Today we found a puppy! Dawn and I had gone to the park to celebrate one of the few clear nights this month. She was playing by the shore of the lake and I was relaxing on one of the benches, reading my book by candlelight, with a thermos of tea and a sandwich. She started clambering around on the roots of a huge old tree that grew right near the shore, and then she shone her flashlight into the hollow beneath its roots and shouted. I ran over, and she showed me that inside there was a little dog. It looked for all the world like a wolf-pup, though there was something not-quite-wild about it. Probably a mix or a purebred husky or something, but there was something strange about its aura, too, something I couldn’t quite place. Anyway, its right paw seemed to have been injured, but we managed to extract the poor thing from between the roots without too much trouble. It whimpered and growled and even snapped a little when I tried to touch its paw, but it didn’t run away. I think Dawn helped a lot in that regard. Animals tend not to like me much anymore, but they love her. Anyway, it’s not like it could have gotten very far. It’s a damn good thing I wasn’t hungry, by the way. I don’t think Dawn could handle a repeat of the hamster fiasco.
So, after about an hour of pleading, I agreed that we could take it home, at least until we could get it to a shelter. So she picked it up, and it licked her face, and she smiled and laughed in that way only little kids can, and we carried it to the car and drove home. We’ve just bandaged its paw and made it a little bed, in which Dawn has curled up next to it. I’m sitting in the armchair next to them, writing this and sipping another cup of tea. Maybe it’s just the dog completing the image of domesticity, but I think things are finally starting to settle down.
I was woken up in the middle of the day by the sound of a child crying. For a moment of panic, I thought it was Dawn, but then I came to my senses and realized it was the sound of an infant. I looked down, and there, in the little bed we had made for the puppy, was a baby, with a bandage on its right hand. It’s a boy, probably only about a year old, with light skin and hair and eyes that are, well, grey. Silvery, like the wolf-pup’s coat. He had wet himself and the bed, so I cleaned them both up and soothed him back to sleep. Now I’m sitting here, eating the words I wrote last night. Just when you think things have calmed down, the Universe throws you one hell of a curve ball. We can’t take him to a shelter now, of course. I don’t think they’re equipped to deal with dogs that inexplicably metamorphose into people. But what am I going to do? I’ll need to get some diapers and formula and maybe a crib, but I really can’t look after another kid. I guess I’ll go to the library tonight and get Brown’s advice. But first, sleep…