Saturday evening I was watering the flowers and talking to a friend when a small fluffy dog slowly trudged past the house. First in one direction then in the other before unceremoniously flopping into the gutter. I got off the phone and approached the puffball. He was wearing a new collar with no tags and was obviously someone's beloved pet. We sat together for a few minutes (I didn't want him to wander into the road) when a neighbor emerged and inquired as to why I was sitting in the gutter with some strange dog. I explained and he ran inside and brought back his wife who thought she knew to whom the dog belonged. She gathered the dog up and carried him up the street. Having done my good deed for the day I got back to watering the plants.
A few minutes later she returned and announced that the dog was not theirs and set him down. He waddled out to the gutter and flopped down. I ran inside and brought back a leash and a bowl of water. He lapped up the water and proceeded to follow me around as I watered the various plants. I had now had this dog in my possession for a good 30 minutes.
I finished watering and put the hoses away, little dog in tow. Then I wasn't sure what to do. On one hand, his owner was probably driving around looking for him, but on the other hand, the animal shelter is closed Sunday and Monday and if I didn't get him there in a reasonable time the owners wouldn't be able to pick him up until Tuesday morning. I resolved to sit with him for one more half hour. It was a fluffy and companionable silence, there in the gutter.
People in the suburbs are different than Seattle people. Seattle people are very nice and would have smiled at us, but out in the suburbs as we would look hopefully at passing cars they would wave energetically. "Oh Frank," I imagine they said, "Look at that adorable little dog! Hello little dog!! Oh she's out with her dog; isn't that just sweet?"
Finally I decided that we were approaching closing time at the shelter and if he had a microchip, he could be home right away. I tied the pile of fur to the porch and ran in to get the phone.
Here is another example of why people in the suburbs are different. I called the police and explained the situation. The woman asked if it was a friendly dog. I said "Oh yes, he's a very friendly little puff-ball." And she explained that she would send a patrol car instead of animal control; this way the dog could go to the shelter and not the pound. Small dog, as I had taken to calling him, and I went back to out spot in the gutter and plopped down to wait for the police.
We had sat there less then 10 minutes when the dog's little ears twitched and he jumped to his feet. A small black sedan cruised around the corner and screeched to a stop. The driver hopped out and ran towards me, the little dog ran to him as I let him off the leash. He explained that he lived quite a ways away and had almost given up, believing that the little dog could not possibly have walked this far.
As he was loading small dog into the car a patrol car pulled up behind him and the officer stepped out. I explained the situation as he scribbled in his little notebook. After I had briefed him he said, "Well miss, that was very nice of you, but I'm still going to give that man a ticket."
Well, I tried.