More than a decade ago I was house sitting for a dear elderly lady I had known for years. The job was so last minute that she had already left and made arrangements for her dog to stay with her daughter. I was told to just make sure the cats were ok and to make the house look occupied. Eventually the dog would be there and at that point in time I would take care of the dog too.

After two days of caring for the cats and the house, the dog finally arrived. Or should I say, a dog with that description arrived. A medium sized black and brown mutt with the sweetest disposition greeted me with a huge grin and a case of the jumpy’s was wiggling all over the kitchen. This was without a doubt, my friends’ dog. Who else could it be?

I took care of the dog according to the instructions given to me, even treated him to a nice two hour hike through the local trails before settling down for the night. Me, dog and two cats were ready to relax when the phone rang. It was my friend asking how things were going.

I told her that things were good, cats were good, dog was a ball of wonderful energy but a terrific happy-go-lucky pup. There was a long pause before she replied, “oh, I just called to tell you that the dog wasn’t going to be dropped off until Saturday. She must have changed her mind.”

Neither of us thought anything of it, hung up the phone and carried on with the evening. Less than an hour later my friend called again.

“Jeanette, that’s not my dog. I just called my daughter and she still has my dog.”

I looked down at this giant loveable imposter, belly up on the floor, all grins and having the time of his life. I didn’t know how to respond. I sent her a quick photo and explained to her I had locked the door before leaving and it was locked when I got back. The dog was inside when I returned.

We had no idea whose dog this was. No collar, no tags. No one was missing the dog it seemed. Dog and I went door to door asking for his owner but nobody had seen him before. We put word in to the local shelters and animal control officers but eventually just decided that he could stay.

My friend kept the dog for the rest of his life and we still have no idea where he came from or how he got into the house…not to mention locking the door behind him once he was inside. Even if I had forgotten to lock the door (shame on me) how would the dog get inside then close and lock the door behind him?

I know that no matter how he got to my friends house, he certainly lucked out. The four legged vagabonds always seem to find their way too me. Even if my friend was the one who kept him in the end, I was at least able to care for him for a couple of months before she returned.

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