Dog Heaven

When Richard heard the doorbell ring, he flipped on the light above the entryway and saw a young woman standing on his front step. Earlier in the day there had been a heavy rain in town, before the temperature dropped below freezing. It was dark now, and Richard thought the girl might need help. He opened the door, and she said hi, and he said hi back, and then she pointed to the end of the driveway.

“Is he yours?”

Richard looked out and saw a dog sitting on its hind legs in the middle of the wet street. “No,” he said.

“Well, he’s just kind of like not moving or anything.”

“Huh,” Richard said. His wife, Lily, came up behind him and asked what was happening. “There’s a dog sitting in the street,” he said.

“I didn’t want to just leave him there,” the girl said.

“No, of course not,” Richard said, knowing that cars and pickup trucks raced up the blind hill.

“He’s soaking wet,” Lily said when the three of them reached the dog, which looked up but didn’t move. Lily knelt down and petted him.

Richard eyed the girl without being able to discern her features clearly. He said, “Did you ask any of the neighbors if it belonged to them?”

“You’re the only one who answered,” she told him.

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