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Some years ago, my husband G used to leave his boots on our open front porch.
Very early one morning, he heard a noise and looked out the window. There were two large, strange dogs on our porch. One was mouthing his boot.
G opened the window and yelled for the dogs to go away. One pooch pilfered a boot and they both took off, stopping just outside our property line.  G ran out, waving his arms wildly and shouting for the dog to drop the boot, but to no avail. The dogs seemed to be intent on taunting him, running just out of his reach and then stopping to look back at him, boot secured in jaw. This made G so mad.
After some time, G came in exasperated, ranting that these dogs had stolen his shoe.
Ranting angrily was G’s natural state.
Finding absurd things funny is my natural state.
G did not think the loss of his very good shoe was funny at all. Miffed, he left for work.
My (then) 5-year-old son and I spent that day cutting out individual letters from newspapers and magazines. We focused on choosing letters with assorted colors, shapes, sizes, fonts. The more varied, the better.
We then constructed a ransom note from the dogs. It said something like, “Leave 3 bones in the old stump by the mailbox or you’ll never see your boot again”, and we signed off with a “Woof”.
We left this in the mailbox so G could find it when he got home from work. And then we laughed and laughed.
It took us hours to complete. I wish I had a photo of the note, but I don’t. The task was our reward.
G was able to laugh about it later. Time and, more importantly, distance often helped him gain perspective and lighten up.
We never saw those dogs again.
Every time G went for a run, he looked for his boot, feeling sure they’d’ve dropped it somewhere along the way. He had trouble letting that go.
The ransom note was hysterical.
But funnier still: At least a year after the doggie thievery event, G was running in the woods more than a mile from our home, when he came upon his boot.
By then, we’d disposed of its match.
He left it where it lay; weathered and planted among the growing vegetation. It was a kind of closure for him.