The dog ate my money. I mean it. Stop laughing. The dog really did eat my money. Let me backtrack a bit. I typically don’t carry more than $20 in cash on a daily basis but I do donate around 15% of my tax return to the cause of “stop my mother from calling me”. I was being the dutiful daughter and trekked over to Chase during my lunch break to get some cash to give to mommy. Yes, I’m 32 and I still call my mother mommy…except when she’s annoying me in which case I call her “mother”. She hates it. I do it anyway. Okay, back to the story.
I had 5 crisp $100 bills in the nice Chase envelope ready to pull out my $100 for the week and hand the rest to my mother. Thankfully I did get to pull my $100 bill out and left the envelope on my bed so that I would remember to actually give the money to my mom. Puppy and I snuggled up to watch The Dog Whisperer since it’s our favorite show together. Somewhere in the program I realized that the dog was munching. I reached over and felt a soggy Chase envelope in her mouth…along with 4 formerly crisp $100 bills.
Now, for those of you that have ever lost more than $20 and not been taken to the local psych ward, this is probably nothing for you. For the rest of us humans, $400 is a lot of money and allowing the puppy to have such an expensive meal at the expense of my labor was not going to happen. I had to wrestle, yes, wrestle the remaining bills out of the dog’s mouth. What I was left with were pieces of each bill. I didn’t freak out because I knew one fact that many of you probably don’t know; the Treasury department exchanges “mutilated” currency for new ones as long as you’ve got the entire serial number or more than half of a bill or at least 3 corners of the bill.
After I kicked the dog off the bed and assessed the damage, I started laughing. Who else but me could things like this happen to? As it turned out, I had enough of each bill left to be able to exchange them at the bank without having to send them in to the Treasury but can you image me waiting for the dog to pooh in hopes of getting the balance of some chewed up currency?
The lesson here today is this: If your grandma buried money in the back yard 20 years ago that she just remembered; if moths have even away at your money; if your money has been burned, ripped, shredded, or in any other way mutilated, you can still get it back. You will have to send your mutilated currency in to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Their Director has final say on how much you get back.
If your currency has been damaged (that means that you clearly have more than 1/2 of each bill) you can just take it in to your local bank for replacement. That’s what I did. I walked over to Chase on Monday and got crispy new $100 bills. That was after a small crowd of tellers, laughter, tape and one person telling me that I should have spanked the dog. I forgot to take a photo of the damaged bills but I have one of what was left of the envelope. The envelope actually was in 10x better shape than the money.
Second lesson: If your puppy is teething, always have a chew toy handy.