Sometimes I dream of other worlds and impossible adventures, of deep galaxies and the mysteries of an alien heart.
And sometimes I dream about things so touchingly commonplace, I can only hope that someday they come true.
They were parked outside the Front Street Animal Shelter because she had to have a dog.
“But we’re only here to look,” he said cautiously.
“Of course,” she replied smoothly, keeping steady eye contact for two heartbeats before reaching for her purse. “We’re just here to look.”
She heard a muffled *grumble-grumble-something* that she chose to ignore. After all, it wasn’t like he could see the browsing history on her phone, which showed that she had already looked online at nearly every animal housed under this one broad roof.
They were just here to look.
And she didn’t want a puppy. No sir. No way.
Until they saw that one.
“My god, I think he’s pure boxer,” he said, leaning down so that the flapping red tongue could properly taste him.
“He’s beautiful,” she breathed, and he snorted.
“You have said that about every single dog in here,” he said.
“That’s because every life is worth saving,” she replied, her big eyes fixated on that wiggling bundle of energy.
“It’s surprising to find such a young dog, purebred and in the pound,” he commented. His long fingers stroked the dome of the puppy’s head through the fencing, and the puppy head-butted the barrier for more.
“So… Let’s take a look at him,” she said, watching his face from the corner of her eye. The little animal was now in an ecstasy of attention overload, every fiber of his being quivering with happiness.
“I heard that,” he said, now grinning at her. “Are you implying there’s a ‘we’ involved in this decision?”
“Of course there’s a ‘we’!” she said. “I don’t want to pick up all the poop, all the time, all by myself. Definitely a ‘we’ decision.”
With that she sashayed away between the kennels, cooing endearments at every animal she passed and creating a frenzy of creatures pressed up against the fencing yowling for her to return. He watched her approach the attendant and point in his direction with a rapturous smile, followed by an eager nod of assent to something the man said.
He looked back at the puppy, the boxy head and brindle coloring, the small ribs showing through his heaving sides and the nub of a tail wagging furiously as his claws clicked on the concrete in anticipation.
Although clean and well maintained, even the best animal shelter was a depressing place, bleak and tinged with death.
The puppy’s liquid brown eyes stared right through to his soul, trusting and patient.
“All right, little one, you don’t have to sell it so hard,” he said at last, sighing with good grace in the face of utter defeat.
And here she came, practically skipping with excitement, followed by a large man with a lot of keys.
He already knew how this would go.
And he was glad.
I hope that someday this really happens.