Last night, I left LG and Joel to the task of getting ready for bed, and I strapped on my various sources of warmth to take Cosette for a walk.  I needed to get out in the cold night air for a little bit, take a few laps around the neighborhood to clear my head.  I took my cell phone along to call one of my best friends, and set off down the road.  I had to pull the thumb of my glove back enough so that my fingernail could push the menu buttons on the cell, but I finally found my friend's number.  I dialed, and listened to the ringing and then the subsequent voicemail as I continued to walk down the road.  It beeped, and I think I said something like, "Hi, it's me, just wanting to check in, but uh...uh...I uh...I guess I' to you later.  Okay bye."  The reason for my staccato "uhs" was for a very good reason:  there was a big dog standing in the road around the corner from us.  I hung up my phone and slipped it into my pocket, and kept walking Cosette down to the corner.  The dog hadn't moved.  I thought briefly about turning the other way and ignoring the dog, but it didn't seem to be bothered by our presence.  I decided to walk towards it, and the dog began to wag its tail. 

Upon closer inspection, I realized the dog had a collar and a hankerchief around its neck.  After letting the two dogs get aquainted, I slowly let the dog sniff me and greet me.  She was an older dog, fairly large.  I gently reached for her tag on her collar, but to my disappointment, it was only a rabies tag.  I straightened back up, looking around in the dark night, and saw no houses lit up or any movement from any direction.  I looked back down at the dog, concerned.  I didn't want to just leave her here, knowing that it was cold outside and her owners didn't appear to be in sight.  I didn't, however, want to take her away if she had just been released outside for a minute to use the bathroom.  I didn't recognize the dog so I wasn't entirely sure it belonged to anyone in the immediate area.

I went ahead and fastened my gloved hand around her collar and encouraged her to come with me.  She easily fell into place right along side me as we walked back around the bend and up to my house.  Cosette acted like she could care less; she was taking the opportunity to walk on a loose lead and sniff everything with abandon. 

I approached the house with both dogs in tow, and got close enough to open the storm door, but couldn't manage to open the main door without losing a grip on the storm door.  I finally called out, pathetically, "Joel..." as I knew he could probably hear me.  Sure enough, he came to the door and Cosette bounded in, and I, bent, looked up and said, "I found a dog." 

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