The Lost Puppy Case Files

Timeouts are bad



I am in timeout.

I don’t understand the hows, the whys, the whathave yous, nor the Hüsker Düs or don’ts that led to my current predicament. I am in a word clueless. And here’s the thing. I thought timeouts were supposed to be good. That you were supposed to save them. For what?! Cruel and unusual punishment?

Best I can tell, I was a model of good behavior with not a modicum of ill intent all day. The day began normally enough. The Man brought me outside to hang out. Of course he doesn’t trust me to chillax without restraints, so I get the ol’ chain hooked up to me, only it’s not a chain, it’s a steel cable that looks more like a tangled ball of yarn. No idea how that happened.

Anyways, to give it to you straight, the Man doesn’t trust me. I don’t understand why. It’s not like I wander too far away. Granted, I can be around a corner and two blocks away in 2.1 seconds flat. But I know where I live. I know how to get home. Every once in a while, I meet a new friend and I get to hang out with them until the Man’s whiny Lincoln pulls up to pick me up. It’s a fun game, like a blind date with a new friend with pickup service! Unfortunately, I only get to play that game when I snap a zip-line or collar. Just wait until I learn to slip my collar! Won’t that be a blast!


Phbtttttt. Well, you know what else would be fun? Fixing that whiny car. I have to ride shotgun in that thing. Frankly, it’s embarrassing. Whoa. I’m getting sidetracked. Where was I?

Oh yeah, it was a normal day except…wait, where are you going? Aren’t you going to feed me? Waaaaaaait, whaaaaa? Two measly treats? Where’s my bowl of food?! Don’t drive away from me! Stahhhhhp!!!

That was my morning. He came back approximately 14.5 hours later with a big bag which he adamantly refused to let me open with my teeth. I was starrrrrving! When he put some of this new food in my bowl, I did a double-take. Ohhhh, reallllly. You’re giving me HOW much? And then he insulted my weight and went in the house. Fat jokes? We’re doing fat jokes now?

I started thinking about that after finishing my less-than-filling dinner. I decided to dig a hole to blow off some steam so I didn’t think too much. Thinking sometimes isn’t my strong suit.

(Note: About the digging, Ninja is blackmailing me with a yet-unseen video of what he claims is illicit behavior on my behalf. Now while I may engage in a shenanigan every now and again, I do not engage in that sort of thing. But just to be safe, I am ’fessing up on the holes. It wasn’t Ninja. It was me. What can I say? I’m a puppy. We do these sorts of things.)

Back to the story: All of a sudden the Man appeared and put me inside. He seemed in a mood. The next time I got to go outside, every single one of my holes was filled and packed tightly. I know because I checked them. While he was filling my minefield, I shredded the last of my stuffed toys. It’s just so irritating that companies don’t make toys with the stuffing on the outside. Mitch Hedberg had it right when he complained about fancy double-wrapped bread being an extra step between him and toast. It’s the same way with stuffed toys. The extra tough toys are like double wrapped bread. It’s an extra step between me and stuffing.

Wow, do I go off on rabbit trails sometimes. The story again: I got bored after scattering the stuffing across every inch of the porch, so I pushed the gate aside and went downstairs to check on Ninja. And to make sure he had food. He did. Then the Man came in the door. He again seemed in a mood and made me go back upstairs. When he went in the living room, I nudged the gate aside again to check on Ninja’s food. He must be a fast eater because that whole huge bowl was empty. He must have been thirsty, too, because he splashed the water all over and finished his whole liter. Suddenly, the Man appeared again. I was trapped in a compromising position. He accused me, ME, of all animals, of eating Ninja’s food. Why I never! I’m a saint!

He was leaving to give someone a ride or something, because he wouldn’t let me go with. He didn’t put me in the kennel either. I don’t know why. Oh wait. I remember the last time Ninja’s food disappeared. Total coincidence, I’m sure, but I got a little queasy in my kennel that night. Really queasy. I could hear the Man making weird noises as he dragged my monstrous kennel down the stairs, trying not to spill and then he was outside with the hose muttering for a half hour.

Like I said, total coincidence. When he got home later, he let me off my chain while he sat in his chair and looked at that stupid phone he pays more attention to than the most important canine in his life. It was really dark, so I blended in and slipped around the corner with his night vision compromised. But he caught me a few houses down. Then he was talking on his phone, and I saw my opportunity to explore. I met a new friend a block away. Then a little dog came down the alley with his man, and I went and made friends—twice.

