This unexpected visitor brightened my Sunday afternoon. Off the top of my head, I want to say she was a pit bull, but I don't know much about breeds and could be completely wrong. I know she was female, though, as the nipples were a bit of a giveaway, and the flecks of orange paint on her nails might also have been related. She just wandered around the perimeter of my yard, nibbled on grass, and happily panted when I petted her. I love dogs. I love dogs so, so much.
Not wanting her to die in the heat, I filled a pan with water, reasoning that I could sterilize it later by boiling whatever remained. Then, not knowing how long it had been since her last meal, I gave her two leftover biscuits with gravy which she ate, three string cheeses which she ate, and six baby carrots which she turned up her nose at. I've never met another dog with such a discriminating palate, or actually any culinary standards whatsoever.
Two phone numbers were listed on her tag, which I grudgingly called even though I'd rather stick a needle in my eye than talk to strangers on the phone. The first went straight to a full generic voicemailbox. The second rang forever and then went to another generic voicemailbox. I left a message and waited and waited and waited. Obviously nobody was frantically searching for her. I began to imagine the logistics of "keeping" her. Though I couldn't bring her inside, maybe she would just hang around indefinitely and I could just keep feeding her. I doubt anyone would care. Several people went in and out of their apartments without so much as glancing at us.
After I started hanging out with her, she spent most of her time lounging, even napping. I lounged alongside her though I was too tired to fall asleep. For a moment on this lazy Sunday afternoon, I could relax with an innocent loving animal and forget the rabid xenophobia, violence, and political divisions of the country I live in. Her tags had no name. I could name her Stella. She seemed like a Stella for some reason.
As much as I enjoyed it, though, at some point I needed to eat something myself. She had been here for about three hours and seemed to be soundly sleeping and I had given her food, so I fully expected her to wait for me when I went inside and made dinner.
But when I looked outside again, she was gone.
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About the Author
C. Randall Nicholson is a white cisgender male and a Latter-day Saint, so you can hate him without guilt, but he's also autistic, so you can't. Unless you're an anti-vaxxer, in which case the feeling is mutual. This blog is where he periodically rants about life, the universe, and/or everything.