The Neighborhood Dog

I walk along Court, the main street a block from home. A storefront up, a bulldog, in an old, tattered green sweater, lumbers along the sidewalk alone. 

She sniffs the blue mailbox. She turns, slowly, in a circle. Sniffs the mailbox again. 

Is she lost? 

Down the block, an older woman, stands at the corner store with a bag. 

“Zelda!” she yells down, toward me.

I smile – the dog has a friend – and head home.

A week later, while returning from a quick run to get a bottle of wine from Charlie at the corner store, I see the old dog meandering down my street, in a larger brown sweater this time. A few brownstones down, the same woman is patiently waiting by a gate. 

“Is that Zelda?” I shout up to her. 

“Yeah, she’s always doing this to me!” she says. 

Published in the New York Times on April 27, 2017