After I ran halfway down the alley the second time, the Man was holding my collar again—I don’t know why; I nearly dragged him face-first into a tree the first time—after I took off after my new friend. I could have sworn he said “play” not “stay.” Evidently, my Whisper 2000 was off. So I did what I always do in emergency situations: I just rolled over on my back. Usually that gets me belly rubs. It’s very useful when he is yelling at me for something I may or may not have done.

The Man wanted to go home; I wanted to lie on my back and/or get belly rubs. He did not acquiesce and picked all 77 pounds of me up and carried me upstairs to my kennel. I think he hurt his back. The question is: Am I outgrowing my cuteness?

(EDITOR: Please don’t respond to his compliment fishing.)

And that’s how I am in timeout. I don’t think I deserve this, but I guess I have got to write my column anyway.

Speaking of rolling on your back, that’s how the Detroit Lions tried to play football on Monday night. It didn’t work as well for them as it did for me. They got stomped 48-17. How embarrassing for the Man’s lock of the week. My editor needs to be fired for trying to pin that one on me. As if I’d ever pick cats to win, even big cats. That was the Man’s pick, not mine. From now on, I’m making the Football Frenzy Lock of the Week picks. And I’m going to give it to you straight.

This week’s lock is the San Francisco 49ers. Here’s why. The Detroit defense looks as effective as a wet paper bag. They made rookie quarterback Sam Darnold look like good Vinny Testaverde (the Man told me about him), and Darnold even spotted them seven points on the game’s first play! Matt Patricia looked more like a man clothed in a trash bag frozen in fear as a train bore down on him than a head coach. And Matt Stafford played like Nathan Peterman. That’s not a compliment. All in all, they did the near impossible and made Ted “The Truth” Schlecter look smart for at least a week.

He picked the Jets as his surprise team this year. I think the Lions are just that bad. The 49ers, on the other hand, gave the Vikings a run for their money in the opener. There’s no way they aren’t good enough to dismantle Detroit, which already appears to be quitting on its new coach, at home this Sunday. Oh, and I’m not going to end this section with some clichéd catchphrase like “Case closed.” That’s just another tip-off that that was the Man.

I was so happy today when I opened my new email account and saw several new emails, none of them from #askingforafriend76. But I am a little worried about the guy. It doesn’t sound like he has much of a life. That said, the first email was unkind. On to the emails…

Dear Case:

You are a [redacted] predictor. Because of your so-called “Football Frenzy Lock of the Week,” I lost the house, the truck, and my dog gave me the fleas and left me for my brother Darryl. – Larry

Dear Larry:

Well that sure escalated quickly. – Case

Dear Case:

My other brother Darryl returned the dog. I also figured out where my house and truck disappeared to. My brother Darryl and my other brother Darryl borrowed my truck and my dog to go hunting. My house got towed. It’s a camper. Turns out it’s frowned upon to camp in the Walmart parking lot for more than two months. Best camping spot ever though. When I couldn’t sleep, I’d just go get a snack from the garden inside. It’s already picked for you. I’d munch on some carrots while playing Xbox in Electronics on a bean bag chair. There’s like chips and salsa readily available, too. I’ve also heard rumors of candy; never found it though—too many aisles. I could also wash up in the bathroom sinks at 5 a.m. before the mad rush. The janitors don’t like to find you drying off under the hand dryer though. They make you put your clothes back on real quick-like. I wanted to write back to apologize to you for the mix-up. I think the contest is rigged anyway. By the way, my brother Darryl loves the column. So does my other brother Darryl. I doubt they’ll write you though. They’re not big talkers. Also, turns out I don’t have fleas. That’s a whole ’nother story. – Larry

Dear Larry:

My regards to your brothers. I’m sure you all are very handsome and a joy to your mother. Also, please note it is unnecessary to continue your flea story. I don’t want nightmares. – Case

Dear Case:

I spent $72 on LeVeon Bell in my auction draft. Somebody else bought James Conner for $1. What do I do? Also, why does it feel like I kissed my sister? – #LeVeonaprayer

Dear #LeVeononaprayer:

Weep bitterly. It’s your own fault you overspent for a top-3 running back who was holding out and has an acrimonious relationship with his team, and that you didn’t save enough money in your budget for his handcuff. And if you want to get that taste out of your mouth, I give great slobbery kisses. Call me. – Case

Dear Case:

Is this town big enough for two Friday fantasy football columnists? I’m reading both with interest. – #askingforafriend76

Dear #askingforafriend76:

I knew you couldn’t stay away. I’m both relieved you’re okay and that you’re not Larry. I’m going to take the high road here. Of course this town is big enough. Was the ring big enough for George Foreman and Muhammad Ali? I was going to say Mike Tyson and Glass Joe, but I want to stay on the high road here. Perhaps the proper analogy is this: Was the field big enough for Bo Jackson and Brian Bosworth? Besides, I’ve seen his fantasy football teams. Remember that show where they found a new lead singer for the band INXS?

