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Man Finds Dogs

December 19, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments
The man (who finds dogs)

The man (who finds dogs)

I’m a man who finds lost dogs. That’s what I do. I don’t set out to do it. It’s not my job or anything like that. I don’t get paid for it. I’ll just be walking or skipping along somewhere and boom – there’s a dog, lost. They seem to be there waiting for me, in the middle of a sidewalk or on the edge of a lawn. Maybe they somehow know when I’m coming and they pick that exact moment to break free from their leash, or their house. I don’t know. I just know that I find them.

What do I do with them, you ask?

That depends.People in the News

The other day I was trotting down Hazard Avenue at a healthy clip, not really going anywhere, and I noticed a small black figure crouched half a block ahead on the sidewalk. Sure enough, it was a little dog. The kind of short-haired dog that looks like it’s wet even when it’s not. It was shivering, and gazing forlornly in my direction as I approached. As I stopped to see if I could read its tags I noticed an old woman heading towards us.

“He’s cold, poor thing,” she said, “he needs a sweater.”

I glared at her.

The little black dog wouldn’t let either one of us get close enough to read whatever name and number there might be on its tags. I mean, it would sidle up near us, whining and sniffing at our fingers. And then it would scamper off. After about fifteen minutes of this, I felt the way I always feel when I find a lost dog: angry and excited and frustrated and a little fearful, as though someone might be watching me, the owner maybe, or maybe a special kind of cop assigned to catch people doing things with animals out in public.

Finally the little black dog took off trotting on the sidewalk and I lit out after it. After a couple blocks the little black dog turned into a cobblestone drive and ran into a courtyard behind some houses. After a moment’s hesitation, I followed it.

The little black dog stood on the ledge of a doorway scratching at a large, wooden door, the type of door you might imagine breaking down to save a damsel in distress, if that’s the kind of thing you go in for. I’m a guy who finds lost dogs, so I knocked on the door. When no one answered, I rang the doorbell.

The old lady had caught up to us by this point, against all odds, her cane tapping on the cobblestones.

The little black dog yipped at her.

“Did you try ringing the doorbell?” she asked me.

Literal rendering of figure of speech used in story

Literal rendering of figure of speech used in story

I found myself reaching for the whip that I keep coiled in my overcoat.

Just then some people came out of the house at the back of the courtyard.

“This your dog?” I asked hopefully but also a little reluctantly, as I danced along the hedge trying to grab it by the scruff of the neck.

They said it was not but one of the folks, a bespectacled, bearded young fellow, indicated that he perhaps recognized the dog. He waved a cell phone at us ineffectually.

People.

It was then that a dark blue roadster sped down the drive and turned sharply into the courtyard. The woman who stepped out of the car had a face that made me nervous, like a plastic bag caught high in the branches of a tree.

The dog ran to her and she picked it up like a sack of groceries, holding it high against her shoulder as it nuzzled her neck, cooing and yipping with pleasure.

“Thank you so much,” she said to everyone and no one. “He runs away but he always comes back.”

The old lady was saying something and the man was holding up his phone and I found my hand gripping the leather handle of the whip.

“He does this all the time. Don’t you?” she said, tickling the dog under its chin, the little black dog yipping and smiling sheepishly, as if in agreement.

I had to do something so I released the whip handle and hit myself in the face. Hard. The woman looked at me and the little black dog sprang from her arms and the old woman gasped. The man didn’t seem to notice. I hit myself again, in the temple.

The sky seemed to get very bright and pulsed red, everything red, and then I was running.

Or trotting. I’m not sure.

But I knew that somewhere out there, waiting for me at the end of another road, was another lost dog.

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