Updated: Sep 1, 2021
Would you spend 50 years looking for your missing dog?
This is the story of one man’s endless search for his canine companion, fueled by a hopeless inability to perceive time.
Our story begins in New York on September 3, 1971. Pimps and prostitutes began infiltrating Times Square and Central Park was flooded with rapes and muggings. New York City entered a huge fiscal crisis but Saturday morning cartoons were totally groovy.
In Midtown Manhattan, local hippie Bucky Dankworth and his beloved beagle, Lester, strolled past The Empire State Building on their way to see Led Zeppelin live at Madison Square Garden. Back then, concerts had no rules and pets frequently joined the crowd. Lester was just one of three thousand dogs in attendance that night, along with cats, rabbits, ferrets, chinchillas and horses. Neither Bucky nor his hippie friends believed in political correctness, mostly because it hadn’t been invented yet.
On that fateful autumn day, Bucky and Lester sat front and center in a sold out crowd of 20,000 men, women, and animals. The pair danced, hand in paw, to an epic nine-hour set featuring psychedelic guitar riffs, rumbling drum beats, booming bass lines and the unmatched cries of Robert Plant.
During a mellow acoustic performance of “Going to California”, Lester excused himself to pee on the communal dog tree in front of the arena. While sniffing out the perfect spot, Lester picked up the haunting aroma of a hot dog cart and sprinted east, following his nose to delicious frankfurters.
Back inside, Bucky began to worry. You see, he suffers from dyschronometria, a neurological condition that prohibits him from accurately estimating the amount of time that has passed. He was diagnosed some time between birth and now.
Dankworth ran outside in a panic, his beloved Lester nowhere in sight. He desperately called out for his dog, again and again, but little Lester never returned. Tears streamed down his cheeks as he frantically imagined all the possible scenarios. Maybe Lester just went for coffee, he thought.
Fifty years later, Bucky still searches for Lester on a daily basis.
Sources close to Dankworth said the retired gorilla tamer has spent the last 50 years building high-tech canine tracking equipment in his handmade bunker/wine cellar, setting him back about $7 million.
“Last time I saw Lester, we were jamming to Led Zeppelin at Madison Square Garden,” said Dankworth, now 82 and wreaking of ammonia and stale beer. “He’s got to be around here somewhere.”
Dankworth’s pessimistic son, Billy, expressed no faith in his father whatsoever.
“I was 2 years old when we got Lester,” said Billy. “I’m 52 now and there’s no way in Hell that dog is still alive. My dad needs to stop throwing away my damn inheritance on stupid science experiments.”
Despite criticism, Bucky says he’ll never stop searching for his best friend.
“Honestly, it’s just a matter of time,” said Dankworth. “Too bad I have no idea what that is.”