pretending to be fast, fast asleep and someone starts crying about a Puppy.

So back to the fact that The Puppy Godfather is likely to return:

This isn't his first time getting lost. At. All.  In fact, Puppy's first big disappearing act took place a few years ago when Isaiah took him to my grandmother's house in Alabama. It was the weekend of our college alma mater's Homecoming weekend, and Mee Ma had a housefull.  My whole family went to college at Tuskegee and homecoming involves a family pilgrimage every fall. This was one of the first few years Isaiah and Zachary came down thanks to my (wonderful) Dad volunteering to bring them and the rest of the grandkids and keep them while we hung out with our friends.


The time came for Daddy and the grandkids to head back to Atlanta that evening.  Dad loaded all them all into my brother's Suburban and just as he was clicking the five point harness car seat belt, Isaiah asked:

"Pa Pa? Where is Puppy?" (Or as he used to pronounce it back then "Pubby.")

"Pa Pa will find it. Don't worry." And in Pa Pa goes to retrieve Puppy.

Okay. Now seeing as Pa Pa is old school, I mean for real ol' school, he walked into Mee Ma's house and looked around for a few moments and said "bump it." It was getting dark. It was time to go.  Pubby would have to either get found later or Isaiah would have to find a new lovey. (Or as my friend Kym says, "You in a bad way.")

Anywho.  Before I left I looked through my grandma's house, too. Well, it turns out that when your eighty-something year old grandmama lives in a house that she has lived in since before they had color TV, cable TV, or DirectTV there's a whole lot of stuff that accumulates there (especially TVs.)  And I'm just sayin'. . . . while my grandmama's house is neat, I am saying that there are far too many nooks, crannies and crevices for me to be finding a little stuffed dog.

So check it.  That was in November of 2008.  Mee Ma looks all over for the dude for months and no such luck. Isaiah would randomly announce how much he missed Puppy or how much all of Puppy's brother's missed him, and all I could do is call my Dad and (try to) make him feel bad. (Didn't I mention that he was old school?)

So fast forward to November 2009.  Pa Pa remakes the pilgrimage with grands in tow, and would you believe that Isaiah strolls straight into Mee Ma's house and finds Puppy within two minutes of arrival?  I am NOT KIDDING.  After a full year of being AWOL.  Me, my dad, my grandmama, and my mama were jumping for joy.  Isaiah just looks nonchalant and tells us, "I knew he was okay because he's already brave."

Bananas. (I won't even tell you about Puppy getting lost in Cleveland, Ohio or in our backyard.)

So the deal is, based on his track record, Puppy always manages to find his way home. So I'm hoping that this time will be no different.  But in the meantime, Pup Pup has now been promoted to Godfather and officially has achieved "already brave" status.

Was Puppy set up? Pup Pup, The Interim Boss--can he be trusted?

So. In between taking care of my inpatients at Grady Hospital and meeting every deadline that is looming in between, I will be fielding questions about the untouchable and currently unfindable, Puppy.

*I welcome your suggestions on where he might be and welcome you to leave your vote on whether or not you think he will be found. A simple  "It's curtains for Puppy!" or "The Boss never dies!" will do.

See? Now how random is all of this? Told you I wasn't a big deal.

Don't let the sweet face fool you. That patient is really a mob boss.

Happy Saturday.


  1. I love the Puppy Mafia stories! Hope Puppy finds his way home soon.

  2. Poor Puppy! And poor Zachary! I just had the ice-cold-pit-of-my-stomach-at-my-toes feeling at the memory of the (temporary) loss of my own Puppy (yes, I was good at creative names; I also had a doll I named "Company" b/c the relative who gave her to me said she was "to keep me company") at age five. Puppy was the tiniest stuffed animal I owned, but held the biggest place in my heart and a undisputed place as travel buddy. He apparently dropped out of my "plumper" travel/pajama buddy-bag on the way into a hotel on a roadtrip, which meant I cried and worried all night - until a nice elderly gentleman sitting at the continental breakfast came around to ask if anyone had lost a beat-up brown stuffed dog. Pure joy at the reunion! I hope Zachary experiences the pure joy of his Puppy's return yet again - not just for his sake, but for the sake of an efficiently run Mafia! Best to you, Puppy, and Zachary!

  3. Hey,

    I'm Catholic and we have a saint for everything! St. Anthony is the patron saint for lost things. I said a prayer that you'd find Puppy for Isaiah, so you'll find him soon.

    Love your blog! I read it every day.


"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

Related Posts with Thumbnails