Amy saw the poster tacked to the phone pole at the bus stop.
LOST: Female Dog.
Beloved Family Pet.
Sat., Oct. 6
near Grand and Otis.
Answers to Cookie.
The picture below the text showed two adorable little boys with their arms around an even more adorable little brown dog. Her heart sank. It looked exactly like the dog she had found just after midnight two days ago.
She couldn’t sleep and had walked to the beach to listen to the waves. Heading home, she heard a rustle in the seagrass at the edge of the street and shined her flashlight at the noise. Two dark eyes and a black nose peeked back at her. Thinking it was a raccoon, Amy backed away quickly, surprised when a small dog crept towards her, tail between it’s legs.
Holding out her hand she said gently, “Hello, little guy. It’s okay. I’m friendly.”
With that encouragement the dog looked up at her and wagged it’s tail, shivering in the cold night air. Amy bent down and stroked it’s fur, looking around for a possible owner. The beach and surrounding area were empty. She couldn’t just leave the poor thing all alone so she scooped it up, wrapping it in her warm sweater.
Back home, she assessed the dog’s condition: dirty but unhurt, an older female chihuahua mix, no collar. And hungry. She ate half of a left over steak, sniffing around for more. Amy gave her a quick bath and put a blanket on the floor then climbed into bed. The dog jumped up, gave her face a quick lick, and disappeared under the covers, burrowing to the foot of the bed and curling up against her feet.
Amy smiled and closed her eyes. She hadn’t had a dog in her bed since the divorce. Her ex-husband brought the dachshund into the relationship and insisted on custody, although she had taken on it’s care and fallen in love with him. She missed the dog far more than the husband.
She didn’t check with the animal shelter yet as they were closed on Sunday. But she had made a trip to the pet store for proper food and a leash and they walked the entire beach path. No one approached them looking for a lost dog.
Now it was Monday. On her lunch hour she dialed the shelter. There was one report of a missing dog that fit her description; the same family that had posted the flyer she saw that morning. She agreed to bring the dog to the shelter after work and they would notify the family to come meet her.
Amy parked the car at the far end of the lot and reluctantly walked towards the shelter, letting the dog dawdle and sniff along the way. She could see the family through the glass door and the kids were obviously excited. She took a deep breath, preparing to hand over the sweet creature that had stolen her heart. She opened the door to two little boys and a different little brown dog happily rolling around on the reception area floor.
“Cookie, we missed you!” they were laughing.
Their giggles were music to Amy’s ears. She was taking Sandy home to stay.
For more information on adopting an animal in Alameda, visit the Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter website.
Written for To Live & Write in Alameda’s October Flash Fiction Challenge #4, “Found on the Street.” We had three days to write a 500 word short story and share with our group.
If you have a writer’s soul and live in Alameda, please join our group! No experience necessary … members range from those who dream of writing the Great American Novel to published authors. No dues, many free daily/weekly meet-ups, reasonably priced workshops and focus groups and retreats, and tons of encouragement and support.
Here’s the link: To Live and Write in Alameda.