The Sneak

As I approached the intersection, I saw the scruffy terrier tailing the woman and yapping as she crossed the street. Instead of crossing with her, it stayed in the bike lane, inscribing tight circles just short of cutting into traffic, and then I realized it did not belong to the woman.

It had the good sense to get out of the road and onto the sidewalk when I got close, but I already pulled over and crouched down to say hello. It was collared, but unleashed, and displeased with my attempt to present some formalities. I set aside my bike and started taking off my gear, knowing that lots of dogs don't know what to do with bicycles or helmets, but by then it was already streaking across a series of lawns.

It seems that at least every couple of months, I find a rogue unattended dog somewhere and end up corralling it until I'm convinced it's back in the hands of its people. The first time I encountered a pup on walkabout, I didn't catch up to it fast enough, and saw missing dog posters go up for that same dog later that day. I contacted the owners with a timestamp and heading, and they said it was consistent with the rest of their data points. They never did find that dog after it was spotted heading towards the woods way out of town, and I don't think I've yet forgiven myself for giving up on that chase.

The terrier I followed slipped through a doggy door on some front porch and resumed loudly protesting my existence from their living room window. I concluded that this was a dog that occasionally failed to resist the urge to take off and chase strangers down the block, but knew about going home eventually, so I went back on my way.

It wasn't until much later that it occurred to me that stray dogs might be savvy enough to know about doggy doors, and I have no proof that this dog ended up in its own house; that's someone else's problem now.

15 April 2014 22:50

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