Day 1 – I come home from work and find the garage door partly open. “What’s going on?” I wonder. I go inside to check and find a strange dog in the garage. Whose dog is that? “Get! Go away! Shoo!”
I guess I will just leave the garage door open until it decides to leave. I’ve seen him around here before, but I’m not sure whose dog he is.
Day 2 – My daughter informs me that the black lab belongs to the neighbors. “They are gone for the weekend. Something could happen to him.”
Yeah, like he could get reported to animal control for not being on a leash. But, she makes him a bed in our garage and closes the garage door so he will not get cold.
“Okay, he can stay in the garage until they get back, but he absolutely cannot come in the house. He is not our dog.”
Day 3 – I walk into the kitchen and the dog is sleeping on the rug by the door. “What is that dog doing inside?”
“Smokey was cold outside.” Smokey? Now it has a name. “He is too afraid to get off the rug. See him shaking?”
Probably afraid the dogcatcher will find him. “Okay, he can sleep on the rug in the kitchen, poor thing, but he absolutely cannot go in the rest of the house. He is not our dog.”
Day 4 – My daughter says, “I checked the neighbor’s yard. Smokey’s leash is broken; he chewed though it.”
“He has food and water and a warm place to sleep. But you are not going to make him go outside in the cold rain, are you? They don’t ever let him run loose.”
Meanwhile, the dog is in the garage scratching on the kitchen door. Next thing I know, he will want to bring 20 canine friends inside with him.
“Okay, he can sleep here until they get back, but he has to stay outside except at night. He is not our dog.”
Day 5 – The door to my grandson’s bedroom is closed. I knock on the door and the dog answers, “Woof!”
“What is that dog doing in the bedroom? He is supposed to stay in the kitchen! He is not our dog!”
“He is sleeping on the floor, grandma! He likes it in here better than in the kitchen. He is lonesome.”
Am I the only one that suspects a conspiracy? “Okay, he can sleep here, but just on the floor, and just until the neighbors get home! He is not our dog.”
Day 6 – The dog is in my grandson’s bed, stretched out on the bedspread, snoring.
“What is that mutt doing in the bed? Lonesome? How can he be lonesome? Why isn’t he outside? No, you can’t keep him! He is somebody else’s dog!”
Day 7 – The neighbors are home! Yippee! I see their car in the driveway. I immediately give the dog his walking papers and put him out the back door without any luggage or spending money.
The dog walks through the wet grass, slowly drags himself to the neighbor’s house and scratches the door. No doubt he is pretending that he was locked out the whole time, is cold and hungry, and was chased by wild cats. He had to chew through his collar to escape, and is lucky to be alive.
I have not seen the dog since they came back. I’m sure they have no idea that their mongrel was sleeping in the neighbor’s bed, dining on the neighbor’s dog food, being petted by the neighbor’s daughter and spoiled by the neighbor’s grandson.
They are probably so happy to have their dog come home unharmed that they will lavish him with affection and promise never to leave him home alone again.
Actually, there is no point in leaving him home alone. The next time they go somewhere, they might as well just leave him with us. We wouldn’t want him to be lonesome.