day of the dog
every morning I walk Maxwell (he's the one in the photo) around the neighborhood. today, as I stepped across 79th Avenue, right near the freaky neighbors with the enormo-RV and the six vehicles I remembered an event from a couple months ago:
an off-leash dog darted from the freak-neighbors lawn at us. Like some vaudeville routine, I shouted to the cigarette-smoking lady on her cement porch ‘can you call your dog?’ and she shouted back ‘that’s not my dog’. I was petrified, awaiting dog melee (max does not love other dogs). Oh, and it was raining. The stray had a collar and tags on and it was running in wide elliptical motions across lawns and into the street. He was following us, kind of lunging at Max periodically but in a non-threatening way. I was able to trick him into our backyard. I shut the fence. I brought Max into the house through the front door. I went inside and got the cordless phone. I went into the back yard and in the rain the excited dog was springing about, not staying still, not sure what was going on and finally I was able to read the phone number on his tag and call his owner. no response. left a message. I looked at the tag again and realized that the house was several blocks away, on Woodward. I grabbed a leash and walked the dog over to the address. no one home so I put the dog in the backyard and shut the gate which was open. I walked back home and hit redial and gave the owner my phone no’s – work and home – and went to work. I expected to hear something from the owner but no. no oh thank god, no thanks, no nothing.
so, back to today: as I’m walking by freak-neighbors I think back to that months-old memory. Don’t know what triggered it per se as I’ve walked by there scores of times since but I found myself contemplating that stray dog as I walked Maxwell. We took a right on 78th and headed up toward Division. We passed one house, then another. Then I heard a sort of jangling behind me, a noise that reminded me of a shopping cart. I turned to look and, at the corner of 79th and Clinton saw the stray, the very dog that I had just been contemplating, the very dog that I came across many months ago. There he was racing up the sidewalk at us, lunging playfully at Max again, tearing across lawns and streets again. Max was behaving so I turned and started to walk down the hill toward Woodward, hoping the stray would follow. He did and I was able to get him back to his owner. However, that is the kind of twisted stranger-than-fiction type moment that I find myself experiencing from time to time. Am I dead? Or in some dream? Did I intuit the stray or create it? Random coincidence(s)?
I went home and told mm and she reminded me that yesterday she had me pull a medicine card and I pulled…DOG.
update: just remembered that saturday i read this quite devastating account of michael vick's dogs. A sort of where-are-they-now piece
that manages to destroy in present and past tense both. the horrors that they endured and the boundless kindness in their lives now. how does that tie in? maybe it's all just meaningless, i grant you that, but at minimum this collection of events is really effing weird.