The Tucson Zone

We found this dog - this really, really pretty animal - wandering around. It had a tag and my super-responsible and much younger dog-walking cohort made me take the foundling to our place, feed it, tie it up in the courtyard and call the phone number listed on the tag. Well. Okay, no problem right? You call, they answer, "Hi, I found your dogger!"

Not so much. The pound answered. Okay. This isn't the owner but I don't think that by calling, I'll be sending this lovely dog to it's early death. I gave the tag number, the pound gave me the name, address, and phone number for the owner. I made one more phone call, leaving a message about the dog for the owner and waited for a call-back. No big, right? Until I noticed that the tag was expired in November of 2004.
Crime must be involoved. And it's getting dark. I live in Tucson, AZ. There's no way this could be simple.

In Tucson, where dogs are commonly stolen for fights or abandoned when their owners get busted with 400,000 pounds of marijuana in a tunnel under the guest house, dogs, cats, and exotic birds tend to be left behind like I'll be at the time of the Rapture.
I've heard of at least three places where the owners left everything. Beds, George Foreman Grills, spare keys on the ugly little thing in the kitchen that says, "Key Kaddie" in letters that someone's very bored grandfather carved out with a router one afternoon.
And not the fun kind of router that brings the world wide web of pornography and lies into your home each evening.
And old-school router, which I just learned from Ask This Old House, carves an elegant detail into any wood-working project that you have going.
You could even route your shutters if you wanted to get fancy.

I hear it from here, my hidden corner of the Cubicle Castle where not much gets in and a helluva a lot goes out. Commando Centralez.

Sorry. I was in the hood and with the stray and the darkness was falling.
Arizona has these AMAZING sunsets. If you've ever seen the state flag, it's supposed to illustrate the sunsets that we have. On the right night, the clouds back up to the sun, who waits patiently right behind a mountain peak, and when the three of those things meet - the clouds, the sun, and the mountain-top, the colors around you explode, from beachy-pink to the deepest violet that I've ever seen in nature. It's amazing.

By the time I had a found dog tied in my courtyard and a cell phone in my hand, it was well-past the pretty pretty sunset and full-on into Dark and Scarey Night.

Once the sun goes down, there are many reasons to get that not-so-safe feeling in my hood.
The dog walkers are still out at the usual times, even in the dark, so it's not like there's real danger.... but if FEELS different and not in a good way, you know? Tucson doesn't have street lights, at least not in my hood.
Not because we're poor or in one, gigantic neighborhood "You Are Going To Bed Without Dinner, Missy. Lights Out!" or anything. It's because of the stars.
I think I've told you this before. The stars out here are awesome. With street lights at a minimum, we get to enjoy millions and millions and millions of stars over-head every night that isn't cloudy.
Which... hi?
Southern Arizona.
Not too cloudy, heh heh.
Yeah right.
Totally overcast and I totally over-slept and there is still Sandman Sugar on my brain.

So, back to the story again. My bad. It's getting later than smart lady who's kind of small and very cute walks her very small and kind of cute doglet.
And the pound has told me that the foundling belongs to Kristy Bower and that Kristy lives in a ghetto far, far away from the one that I call home.
Barrio. Whatever.

Like I already said, the pound gives me Kristy's number and her "friend" Johanna calls me back frantically, looking for a small terrier mix.
"Boy or girl?" I ask.
"Girl," says Johanna firmly. Small, brown, terrier-mix, girl.
Huh. That's Rosie. This could work. My mind starts drifting toward the freedon that I have not enjoyed since Rosie came to need every gd second of my attention. I could...
I couldn't do it. I love that little shit. "Man, I'm sorry dude. The dog I found is big and German shepherd-looking and definitely not a girl."

How does this all tie up, Sarah? Let's go.
After we got the dog tied up in the courtyard, we heard some guy calling for a dog. This can't be a coincidence, right? I mean, there's no way.
So my neighbor is standing at the base of our drive with Rosie and with her dog and the guy is all looking at our dogs and yelling, "That's not him."
No shit, I'm thinking.
"There he is!" The foundling is wagging his tail like crazy and the guy calls the dog by the name that the pound gave me.
The dog goes running to the guy, who coincidentally had a lit cigarette that looked like a Virgina Slim, a toddler holding his other hand and miraculously, a Dunkin' Donuts insulated mug of…. Scotch? Water? Likely, vodka because I didn't smell anything. But the dude rambled about the foundling and getting neutered and smelling females, basically to the point where my neighbor and I eased as far away as possible so that by the time he got to the part about smells, I shouted from across the street, "Well, these dogs are both fixed!"
And he STILL replied, "It wasn't them, then so there must be a bitch around here somewhere."
Yeah dude.
That would be me.
I have a dog and a baseball bat and if you cross that street, don't say I didn't warn you.

Rigth about then, in the now completely dark street, I got the call from Ms. Brower's "friend".
As this guy is walking away with a dog who is not small, not female, and not anywhere near the registered address that the pound gave me. Walking away with a dog who totally recognized the guy, who was totally happy to see the guy, and who the guy called by the name given to me at the pound.
The same name that I have to guess Ms. Brower named her dog.
But she's asking me about a female, small dog.
What the hell?

Or am I just here in Tucson, where none of the clocks show the same time, where the crime-ridden streets are kept dark for the sake of those of us who shimmy up to the roof and lie under them, thinking about stuff, and where very mysterious, canine "coincidences" happen across barrios.

arizonasarah at 12:25 p.m.

previous | next