LG looked up briefly but then returned to his Legos.  Joel was curiously watching the dog.  In the light, I could look at her much better.  She was tall, about 6 inches taller than Cosette, about 80 pounds, and looked like a strange mix between a Irish Wolfhound and an Airedale Terrier. 

Joel looked up the number for Animal Control and left a message, letting them know the rabies tag number.  He hung up and looked up at me.  I smiled at the dog who had now planted herself at Joel's feet, and said, "Well, I guess she'll spend the night tonight."

We got LG into his pajamas and prepared him for bed.  Bedtime usually consists of a round of hugs -- dogs included.  Raymond hugged Cosette and pointed to the lost dog.  "Cosette, this is going to be your guardian for a few weeks."  I smiled softly at his tenderness and sweetness.

Joel and I talked on the couch for a while that evening, especially about recent challenges in the graduate program.  The lost dog just laid at our feet, content for a warm spot and a quiet house.  The dog was offered, and took, an extra dog bed beside the bed.  What a polite houseguest.

The next morning, Joel decided to take the dog for a longer walk because she had eaten a full breakfast but hadn't used the bathroom.  He set off down the road with her, and then the dog became insistent in the direction they were walking.  The dog gently pulled him in different directions down the road.  Right at the end of the road, left at the bend, up the road, and so on.  The dog, surrounded by snowdrifts, paused for a second.  When she heard a dog barking, she tilted her head and then set off in the direction of the noise.  She brought Joel to the front of house.  They went ahead and walked up to the door and the dog sat down.  Joel looked down at her and said, "Is this it?"  He wasn't sure if that was the correct house or why the dog brought him there.  Then, he saw a face poking through the curtains, and the door swung open.

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