It seemed as though Traveler's troubles were over when Popsy found him in the parking lot and brought him home. But is he truly safe? Or will Momsy and Popsy deliver Traveler to the SPCA shelter?
Momsy’s eyes filled with tears, and Popsy’s eyes took on the glittery look that I’ve seen in humans who were trying hard not to cry. “Let’s keep him through the weekend at least,” he suggested. “I’ve given our phone number and Traveler’s description to the police and to the SPCA. They promised to be in touch if anyone reports him missing. I’m going to call the local radio stations next, and ask them to include him in their Lost and Found segments. And I’ll call the Tribune and Free Press, and place ads in their Classified Ads sections.”
“What happens if no one gets in touch by the end of the weekend?”
“We’ll see,” he said. “You were planning to take off all of next week, weren’t you?”
Momsy nodded. “Yes, there’s nothing much going on at work between Christmas and New Year. But, we need some stuff for him - food, a leash.”
“I can go out tomorrow morning and pick up what we need,” Popsy offered. “The storm should be over by then, and the roads will be passible.”
I had been lying on the floor while they talked, looking from Momsy to Popsy and back again, trying to follow the conversation that bounced back and forth like a ping-pong ball. Before long, the drinks of water and the chicken dinner began to have their usual effect. I needed to go outside. I stood, walked over to the apartment door, and barked a quiet 'woof.' Popsy understood what I wanted, and went to find his coat, but Momsy stopped him. “You don’t have to go out in the storm,” she said. “He can do his business on the balcony for tonight.” She walked over to a glass door and slid it open.
There was a small outdoor room on the other side of the door. It had a layer of snow on the floor, but was sheltered from the wind. Momsy called me over and gave me a little nudge before sliding the door shut behind me. I wasn’t entirely sure of this inside/outside room, but I did my business with my back turned to the door. When I was finished, Momsy opened the door and let me back inside. She held a dry towel in her hand, and told me to sit. I knew what was expected - The Mister had taught me to sit while he or The Wife wiped my feet before I was allowed inside their house. I offered my front paws in turn, then stood and raised each hind leg a couple of inches to allow them to be cleaned off. As soon as Momsy was done wiping my feet, I was off in search of Popsy again.
This time, I found him sitting at a table, writing something on a piece of paper. “How does this sound?” he called out to Momsy. “Found in the Hudson’s Bay House parking lot at Main and Assiniboine. Large black dog with white markings on front paws, chest, and forehead. Left ear flops over. Call 204-555-3437.”
“What about his name?” Momsy asked.
“I don’t want to put it in. His rightful owner will know his name. That way, Traveler won’t be claimed by some stranger looking to get a dog for free.”
“Sounds good, then. When will you run it?” she asked.
Popsy stood and walked over to the telephone. “I’ll call it in now,” he said, picking up a dumbbell-shaped thing that The Wife used to call a receiver. “That way it will make the Sunday paper. I’ll let it run for a week.”
I slept that night on the floor in the bedroom, at the foot of Momsy's and Popsy’s bed. I felt safe hearing the sound of Momsy’s soft snore and Popsy’s regular breathing. This was a new experience for me. On the farm, I slept in the barn with the horses. The barn was sheltered from the wind and snow, but it wasn’t very warm, and I would sleep all curled up with my tail resting on top of my nose to keep it warm. It was nice and cozy in the bedroom, and I lay on my side with my legs stretched straight out. At one point, I had a wonderful dream about chasing a cat. I must have talked in my sleep, because Popsy called out quietly, “Are you okay, Pooch?”
When I woke up the next morning, Momsy opened the door to the balcony so that I could go outside. The air was fresh and crisp, the sun was shining, and the snow made crunchy sounds when I walked out the door to do my business. After Momsy wiped the snow off my paws, I went looking for Popsy. He was looking at himself in the mirror, and rubbing his face with something that was making a buzzing sound. I think The Mister called it shaving. I waited while Popsy put on his clothes, and then he and I went into the kitchen together. Momsy had put down a fresh bowl of water for me. Beside it was a second bowl that had some rice and chicken all mixed together. She and Popsy sat down at a table to eat while I scarfed down my breakfast. I washed down my food with a long drink of the cool water, and settled myself on the floor beside Popsy’s chair for a nap.
©2016 Phyllis Entis. All rights reserved.
Will The Mister see Popsy's newspaper advertisement and come to claim Traveler? What does the future hold in store for our hero? Tune in again tomorrow to read Part Four of Traveler - A Dog's Tale.