They were supposed to be a sensation after a whole season of free promotion on a reality TV show dedicated to finding them the right guy or gal. They’ve had like one sorta hit: “It Ain’t Pretty.” Wheresoever was I going with that? Sorry. It’s so easy to get lost down here in the cellar. You know, that other fantasy football guy can do his thing. I’m cool with that. I’m all for self-improvement. Maybe if he studies really hard, he can get some good teams like the Man someday. – Case

Question of the Week comes from #savethepuppies who writes:

Dear Case:

You’re cute. Are you seeing any other puppies? And how do you maintain such a sleek, shiny coat?

Dear #savethepuppies:

Why hello there and thank you. I like your name. It’s a worthy cause. Why yes, I am seeing other puppies. I see them across the street. I see them through the cracks in the fence across the alley. My buddy Buddy is the Wilson to my Tim; he’s just over the fence. I see them at the dog park. I see them at the

lake. I see and chase them in my dreams. Does that answer your question? Oh, and Soul Glo. That’s what I use. Just let your Soul Glo, let it shine. – Case

Players I lick this week:

This used to be called Players I like this week, but I think this works better. Last week, I recommended Philip Rivers, who was the No. 10-ranked QB in Week 1. He finished third (+7). James Conner (No. 22 RB) ended up second at his position (+20). Demaryius Thomas (No. 15 WR) was in the ballpark at 18th. That’s a combined +24 spots.

The Man didn’t do so well, especially thanks to Chris Hogan, who finished 91st among WRs, a full 73 spots below his ranking. Lamar Miller (-11) and Kirk Cousins (0) didn’t help either. So the score so far this season is Case +24; the Man -84. This could get really ugly.

Not Top-5 QB: Jimmy Garoppolo (No. 14)

We’ve covered this. The Lions were toothless in Week 1. They’re not the Vikings. Jimmy G will get the ball in the end zone this week. (Note: I feel forced into making this pick to back my 49ers play. I feel a lot stronger about guys like Patrick Mahomes and DeShaun Watson, but I’ll stick with it.)

Not Top-10 RB: LeSean McCoy (No. 15) The Bills are starting rookie first-rounder Josh Allen at QB against the Chargers this week. Probably a good idea. In Week 1, Nathan Peterman started and was worse than dreadful. McCoy suffered accordingly. His coach, who I’m not certain is sane, should force-feed the ball to Shady so as to take pressure off Allen.

Not Top-10 WR: Chris Godwin (No. 47) My dark horse. (Can I say dark dog?) DeSean Jackson is hurt. When this kid gets snaps, he just makes plays. And Ryan Fitzpatrick looked like Fitzmagic last Sunday, though he’s due for regression.

The Man’s picks: QB Tyrod Taylor (No. 17): Lots of points in The Big Easy; RB Sony Michel (No. 44): Rex Burkhead may be out; WR Brandon Marshall (No. 54): Back in old stomping grounds; Football Frenzy: L.A. Rams.

If you would like to be part of my new weekly column, email me at thelostpuppycase@, and I will do my best to respond promptly and/or use your question in my column. Things I’m looking for:

• Questions about fantasy football. Who should I start/sit/trade? How did I do?

• Questions about puppies. I’m a puppy. I know stuff. And if I don’t, I know someone who does. Ask away.

• Questions about relationships. If you have to stoop to asking me, there just may be hope for you after all. I dispense sound advice.

• Mostly I want to make new friends. Nobody cares about your fantasy football team but you. But you’re wrong. I care. I want to hear about your bad beats and predicaments and triumphs and woes. I have big ears. Literally. I have big ears.

We’ll end with our favorite fantasy football team name this week: Goodell’s Puppets. (It made me laugh out loud; ever heard a dog lol? 😉

Case resides with the Man, HTF columnist Brian Miller, in Eveleth, MN. He can be reached out His blog page on Facebook is The Lost Puppy Case.

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