Christopher and I saw it running across the street in a neighbor’s front yard. At first, we thought it was a large cat and didn’t think much of it. There are stray cats in our neighborhood. They run in people’s yards. After about 10 minutes of the animal appearing in and out of our window’s view, I was annoyed. I walked to the window and saw that it was a small black dog, trotting diagonally down the middle of the street with its mouth open. It didn’t seem totally aimless–I got the sense that it lived within our crescent shaped street’s selection of houses. A red car drove by and the dog started chasing the car.  I got our dog’s leash and Christopher went ahead of me to try to get the dog’s attention.

When I walked down the street, Christopher was talking to the dog, with it standing about 5 feet away from him. He had a red collar on, and the collar had a tag. The dog eventually approached us and we were able to look at the tag. The owner had put the dog’s license for the county on but not a tag with their name, phone number or address. The dog was fine with us putting him on a leash and wanted to keep walking. At this time, the red car that the dog had been chasing drove by again, and I waved at the driver in case it was the dog’s owner searching for the dog but missing it both times they drove past, and they did not respond. We called the dog shelter and it was closed.
I called the police station and asked if they could look up a dog’s residence with the information on its county tag. The police officer needed to confirm the identity of the dog first.

Police: Puggle mix? Pug and Beagle?
Me: (laughing) Yeah
Police: Says here his name is Gizmo…
Me: (laughing) Ok yeah
Police: Well ok…Looks like he lives at 1276 W Watson….

The police officer paused for a long period of time and it was funny to know that they did not want to meet Gizmo. I asked if they could call Gizmo’s owner and ask them to wait outside, since we lived around the corner. The person on the phone said they would.

We went down a busy street. The whole time we walked we laughed, talking about how we didn’t want to touch Gizmo but we would if there wasn’t a pandemic going on. It seemed to make everything funnier that this was happening on April 20th. We speculated which house the dog was from as we walked. Lots of people were doing lawn care. We saw a man ahead of us run across the street and towards us. He started waving and yelling, “Thank you!” We said no problem. He said, “Gizmo is spoiled rotten!” He told us that every meal the dog eats is out of a can. The dog looked up at him wagging his tail as the man put his leash on the dog and took our leash off.

On the walk home, a person doing lawn care stopped and yelled to us, “Where’s the dog?” while laughing, regarding the empty leash.



Mallory Whitten lives in Cleveland Ohio with her dog and her partner. She has two books out with Monster House Press and makes collages that you can buy on her instagram, @mallory_whitten_

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