The Dog Escaped

The dog had somehow slipped its collar and ran joyfully down the pavement between Toronto office towers. A pretty young woman in stilettos ran after the small terrier.

"Denny, Denny, come back to momma. Come on Denny."

But Denny did not come back.

Peter, seeing the lovely woman's miserable situation, placed his shopping bag on the sidewalk and joined in the chase. As he caught up to her he began yelling, "Denny, Denny come here boy."

Still running the lady gave Peter a reproachful look. "It's a she, a she. Denny's a she."

The woman stopped and took off her high heels. Peter also stopped and tried to engage her in conversation.

"Dogs can be..."

But the lady ignored him and resumed her quest for the wayward Denny. For the next two blocks they ran side by side. Finally out of breath the woman halted. She threw the shoes she'd been carrying on the pavement and leaned heavily against a red brick wall.

"Denny, Denny," she whispered, "you damn dog."

Peter, however, didn't stop but ran to far the corner of the block then turned left onto Queen Street. In the distance he saw the dog weave in and out of traffic, astonished that the terrier was able to avoid being crushed to death beneath rubber tires. Denny made her way to the south side of the road safe and sound but it took Peter some time to find a break in the traffic before he could cross over.

The terrier, its pink tongue hanging from its open mouth, stopped in front of a Turkish restaurant. As a couple of patrons walked into the eatery the dog followed. Peter made his way slowly to the restaurant's front entrance. On the door was a hand-written sign, "Private Party. We are closed to the public today." He pressed his nose to the restaurant's plate glass window. Under a table covered in a starched white tablecloth lay Denny, relaxing. An elegant hand with long red fingernails reached under the table and threw the dog a morsel. Peter shook his head in disbelief.

The terrier's owner, now limping, caught up with Peter.

"Denny," she said. "What have you done to her?"

"What have I done to her? Nothing. Why would I do anything to her?"

He waved a hand toward the eatery's front window. "Look for yourself. There by the girl in the purple dress, next to her feet. See?"

She looked at Peter through long lashes and said, "Oh, would you go in and get Denny for me?"

"Of course," he said trying to sound confident. He hopped up the restaurant's two front steps and pulled on the door handle.

"I'm sorry," said a burly man in an ill-fitting suit. He was standing just inside the entrance. "Only party guests are allowed in."

The dog, under the table. It snuck in and I need it."

The large man turned toward the table Peter had indicated. All at once Denny made a tiny, triumphant yelp and flew out the open door back onto Queen Street. The dog ran east as fast as its legs could carry it.

"Stop, stop Denny," screamed the terrier’s owner as she ran after it.

"Forget it," Peter said to the doorman. "I've had enough. I'm going home."

back to issue