Yesterday afternoon, I was walking my daughter back from the bus stop, Gizmo pulling us along. I noticed that a puppy was sitting on the porch of one of the townhouses in our cul-de-sac.

This isn't unusual. Generally, the owner is nearby, and a few times she's been just inside the doorway, talking on the phone. I realized that she was nowhere nearby, though, and their door was cracked.

Gizmo was freaking out (DOG! DOG! COME PLAY! DOG!) and the puppy was doing it's best to look like a tough badass (FUCK OFF! MY HOUSE!). It was in the 30's, so there was no way I could just leave the puppy there... but if I got any closer, I had a feeling he'd run off if Gizmo got to him first.

I decided to make my daughter stand on his leash with both feet and hold the end while I got the puppy. Thank god this worked, because he was freezing when I got to him.

I knocked on the door. No one answered. I called out. Nope. Nothing. CRAP. These people weren't home, and I couldn't just toss the puppy back in and hope for the best. What if they still had her in a special puppy area or something? I've only ever had a grown dog!

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Fine. We'll take the dog to our house. Hannah was delighted. "I'm getting another dog for my birthday!" Aw, fuck. It is her birthday, and she's still got that magical six-year-old brain. No, I explained, we're just keeping the dog warm for an hour or so. I put a note on the woman's door with details on what happened, and how to reach me.

Gizmo was ecstatic. He has a friend! He desperately wanted the dog to play with him, which terrified the puppy, so I had to carry the puppy around with me as I tried to wrap up work and birthday celebrations.

Now, I've only had a dog for two months, but I've already become a judgy dog owner. A dog escaping? That can happen to anyone. But this poor puppy had obviously never been groomed. His hair was doing that dreadlock thing that long-haird dogs get when they're not brushed. His nails desperately needed a clipping. The crazy part of my brain started thinking "Maybe she doesn't want the dog and we can keep her and get her properly groomed and trained and get her socialized so she and Gizmo can be friends..."

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But no, the woman did call and was thankful that we'd taken the puppy in when we saw it. And that was my adventure in temporarily owning two dogs.