The dog ate my key.

Yes, that actually happened to me. I called Jason here at The Times to deliver the news. A text message wouldn’t suffice as to why I wouldn’t be making it back to the office anytime soon that Tuesday afternoon.

The good news is Sammy the Dog didn’t discover his penchant for hard plastic, Honda remote keys until after we’d put the newspaper to press.

The bad news? Well, that cracked and faded piece of plastic was the last remaining working key to my 2005 Honda CRV that was creeping up on 290,000 miles.

Ironically, I’d just been chatting with my husband about our weekend plans  — shopping for my dream car. A few minutes later I texted him a photo of the tattered key.

Ever my knight in shining armor, Jeremy got off work early and headed home where he managed to find the tiny computer chip amongst the bits and pieces Sammy didn’t ingest. He held the chip next to the ignition all the way to the dealership while I drove.  Dad followed behind with his flashers on.

My old Honda sputtered down 84 as if it knew we would soon reach its final resting place. If I accelerated above 50 mph she protested loudly. Jeremy attempted to extract a few CDs from her player on the way to Walker Jones, but she only gave him one of six back.

I patted the dash, thanking her for the many years of dedicated service and faithful transportation. I thought we’d never make it to the car lot. Then I wondered if they’d offer any trade in or just laugh at us.

They did laugh. It’s not every day a customer hands the salesperson a tiny chip and the metal end of a key with no attaching pieces! But, they also gave us a few dollars back for our troubles and the keys to a new truck!

Avery Kate enjoys singing along to the Sirius radio daddy connected (he’s her hero, too), and the tomboy in me likes splashing through a good mud puddle or two. A South Georgia truck just doesn’t look right without mud on the tires. Isn’t that a country song?

Sammy wasn’t the most popular member of the family that Tuesday afternoon, but I couldn’t help but sneak him a treat later on. I’m sure a dog biscuit tasted much better than that old key, and if not for his mischief I might not be enjoying the ride in my Tacoma pickup.

• Sarah Tarr Gove is news editor of The Blackshear Times. Email her at