On Xmas Eve Eve I'm actively driving out of my driveway to go and meet my brother when all of a sudden I stop my car abruptly so I don't hit this tiny little black puppy that's frolicking around.
I look at him and he looks at me, and that's it.
I'm in deep trouble.
Not sure what to do, I open my door. I see there's no collar, but he's super friendly and approaches me in my door. He puts his paws up on the seat, lets me pet him and then insists on a lift.
Baffled, I give him a lift.
Up-and-a-hop, he's in my lap and in the car.
Still not sure what to do, I put my car in reverse and sit in the driveway for a moment.
He's a friendly puppy.
Pint-sized, obviously a baby but not getting much bigger. Healthy looking, both physically and mentally. And is he...? It's dark and I feel around with my hand. Yup, he's intact.
So, what the hell is a young puppy doing, running around at night with a healthy body and healthy disposition, his balls still nestled between his legs, no collar or identification, and on Xmas Eve Eve?
I immediately think he must be some kid's Christmas present and folks are looking for him.
I shift my Volvo into drive and we are off around the dark neighborhood, looking for anybody looking for a dog.
I stop at one guy who is standing outside next to his car. The car's door is open and music is blaring out an incredibly loud version of Jingle Bells from the radio. He's leaning against the car, drinking a beer, and glaring into the darkness.
Normally, I probably wouldn't stop and inquire, but our neighborhood is the kind that lets their dogs run loose and off-leash. It's not that they trust their neighbors, I think. It's simply that they don't know any better. I say this especially with all the lunatic drivers and crazy meth addicts in mind.
So I stop the car and holler at the top of my lungs so the man can hear, "Are you looking for a dog?!" The man snaps out of his glazed-over look and looks at me. I repeat the question.
"What?" he yells back. He's a large man, holding a very tall beer can of I don't know what, and looks like he's Hispanic but its hard to say because it's dark.
I repeat my question a third time and the man starts coming close to my car. The pup in the car starts barking madly and I think at this point the gentleman drinking beer and listening to Jingle Bells is probably not looking for a dog at all.
He leans into the car and the puppy goes crazy with the barking. I repeat the question once more, even though by now I know the answer. The fellow shakes his head and says, "No" and I thank him for his time. As I begin to roll away and down the street, he yells "Merry Christmas!!" to me.
Still not knowing what to do about this dog, I just drive home. Parked in the driveway, I think about everything that has happened the past couple of weeks.
Momobella having cancer and those vet bills, which I paid off with a credit card.
And then Bingley's teeth and possible head tumor, and how I used all the money I had earned for pet-sitting my friends rabbits on that.
And then also that I'm pet-sitting two rabbits, which are hanging out in the room with the rats and the other critters aren't allowed in that room anyway.
And then I thought of all the things that could go wrong with bringing a strange puppy into the house.
What if somehow this dog was sick and I just couldn't tell? He looks healthy and well-taken care of, but that doesn't mean he has had his shots or anything. For Pete's sake, his balls are still there.
What if he and Mary Jane don't get along? How long can you handle the fighting and supervising?
What if he does something somehow where he gets his teeth on the ferrets? I'll never forgive myself if that were the case.
I took a deep breath.
One step at a time.
Can't leave him in the car, can't really let him go back into the darkness. If he got hit, I'd feel awful and guilty all over again.
Besides, someone is probably looking for him.
So I held onto him firmly, noticed he didn't have a problem being picked up or handled, and brought him into my house.
He went into the kitchen, where I closed him off with the ferret gate.
I called my brother and canceled dinner then called Eddy to let him know what was going on.
It is currently DAY 3 of having the puppy in our house. We are calling him Riley (after going through two other names, Barkley and Riker).
Mary Jane loves wrestling with him, although it does seem sometimes she wishes he would stop, and he's made himself very much at home. Eddy and I still intend to let the Shelter know about the puppy, just in case people ARE looking for him. We wanted to make flyers too, but its been raining.
Still, he's very sweet and well mannered. He growled at me a little when I pushed him over last night as I tried to get comfortable in bed but I informed him that was "inappropriate behavior, young man, and I am the alpha in this household, not you!"
We'll see what happens to him. If no one claims him, I am not putting him in a shelter. No way in hell.