Crime writer Dennis Lehane’s dog went missing on Christmas Eve, and if you find her — an adorable Beagle named Tessa — you’ll be in his next book. Really. In a do-anything-and-everything approach to get his dog back, Lehane says he’ll name a character in his next mystery after whoever finds Tessa.
And it won’t be just a token character.
“I can promise it won’t be just a walk-on part. I would never do that,” Lehane told 7 News. “Somebody that was good enough to return this dog and wanted their name in the book, then I would make them — I would give them some lines, I’d have them do something. I can’t say whether they’d be a hero or a villain, but they’d be noticeable.”
Considering that Lehane is an enormously successfully writer, behind such best-sellers as Gone Baby Gone, Shutter Island, and Mystic River, this is a pretty solid reward. Savvy readers — and potential searchers — will note that each of the books also became movies, and good ones at that. How would you like Leonardo DiCaprio picking up an Oscar for his portrayal of you?
Fun aside, this is really about the love Lehane has for his dog, who escaped from his yard because of an improperly latched gate at his home in Brookline, MA., near Boston. Lehane and his wife quickly launched an all-out search effort, organizing volunteers through the Finding Tessa Facebook page and his Twitter account. The story has spread wildly through social media, which took the writer by surprise.
“Yeah, I’m kinda overwhelmed by social media; I never really understood the impact of social media till I did this,” he told 7 News.
While there have been a few sightings of Tessa, whom Lehane adopted from a Florida rescue, she remains missing. Volunteers have plastered the town with posters. Tessa has a microchip, but no tags. Lehane believes that someone picked her up and took her home, thinking she was a stray.
“Every dog expert we talk to is strongly suggesting that she’s in somebody’s house,” he said, according to the Associated Press. “That’s why we keep saturating the area with pictures. Because somebody could have her and just not know.
In the event that Tessa was stolen, Lehane is not interested in pressing charges. He recently tweeted, “We just want our beagle back — NO questions, absolutely NO prosecution.”
In his many interviews, Lehane speaks to the love of his dog, and he’s grateful for all the effort people have put into helping him recover Tessa.
“She just walked into our lives and took over,” Lehane told 7 News. “She’s nothing but sweet, and I think that’s one of the reasons people get into this kind of thing. People get a little obsessed about missing pets because you can say a lot of things about various human beings, but sometimes you find a dog or a cat or a lizard that’s unequivocally good, and that was this dog. She’s just an unequivocally sweet, sweet dog.”
To keep up on the search, visit the Finding Tessa Facebook page and Lehane’s Twitter.
Via 7 News; photos via Facebook