This morning, as my boyfriend was heading to work, he came across a stray puppy wandering around outside on the steps. When he came back to the apartment and asked, “Guess what?!” I thought he might’ve unexpectedly had the day off. Wrong. I looked down and saw a little furry head peeking through the door; he had found a stray dog.
“What am I supposed to do with it?” I asked, incredulously. He didn’t seriously expect me to hang on to it while he was at work, did he? Yes, folks, he did. Normally, I wouldn’t even blink twice in this type of scenario — I love dogs — but seeing that I already have a dog, this presented a huge problem. My dog, Bailey, is also a puppy and isn’t really socialized yet. And, because she’s much smaller than the stray (Bailey is a long-hair chihuahua, the stray looks like a jack russell terrier mix), not only is she extremely suspicious, but the other pup plays too rough for Bailey’s liking.
All day long I’ve been babysitting, playing referee and cleaning up accidents on the carpet. Needless to say, I was at my wit’s end by the time the BF returned from work. Since the animal shelter was already closed (we planned on seeing if she was microchipped), we decided to take another walk around the neighborhood to see if we spotted any ‘Lost’ signs or people looking for her. Luckily, within five minutes, we came across her owner, who was definitely relieved — and to be honest, so was I.
During this whole ordeal, I couldn’t help but roam through my mental catalog of romances, trying to figure out if any of them ever included stray dogs. I mean, this seems like the kind of situation a quirky, modern heroine might find herself in, right? That’s when I remembered Getting Rid of Bradley by Jennifer Crusie! In it, Lucy Savage decides to mix things up after she finds out that her (now ex) husband cheated on her. “Mixing it up” includes a bad dye job and — you guessed it — taking in a stray.
“So, I’m changing. I want to make my own mistakes and mop up after them myself. I want to talk to my ex-husband without you threatening him with death. And if I want to dye my hair purple or adopt another ten dogs or . . . or . . . ” Her eyes twitched to the man across the room. “. . . or go out with inappropriate men, I want you to stay out. It’s my life. I want it back.”
But wait, it doesn’t stop there. Not only was there a stray dog in Getting Rid of Bradley, but they’ve appeared in many of Crusie’s books, including:
Even though I love dogs, I have to say, when it comes to strays, I much rather keep them in the pages of my contemp romances…since, you know, they usually come with dark, smoldering heroes.
ROAMING QUESTION: Have you ever found a stray animal? If so, what did you do about it?