I’ve been missing having dogs a lot recently. I mean, a lot. It’s like a part of me is missing…
That’s why it was really startling when I was walking to work today and I saw a tiny, white dog coming towards me. Japan seems to be a place where dogs have a specific place in the home, and that’s often outside in the yard. This dog was walking over without a care in the world, nor an owner for that matter. I was kind of confused, but it wasn’t a busy street so I thought, “Ok. Someone will come chasing after it. No need to be alarmed.”
No one was coming…
After a minute or so, I turned to Sam, gave him my bags, registered his disapproval, and ran after the dog (whom was now headed towards the busiest street in our area). I caught him a block or so before he would have been in serious danger, making sure to ask all the people that he stopped to befriend, “すみません。かれはあなたのいぬですか？” (“Excuse me. Is he your dog?”) They all looked shocked, said no, and told me they thought that he was mine or something.
So, I said “Screw it.” and carried him to work with me, much to Sam’s (initial) chagrin. When we got there I called to Mai and asked for her help. She came over, saw the dog, and was excited that I had bought a dog. I explained the situation and we both checked his collar, which had no information what-so-ever. We made a leash for him and took him into our care. The first thing he did was get startled by my attempt to pet him, pull off his collar, and run straight for traffic.
I dropped everything and ran after him, chased him for a block or two in my socks (I had taken off my shoes because I was at work. It’s what we do.), cornered him in someone’s backyard, prayed no one saw me run into said backyard, and grabbed him. We then never let him out of our arms.
One of the next door teachers was kind enough to help us and he called the police. While we waited I had him on my lap as I cut some stripes for me spelling bee costume. He would sit and lick my chin, which was nice except his breath was a little fishy. When the policemen came we explained everything and handed them Wan-chan (the term they were calling the dog). One of them returned a little bit later to get a signature from Mai, at which point she requested to be informed if the owner retrieved the dog.
At the end of work today, Mai beamed at me that the police had called and the owner had picked up the dog and expressed their gratitude. Neither Mai nor I spoke to them personally, but I doubt I could have translated that it wasn’t a big deal and it probably all happened because of my insane, overwhelming need to have a dog around created some karmic pull.
In the end, I’m overjoyed that I was able to help Wan-chan not get hit by a car.