The Curious Case of the Missing Doc Marten

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

Praying for the return of a missing boot is really a little ridiculous....but....that's what I did and I learned a few things in the process.

The Curious Case of the Missing Doc Marten

It was an asinine thing to pray for, to be sure, but I really did ask God for the safe return of my missing boot. No really. I really, really did pray to God for the return of my boot. And I got it back, but that’s jumping to the end of the story. The truth is I suffer from a certain ridiculousness of personality, which I embrace with gusto and share when the things that happen to me are worth relating. You wouldn’t think the recovery of a missing boot could be that profound or interesting, but for me, at least, it was.

And thus in March of 2015, begins my little tale…when the thing that my family had been hoping and praying for happened…my mother got the heart transplant she needed. My family, including me, had all born up pretty well to the worrying and the waiting. The emotional breakdowns came after the thing was done and my mother was out of the woods and were provoked by the most idiotic little things. But we all know about the straw that broke the camel’s back, so I guess that isn’t so surprising. For me it was the boot.

When my mother came home after her transplant there were a number of safety precautions that had to be observed by anyone who came by to see her. One of these things was, when you came in the house your shoes got left outside. Now, I live pretty much next door to my parent’s house, and I took care of the place while my Mom was in the hospital… and somehow I had ended up with a small collection of my shoes on their front porch, which actually included two pairs of my Doc Martens. One was a patent ox-blood pair of vegan Docs and the other was the pair this story is about. They were a Special Edition, vintage pair of made-in-England Docs I’d picked up on Ebay second hand.

At the time, I was in possession of seven pairs of Doctor Martens, the red vegan, another vintage pair that were pearl-white, a vintage pair in red-velvet, two pairs of 14 hole Docs, one in patent black and the other festooned with Cherry blossoms. And a brown pair with extra heavy soles that I managed to wear to un-wearability and that had made me somewhat infamous among my extended family because they had ended up under my floor length bride’s maid gown at my cousins wedding. Relatives that I’d only met once or twice could identify me by that (Ah...Yes the girl who had clunky combat boots on under her dress at Jennifer’s wedding. Yes I remember her now.) However, none of these stood up to the vintage, Special Edition pair, these were the boots I wore almost every day. They didn’t look like the Docs, you can buy at Journey’s in any mall. They were still in great shape, and had conformed to my feet…my feet and this pair of boots are the best of friends. They are soul mates, (No pun intended! ;-).

Now, all things considered, it was pretty dumb to leave my best boots on my parent’s front porch overnight. But I’d thought they’d be safe…right up until I came over to pick up all of my stray junk, and found one half, the right boot as it were, not on the porch with its now, abandoned mate.

Admittedly, I get a little attached to inanimate things that I have a long term and close association with, things like cars, and my cell phone and of course my favorite shoes…I guess these things represent a certain kind of unshakable stability. I mean, nothing in life is really certain or stable, but having your favorite and much loved boots waiting on you to be put on every morning, is about as concrete as life ever gets. It might seem like a little thing but… My over wrought, over stressed little emotional bubble just exploded. There were tears…there was sobbing…there was a frantic search.

I live in Texas…I live in the country in Texas. My neighbors don’t believe in fencing in their dogs. So the obvious answer to the missing boot was that someone’s dog had removed it from the porch. My brother lived behind my house, his kids had loose dogs. I thought, at first, that one of their dogs was the thief. I made my incredulous nephews help me search the area for the boot. We didn’t find it. And I didn’t t sleep that night.

A missing boot is probably a ridiculous thing to get sleeplessly upset about but I couldn’t just go buy another pair. Finding one exactly like them would have been next to impossible as it was. They were special edition and vintage. They had red, white and blue stitching instead of the iconic yellow, and a placard on the side, and tiny little tags in the seams with DM, branded on them. And then there was the breaking in process, which if you are familiar with the Doc Marten brand you know that can actually take years.  I was beside myself, and I spent the next two days being stupidly miserable and wretched over my missing right boot. I was heart-broken. I spent those two days obsessively searching, Ebay and Etsy for a pair that might compare. I bought two new pairs, both made in England and vintage, but neither were special edition with red, white and blue stitching, they weren’t my old pair, my old friends and they weren’t going to fill the hole.

