Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Rags and the Boy in Pajamas

I like to walk but today I think I overdid it. Since it was finally a beautiful spring day, I walked to the St. Louis Public Library at lunch. (And I rarely, if ever, take a real lunch.) It's about an eight-block hike and I really put the hus in hustle getting there. Just over 10 minutes including getting stopped at intersections.

I spent about 40 minutes in their genealogy resource room. But that's for another blog. By the time I got back to the office, I was sizzlin' hot and spent much of the afternoon semi-comatose.

Since it was so pretty out, I decided to take the Oz Man for a walk. A real walk.
We didn't get far from home when we were joined by a Pekingnese mix. I initially picked Ozzie up as he charged across the street but he quickly made it clear he was friendly. He continued to pad along with us on our trek.

As we got closer to home, I got nervous. I live on a four-lane roadway and had visions of him charging into traffic the way he had charged across at us earlier without a thought. He wouldn't come to me beyond letting me pat his head. I finally got a hold of him and found that he had a tag with his name, address, and phone.

"C'mon, Rags," I said to our now identified friend, and tucked him under my arm. "Let's get you home." I dropped Ozzie off and borrowed his leash. As we headed toward Rags' residence, about three blocks away, I used my cell to call his family.

No answer. They're probably outside, I thought. But no. The house was locked up tight and no one was in the yard, front or back. The back yard was fenced with dogeared panels nearly as tall as me. For a second, I considered putting Rags inside and heading back home. Just then, a pitbull mix appeared in the backyard. It seemed like a less than good idea. Rags and I headed back while I left a message on the answering machine.

Ozzie was a sh*t and very rude to his guest at This D*mn House. Rags, meanwhile, was a perfect little gentleman. He laid by me and then by mom and then would jump up on the sofa with us and would sit on whatever side Ozzie wasn't.

A little over an hour later, the phone rang. It was a young mother named Autumn. She was nervous and sheepish. "Hi. I'm sorry. I think you have my dog." Indeed. She would thank me about 10 times in the next two sentences.

I could hear a child in the background, so I offered to deliver Rags. I could tell she was grateful for that, too. And as I stepped back from the door after ringing the bell, I saw the face that goes with the voice. "Oh, THANK YOU!" And then a boy of about 4 or 5, already in pajamas, bounded into the room. "RAAAAAAAAGS," he yelled.

Autumn explained that she had taken her son to T-ball practice and was gone about an hour. Rags occasionally does a Houdini bit and tonight was one of those occasions. I'll admit, I stepped off those stairs feeling pretty full of myself. But it felt good.

I was going to beg off on Ozzie's walk. Now I'm really glad I didn't.

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