This story really starts when Harrison and I were playing football. Harrison had just punted it across the road, and I ran to go get it. I heard his voice saying, “Hey, puppy, whatcha doin’? Immediately, I turned around, and there was a little dog running about. I knelt down, and she dashed away, but I called to her, “No, it’s okay. Come here. You’ll be okay.”
So the dog tentatively came over, and stopped just within arm reach. I fondled her ears, and then carefully slipped my hands under her belly and picked her up. I carried her over to our campsite, where my mom and dad were sitting outside with company.
“Daddy?” I wheedled. “I found a puppy.”
My dad looked at me, looked at the dog, and told me to take it to the office. So I carried the dog to the office, and Harrison went with me.
As Harrison talked to the people in the office (who had already called Animal Control and were hoping they would come sometime later that day), I studied the dog in my arms. I noticed she was a female, and seemed to have had puppies quite recently. She was mostly black, but had black and brown brindle on her legs and face. She looked part miniature pinscher, but she was so sweet.
Harrison said, “They told me that we should keep her until Animal Control comes.”
So I carried her back, and Harrison got some rope to tie her to the picnic table so she wouldn’t run away.
Through the remainder of that day, I figured out that Lily (as I decided to call her) was skittish around everyone but me. She eventually let my mom hold her and pet her, but still preferred me to be around. Dinner time came, and we had leftover rotisserie chicken, which Lily got a bit of. She devoured it eagerly.
I called Animal Control myself at about 7:30, answered a bunch of questions, and was told that they should come around 12:00 the next day. So Lily would be staying overnight with us.
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“Come on, Lily,” I said, and crawled under the picnic table on her rags. “Come on in with me and go to sleep.” Lily followed me and laid down by my head. I stayed with her for about 15 minutes until I felt she was asleep, and then went inside to go to sleep myself.
I had a really hard time sleeping that night, and once asked Harrison to make sure that there really was a dog outside, and that I hadn’t just imagined it all. It was a dream come true for me.
The next morning, my alarm went off at 7:40 like it usually did, except I got up at 7:40 instead of hitting the sleep button four times like I usually did.
Lily was really excited to see me that morning. I took her for a little walk, and then brought her back, where we shared a happy breakfast of Cheerios.
Around 10:30 that morning, I got a call from Animal Control, saying that they were expected to come that day, so I waited outside for about an hour. I saw a van drive past our pod, and I thought it might say Animal Control on the side, but I couldn’t tell from the distance. When it passed by again, I figured it wasn’t anything I needed to worry about.
When it got to about 4:00 and Animal Control still hadn’t come, I took Lily for another walk up to the office. Seeing a sign on the door that said ‘NO PETS’, I tied my puppy up outside and went inside myself. There were three workers inside, and from what they told me, it was Animal Control that had come, but they didn’t know where I was (even though I had specifically told the lady the night before where I could be found in the park), so they just drove through.
“Why don’t you try calling them again?” suggested one of the workers, so I headed back.
This meant that Lily would be spending another night with us before Animal Control came to pick her up.
“Mommy, can I talk to you?” I asked when I got home.
We sat outside, and I told her what had happened. I was holding Lily in my arms, and my mom noticed that she had fleas. I had been cuddling with Lily a lot over the past couple days, so she thought I might have fleas as well.
“We need to get rid of her,” Mommy told me. “Why don’t you let her off the leash and go take a shower. We’re also going to have to wash your bedding.”
I got my shower stuff together and let Lily off the leash. Unsurprisingly, she followed me to the shower, and I could hear her wailing outside for me.
But when I got out, she wasn’t there, so I went down to the laundry. Mommy told me that she had seen Lily wandering around the campground looking for me. I hoped she wouldn’t find me.
I sat waiting for the laundry and had the bad luck of inspecting a lizard by the window while Lily was walking under it. She saw me and came tearing into the laundry room.
“What do you want from me?” I asked her. “You can’t stay with me anymore. You have to go now. You’re free.” Lily couldn’t understand why I wasn’t picking her up and stroking her like I usually did.
I went outside and Lily followed me.
“I’ve done everything I can for you,” I continued. “I’ve fed you, I’ve watered you, I’ve given you a place to sleep, I’ve loved on you, I’ve walked you, I’ve picked up your poop. What else is there that I can do for you in my present stage of life?”
Lily figured that one out. Play fetch.