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12:02 a.m. - Thurs 6/30/05
The Gremlin And Me

The Gremlin And Me

Well, this has certainly been an interesting day...

Had a callback for Ace Hardware in the morning, from an audition on Monday that I actually felt pretty depressed about at the time (And to make the whole depressing experience complete, I didn't feel particularly good about the callback either--I could just tell I wasn't getting where they wanted me to go--and I didn't book the gig).

(The absolutely miserable day I had on Monday could be an entry in itself, if I didn't have "bigger fish to fry". But anyway...)

When I got back home, I went to check my mail, and overheard Yvette (One of the apartment managers) and Francesca (A tenant down the hall from me) talking about the dog that had apparently been abandoned in one of the apartments.

Apparently, the dog had been barking and crying for a long time, and I guess from the shape the apartment was in (Up on the 6th floor), it was hard to tell if the tenant had skipped out on rent and just left the dog, or exactly what was going on.

But other tenants were complaining about the noise, so George went into the apartment, somehow corralled the dog into a dog carrier, and took it outside, to a fenced-in area between some of the apartments on the first floor (That's what I think Francesca was complaining to Yvette about--Now the dog was barking and crying right outside her apartment. And pooping everywhere to boot).

When I thought at one point that Yvette was on the phone to Animal Control(I think she was actually trying to reach the dog's owner through a "contact number" she had), I kind of "inserted myself into the situation", to say I'd be willing to take care of the dog, a dog I hadn't actually seen at that point.

The idea that the dog might end up being put to sleep because its owner had just left it there...well, that really didn't work for me (I don't think anyone was in a big rush for that to happen, but it wasn't sounding "out of the realm of possibility" either).

Yvette and Francesca told me the dog was "not friendly", which to be honest, gave me pause (I wasn't nuts about possibly getting myself bitten). The dog was growling at anyone who approached; I guess even George didn't get too close, because when I entered the picture today, nobody knew the dog's name, even though she had tags on (At that point, no one even knew she was a she).

But Francesca said if I wanted to see the dog, I could look out the window of her apartment. So I did, and after looking around for a moment, I saw it--A little chocolate-brown, cocker-spaniel-mix--some distance away, hiding from everyone.

So I went to Ralphs, bought some food and some dog biscuits, and came back.

Then I went out through the window at the end of the hallway, leaving a bowl of food and water on the ground there, as I walked forward with my box of dog biscuits, which I hoped to use as a bribe.

This area in between apartments is kind of a backwards "L"--I left the food and water at the bottom of the "L", and the dog, when I finally saw her, was hiding behind a box and some foliage at the top of the "L", as far away from me as she could get.

After unsuccessfully trying to coax her out with the Milk Bones--she growled at me anytime I got near--I went back inside the building. Then I heard the sound of a bowl being moved around, and quietly went back to the window at the end of the hall, just in time to see my hungry little friend finishing a can of the store-brand "gourmet treat" I'd bought.

I was close enough at that point to read her tag--"Gremlin".

("Hi Gremlin! How are you today? Do you want a Milk Bone? You are such a good little dog...")

There's a metal gate on the window at the end of the hallway, so I think the fact I was behind that gate, and had started using her name, made her feel like it was probably okay to approach me: She jumped up, putting her front paws on the window ledge, which just let her stick her snout through the gate to get a treat.

Then I slowly opened the gate, and starting petting her. And a few moments later, I was lifting her into the building, when I realized she was too small to hop back in on her own.

(And when people saw that I had her, they were very impressed, like I was "The Dog Whisperer" or something.)

Gremlin and I basically spent the day together--I walked her a couple times (Buying a cheap leash at one of the bargain places on 3rd), we took a nap together, and I played catch with her with the squeaky toy that was in her carrier--and I felt both very scared, at the responsibility I was suddenly taking on (I said "Oh my God, what have I done?" a couple of times throughout the day), and very happy (This was a pretty cute pooch, and very easy to fall in love with).

Then a short time ago, I heard someone knocking on Yvette's door, right across from my apartment--It was Gremlin's owner, wondering what had happened to her dog.

Apparently, the owner had had to go away for a couple days, and there had been some sort of "miscommunication" with the friend she'd asked to take care of the dog.

I heard Yvette tell her nobody had known what was going on, and that I was taking care of the dog (I was out-and-out listening in on the conversation at that point). Yvette gave her the option of knocking on my door, or waiting till the morning.

So the owner knocked on my door, and after a brief admonishment on my part (I said "You really need to find more dependable friends. This could have ended really badly..."), she thanked me profusely, and took her dog.

And as quickly as Gremlin had entered my life, she was gone.

Like I said, it was an interesting day...


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