It was a little cocker spaniel, buff-colored, with a collar but without any leash or person attached to her. She was walking like she meant business, but when Bruiser stopped, she stopped, and I thought, Damn. Who are you, little buff-colored dog?
We went across the street and I checked her tag. There was a phone number. I had no cell phone and, more to the point, no reading glasses, so I hoisted her up and carried her back to my house, Bruiser leading the way. The number was the vet's, who tracked down her rabies shot number, which gave me the name and phone number of her owner. And the dog's name--Annie. I called and left a message.
After that, the three of us went for a walk. Bruiser thought that was a novel, interesting, perhaps foolhardy and overly ambitious enterprise. Periodically, he stopped, wheeled around, and gave little Annie the business. Picture me as a Maypole and the dogs as children winding ribbons in a complicated dance. Picture that, but with growling and yelping and yiping. I was like Shiva, doing the dance of a zillion hands, untangling the leashes.
But it was a lot of fun.
The whole walk long, I thought--and these were foolish thoughts--what if we get to keep Annie? She's such a cute dog! It's fun to have a little dog with a big dog. I bet they'll get along. We could take walks like this every day!
I got to talk to the owner, who was at work. She asked if it would be all right if Annie stayed there till she got home. All right? You bet. At that point, I was preparing to take a rest, and both dogs were curled up with me on the bed.
So now, no more Annie. But the day we rescued Annie--it was still a pretty great day.