I was driving near home when a fellow, walking his Labradoodle, signaled for me to stop. I pulled over and rolled down my window. That’s when I noticed, through an opening in the fellow’s jacket, a pair of large dark eyes staring out at me. The smashed in face was the clincher, it was a pint-sized Shih Tzu.

Seeing me looking at the Shih Tzu, he said, “Do you know this dog?

“I don’t, but my wife will, she knows all the dogs in the neighborhood.”

“Someone needs your help,” I said as I hurried through the door. “There’s a lost dog.”

She didn’t need to hear more, her eyes sparkled, and she headed outside to meet the dog. Surprisingly, she didn’t recognize him, but when the fellow said he had to get to work she offered to keep the dog until they found the owners.

“I’ll take his picture and put up some flyers,” she said.

She quickly scooped the dog into her arms, scratched his belly, oohed and aahed a bit, and took him inside. A few minutes later she started on the flyers with his picture on it.

“Lost dog or found dog?” she said.

“Well they lost it and now it’s found so either should work,” I said.

She looked at me askance and said, “I think I’ll go with “Lost Dog Found.”

She printed up the flyers and posted them in the neighborhood. When she returned she looked concerned.

“What’s up,” I asked.

“Well you know,” she said, “that dog is awfully cute, and I’ll bet some people will claim it is theirs, even if it isn’t. How will we know the real owner?

“I know,” she said, “I’ll ask them to identify the sex of the dog.”

“So only a lucky thief will get the dog since he has a 50-50 chance of guessing correctly,” I said.

She didn’t like that. I was smart and apologized immediately. We talked about it some more and finally decided that we would require a picture of the dog. Anyone owning an animal that cute would have pictures.

Having done all we could we had a wonderful afternoon with our little house guest. The pup was friendly, and a treat to have around. Since we have a Shih Tzu of our own, the little guy soon had a new best friend. He followed our dog around the house like a devoted little brother.

I wondered if the little dog’s guardians had discovered him missing yet. Did they know he was gone or had they yet to check. Were they sick with worry, were they thinking the worst, were there tears in their eyes as they searched the neighborhood. I imagined how the sinking feeling now overwhelming them would vanish once they saw the flyers.

“What,” I said.

“I think I’ll call him Jack,” she said.

“Are you sure you want to name him,” I said. “It will make it harder to say goodbye.”

“He looks like a Jack to me–yes he is most certainly a Jack.”

“I wonder what his real name is?”

“I don’t know, but if it’s not Jack, they got it wrong.”

The phone rang, “Are you the people who found our dog.”

I told him we were.

“Oh, oh,” he said and started getting all gooey on me. “Oh thank God, we’ve been so worried about our little Prada!”

“Prada?” I said.

“Yes, Prada.”

“Prada is fine.”

“Tell me how to find your home. I’ll come immediately.”

I explained that he needed to bring a picture to verify “Prada’s” identity, and he readily agreed he would.

He arrived a few moments later in a BMW. He was handsome and was wearing an expensive coat. I don’t know what I was expecting, but to see such a polished looking fellow get all blubbery over a tiny little dog wasn’t it. He had a picture of the dog, so that was settled.

We invited him in and handed over Jack, now once again Prada. We watched him as he left, his fancy coat, his perfect hair, and tucked under his arm, like a fashion accessory was Prada. An accessory that was now licking his face.

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2 Responses to Prada

  1. bettyjo says:

    Nice story.

    There’s a huge Rottweiller lives up the canyon from us (behind the locked gate).

    Now and then he gets away and comes down to our ranch. It’s about a 3 mile hike. He’s big, but happily nice enough. First time he showed up, I called the Animal shelter (he had a license), and found out who owned him. Also, the first time, I learned that ropes do not hold this animal. A chain around a sturdy post is the way to hold him. I gave him some water and a can of cat food. (No, we keep neither dogs nor cats, but generally have a few cans of cat food in the pantry to bait the fox traps).

    My “flyers” consist of a single very large piece of cardboard from some old appliance carton. Large enough to nail to the oak tree near the road, where truck headlights catch it head on. It says in 8 inch high letters: “Jeremy, your dog is here.”

    No telephone or cell service up the canyon, but someone up there generally sees the sign on their way back home at night, notifies the owner and at some point he comes down the drive, apologizing profusely and retrieving the dog. Until the next time. I now keep the sign in the barn. I think the dog returns here for the cat food.

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