If you look carefully, you'll see the missing rear strap.

You may recall that at the end of December the weather here in Colorado turned frigid. We were looking at below zero temperatures, and a wind chill that seemed more at home in the Midwest.

We worried about our skinny girl and dashed out to purchase a heavier coat, so that she could stay warm. She does so much better overall when she’s not using most of her calories to produce heat.

It’s a lovely two-toned blue coat that indeed keeps her toasty. I know she likes it because when I first slipped it over her back, she settled into it right away. There was no fidgeting or dancing away from me. She liked her new coat.

But here’s the thing: Miss Pepper has a bit of an issue keeping her coats in good condition.

If you’re a parent, you may be able to relate. How is it that those new shoes, boots, coats, hats, and mittens can so easily fall into the Bermuda Triangle of lost clothing? These days we have to include phones, iPods, and cameras into the mix. From a parent’s point of view, it usually goes like this:

“Hi honey, how was your day.”


“Where’s your new hat?” (Here’s where you fill in the appropriate clothing or electronic item.)

Blank stare. “I dunno.”

“Is it at school?”

More blankness.

“Did you leave it in the car?”

Ever more blankness.

Now the parent starts to see dollar signs flying out the window.

“That’s a brand new hat and it’s already gone?”


Huge parental sigh.

“You need to find that hat. Money doesn’t grow on trees you know.”

Huge kid sigh.


I had a similar interaction with Pepper.

About a week after she got her new coat, we noticed that the rear strap was missing. As in nowhere to be seen.

We looked in the shed. It wasn’t there.

We looked around the gate. No strap.

“Where’s the strap to your coat?”

She blinked her big brown eyes. This is the equivalent of saying, “I dunno.”

“Your new coat is already missing something.”

Blink, chew, blink.

“Pepper, you need to find that strap. Now where have you been? Retrace your steps.”

Blink, chew, blink.

“Okay, this is getting us nowhere. I’ll just walk around the pasture and look for your NEW strap. That is when the snow melts.”

Blink, chew, blink. (Translation: Knock yourself out!)


We haven’t found the strap. You’ve probably figured that out!

Today we’re thinking of doing a little walkabout through the pasture, before the next snow arrives. Chances aren’t great that we’ll find the darned strap, but somehow, I’m driven to try.

Horse blanket straps, iPods, mittens – it doesn’t seem to matter what the item is. We parents (animal or human) have accepted the role of finder of lost things. And more than that, we try so hard to teach our children to be responsible.

I must say, I’ve had much better success with my son than with Miss P. She’s proving to be a challenge!