I Am Truly My Brother's Keeper, and a Finder of Lost Animals

I know it happens nationwide, but in Denver, we had something of an epidemic blow through our oxygen-deprived city about a decade ago, which made women think it was a fine idea to leave their newborns behind dumpsters all over the city. They passed a law (nationally, maybe?) that if you brought a newborn into a hospital, you could leave it at the counter and walk away, no questions asked. This lead to a rash of babies getting left in boxes outside the hospital, mostly because people are chicken-shit assholes who cannot follow simple hospital procedures.

Either way, I had this habit of walking through alleys, not around them, just checking. Because as much as I don't want to be pregnant ever again, if you leave a baby in my path, I will keep that baby and hug it and squeeze it and call it George and it will be mine. Do unto others and all.

Turns out, where I live now, there is an epidemic sweeping through my humidity-rich city of people dumping their dogs in neighborhoods that look like the kinds of neighborhoods where suckers live who will take those dogs in and give them a new home. Mostly because people are chicken-shit assholes who cannot follow simple pound procedures.

Of course, I didn't know about this and I wasn't looking for this but I am a sucker for a wet nose and big brown eyes, especially when it follows me and my daughter and my Plant Stand Fail home on particularly picturesque suburban evenings.

It poked its head out from behind someone's trash can and just stared at us. I figured it was just lost. It stopped digging in the trash and gave us that little cocked-head-tilt puppy dog stare. It wasn't starving, just a little dirty. It cowered over to us and gave kisses while we pet it. It wasn't defensive, just a little wary. I looked all over for it's owners, but there was no one.

So I carried it home. Don't you judge me. I carried it home slowly and deliberately, the long way, making eye contact with everyone I passed, looking for any signs of an open front or back door, hoping to find this dog's home because I'm not totally bright, but I'm not dumb enough to not know what was coming.

I let it inside the house and it went directly on the couch, into 3of3's lap, and then to sleep. My current dog? Thinks 3of3 is her personal chew toy. To have a dog climb in her lap and fall asleep was every little girl dream she'd ever had come true. And when Plant Stand Fail finally came over for her nightly nibble of 3of3's toes? That stray dog more or less ripped her throat out.

Houston, we have a bodyguard.

That stray dog didn't leave 3of3's side for two days. We took him for a long walk, then let him off the leash in the hopes he'd lead us to his home. He bolted...to 3of3. And followed her home. He climbed in her bed and stayed there all night. He climbed in her lap the next morning and stayed there all day. He got back in her bed the next night. He made friends with Plant Stand Fail and taught her how to strategically catch toads out back. He watched movies with me at night. He taught my dog that biting sucks ass. He totally stole our hearts.

And two days after we found him, I took him to the vet to scan him for a microchip. Not only wasn't there one, there was another couple at the vet who had a healthy, slightly dirty, well behaved cocker spaniel with no tags and no chip that had followed them home in the neighborhood next to mine. We all talked to the vet and discovered that yup, someone or someones have been dumping dogs in our area.

This is your classic case of Be Careful What You Wish For.


Now I have three toads, one lizard and two dogs. All of which we found outside while we were looking for something else entirely. Which is only funny because that's more or less how I found my husband, too, and that got me three kids. Who led me to the dogs and the toads and the lizard.  Which is why I also have 50+ crickets, which is only funny because I can't bring myself to feed them to the toads or the lizard. Which is where the children come in.

Which is what they call, in the scientific world, The Circle of Life.