May 30th, 2006

ledbetter tat


Mickey stood over the twin grill with a squirt bottle of lighter fluid that made the flame shoot higher and higher almost licking the side of the front porch, and I spotted a dog lying in the street. I opened the gate slowly so I wouldn’t startle it while peering between the two parked cars. The dog’s head jerked up when it saw me. I held out my hand, palm up, and baby-talked her over. I could see that she was just a puppy, a big Rottweiler mash-up mutt with paws the size of the steaks that Mickey had just thrown onto the fire.

I made sure that her introduction to Steve was smooth, but my caution was pointless. As soon as I secured her into the front yard, her butt waggled in the air daring Steve to play and Steve was happier than I’ve ever seen him, the ridiculous smile matched his ears that were in racer-mode, and he ran in circles around her until he flopped over from exhaustion.

Could I keep her? Four hours into our relationship, I decided that I would take her to the vet today, hustle her into obedience school for a smash course in house-living, and I’d already started calling her “Amy.” But I can’t keep her in the house, not without her knowing the simplest of commands, can I?

I gathered Steve’s bed, bowls of food and water, a toy, and a worn t-shirt that had more than enough of my scent, and put it in the indoor sun porch. After listening to her throw herself against the windows and door for a few minutes, I decided that maybe the outdoor dog run on the north side of the house would be best. It has a six-foot fence; there was no escape route for her.

I was wrong. She must’ve leapt over the fence and back into the front yard where she met me when I went down to check on her. Okay, Amy. I dragged the bed/food/water/t-shirt/toy onto the front porch, and I sat with her for a few minutes rubbing her ears while she stared right into my eyes, and I promised her that she was safe.

A half-hour later, I walked downstairs to check on her, and she was gone. She must’ve hopped the front gate, as well, and Amy was back on the streets, no wiser about lying in the middle of the road than when we met.

All day I’ve been hoping that when I pull up to the house tonight, she’ll have parked herself in front of the house waiting for dinner. I doubt she will be, but if she is, I’m not letting her escape again. She’ll be more than a welcome addition to the family. Even Steve approves.