My Dog Is Marooned In A Dutch Hotel Room

Published 2:43 pm Thursday, October 20, 2011

The emailing scam artists who'd almost convinced me they were long lost best friends marooned in overseas hotel rooms needing $900 to get back home are at it again.

With a vengeance.

And a new plan of attack.

No more making up names, hoping I'll forget to remember I never heard of them before and, instead, remember that I forgot that I know them.

Now they are using the names of people I actually know.

These scammers are hacking their way into emails sent to me by friends and acquaintances and then using those names to ask me for money to bail them out of hotel rooms across Europe.

I have, no joke, received such emails using the name of a law enforcement officer of my acquaintance and the campaign press officer of a district-wide General Assembly race.

What a surprise to learn that the police officer had lost all of his credit cards and cash in Paris when I'd seen him down the street just the day before.

And how, I wondered, could the press officer for the General Assembly candidate be cast away in Lisbon when I'd just received a campaign release from him that very morning?

The issue became perfectly clear the day I received an email from my dog, Pugsley, pleading with me to send him $900 because he'd lost his cash, credit cards and mobile phone and was stranded in Amsterdam waiting for his bank to resolve the situation.

My immediate reaction was to laugh it all off as a hoax, but then I paused and thought-suppose it's true. I can't leave a pug alone on his own in Amsterdam. Though if half of what I have heard about anything-goes Amsterdam is true perhaps the last thing I should do is send Pugsley $900 in cash.

If I've had my caffeine in the morning I can seem pretty sharp to innocent bystanders so when I got home that evening, and Pugsley greeted me in his usual enthusiastic spinning-top fashion, I asked him if it were true. Is he really stranded, bereft of cash and credit cards, in an Amsterdam hotel.

“Amsterdam, Holland?” my dog asked.

Yes, I replied, Amsterdam, Holland, and he seemed to ponder the possibilities of just what could be purchased and enjoyed in Amsterdam for $900.

“Stranded in Amsterdam right now at this moment?” my dog continued, making sure he understood the question with a politician's clarity.

Yes, I told him, marooned there right this very moment, as we speak, so to speak.

“Would you give me the $900 if I was?” he inquired.

Absolutely, I replied. I'd write you a check this instant because there is no way I could abandon you without cash, credit cards or mobile phone in Amsterdam, Holland or even Galax, Virginia.

“So you are telling me, as we stand here in our home face-to-face simultaneously in the here in now in the commonwealth of Virginia within a home at the same address, that if I am actually alone in Amsterdam, Holland without my cash, credit cards or mobile phone you would give me $900 until my bank comes through?”

Without a moment's hesitation, I told him, not hesitating a moment to reply.

And a strange gleam came into my dog Pugsley's eyes.

“Sit,” he told me.

I sat.

“Roll over,” he said.

I rolled over.

“Go fetch,” he instructed.

Fetch what?

“Your checkbook.”

You mean it's true? And so I wrote the $900 check and handed it over to my dog Pugsley, relief at doing the right thing overwhelming me.

“It's so good to finally be home,” he said, giving me a hug after making sure the ink had dried.

It's so good to have you home, I said, a tear in my eye falling on the check and smearing the signature so there is no way my dog Pugsley could cash it at the ATM machine.