By the time the third day after the boot went missing arrived, I decided that I hadn’t tried hard enough to find them and what’s more they were a few details surrounding the boot napping that weren’t adding up. First of all, my nephew’s dogs had stolen things off of my porch before. Namely another pair of shoes, but they hadn’t taken them far, or damaged them. One of my nephews, had also said there was a new dog he’d seen recently in the area. And when he’d said that, I remembered seeing this dog, early one morning, while driving to work. I thought this mystery pup might be the thief instead of my nephew’s dogs. And there was one other detail. Doctor Martens are heavy, I couldn’t imagine any dog hauling one a very great distance. All of these thoughts were whirling around in my head that third morning while I was at work. It was at that point that I started praying, or more like begging God for the safe return of my boot. I actually felt guilty and selfish for praying for the return of a boot, seeing as how God had more important matters to attend, like minding those in mortal peril, or protecting small children and fools from themselves. Who was I to waste God’s very full ear, over a boot? But I was that heart broken.

I work at the type of retail place that sells, things like magic markers and blank signs. So on my lunch break, on this third day after the discovered boot napping, I bought two blank signs of the type normally used to make garage sale signs and a small collection of Sharpie Markers. And I spent my hour lunch break, in the break room, making two lost boot signs to the great amusement of my coworkers, who scoffed good-naturedly at my idiocy. There was no way, they said, that I was going to find that boot, and if by some very great miracle it did turn up there was no way it would be wearable. Surely, whatever dog that had stolen it, had chewed it to ribbons as well. And even as my mind and good sense told me they were probably right, I couldn’t get past the nagging feeling, no the unshakable belief, that not only was my boot just waiting for me to find it, but it was also not destroyed. Here is what my signs said:


Lost Doc Marten Boot

(Yes Really)

Someone’s dog removed it from my porch!

Black, Combat Style, Right Boot

Call or text


No questions…just want boot back!

On my way home, I planted the signs, one at either end of the county road my family lived on. Once the signs were planted, I went home and then I got busy hunting. I combed the road side up and down the area near my parent’s house. I worked in a meticulous zig-zag pattern, certain my boot was somewhere nearby waiting to be found, maybe hiding in the tall roadside grass.

I had worked the road side one way, and had started searching an empty field, across from my parent’s house and that’s when I saw the mystery dog that me and my nephew had both seen. He was trotting down the road, towards me. He was a golden-brown Pitbull, fat and healthy but also very businesslike. He reached the point where I was and passed me by without offering even a hint of a glance my way. He was trotting at a steady pace, and obviously was not to be distracted from whatever mission he was on. I took off after him. Maybe this mystery mutt had hauled my boot to where ever he was denning up!  He was faster than me however, I chased him down the road and I lost him as he made a right hand turn beside one of my neighbor’s drive ways. And it just so happened that these neighbors, whom I had never spoken to before, were standing in the driveway, chit-chatting… so I marched down and asked them if they’d seen the dog, and then I proceeded to tell them, why I was chasing the dog in the first place. I explained about the boot napping.

One of the people that had been standing around chatting, was an older women with gray hair and the look of someone who had steel in her personality. She chuckled a little and said to me, “Well one of my dogs came dragging a boot up. I figured somebody might come looking for it so I rescued it.” And she goes into her garage and pulls from the top of her deep-freezer, my missing special edition made-in-England, with red, white and blue stitching, Doctor Marten boot. It was missing the shoe-string and had been divested of the iconic, boot pull loop on the back emblazoned with the “Air Wair” logo, (the only parts of the boot that were easily chewable) but otherwise it was undamaged and perfectly wearable. I was beside myself with joy and my thanks were profuse. I picked up my signs and took my boot home and coddled it with alacrity. You cannot imagine the loving cleaning and polishing that boot got that night.  It was also, oh-so-sweet to go to work the next day and be able to tell all my doubting, pessimistic co-workers that I did find my boot and not only did I find my boot but it wasn’t chewed up either.

I still laugh at myself over getting so worked up over… well…a shoe. But I also look back on this with a little bit of awe. I can’t look at that boot without going ‘Huh… I got you back despite the really bad odds.’ And the series of events that led up to the recovery…so…eerily well timed.

I still have the signs even though they proved to be superfluous, but those signs, they represent a few things to me. First of all, they remind me that I didn’t give up, after all if I hadn’t been so willing to be so ridiculous and well… unshakably tenacious, I wouldn’t have gotten my missing boot back.  They also remind me not to listen when someone scoffs at an idea I have. After all, I got my boot back, and now have an entirely different take on words like, “silly and impossible.” And I understand completely  now that no one will ever accomplished anything remarkable by listening to the nay-sayers that use words like, “silly” or “impossible”. I mean, crying over a missing boot could defiantly be called silly…and finding it should have been impossible…but I did find it. This just goes to show what tenacity and a little blind faith will help you accomplish. That is…quiet possibly anything…if you’ve got the guts to reach for it.


Submitted: March 12, 2016

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