Waltzing with Mathilda

Esteban came home with a small surprise tonight. “Is this Prince Charlie?” he asked, as he held up a tiny trembling dog. The little Cavalier King Charles spaniel sure looked like my neighbor Anita’s dog. But the tag on the collar said “Mathilda.”

“It was running down the middle of the street,” said Esteban. “I stopped and called it, and it jumped right in the car.” I thought it a miracle that Mathilda hadn’t been hit. The street in question is a busy four-lane thoroughfare — especially during rush hour.

We called the number on the tag. “Are you missing a small dog?” I asked. “No,” said the woman. “Well, we have a dog named Mathilda here and your number’s on her collar.” “Oh, yeah … she’s my dog, but she lives with my boyfriend. I’ll give him a call.”

Pretty soon the phone rang again. It was the boyfriend, requesting our address. “Did you know she was loose?” I asked. “Yeah,” he said. “She does it all the time.”

I jokingly asked Esteban whether it would be unethical to ignore the door. It really pained me to turn over this sweet little dog to god-knows-what fate. But turn her over we did.

Too bad. I really enjoyed waltzing around the living room with Mathilda.

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