The Case of the Stray Chihuahua / Chocolate Coma

Around 2am last Friday night/Saturday morning I come home to find a dog sitting on the welcome mat at my front door.  It was one of the weirdest moments I've experienced to date.  He was curled up in the pool of light cast by our porch lamp -- we're the only house on the block that leaves the light on -- presumably trying to stay warm.  He was literally blocking my way to enter the house and growled upon my approach.  I didn't know if he was a rabid stray or anything, so I briefly contemplated spending the rest of the night outside before coming to my senses.  I didn't have anything to offer him besides gum to lure him away from the door, but I pulled out a piece anyway, bending down and slowly extending my offering, hoping at least the smell would entice him if he couldn't actually eat it.  He wasn't interested, but he allowed me to get close enough to determine he wasn't going to bite me.  I slowly reached up and unlocked the door.  Upon opening it, he stood up and walked away.  He was limping, favoring his right rear leg, and it broke my heart.  I went inside and got some water, chicken from a stew my dad had made, and a kitchen rag and newspaper for him to lie down on, and placed everything outside near the door.  I didn't see him again, but the next day, the food was gone.

                                                                       Isn't he adorable?                       

He came by almost everyday after that; usually in the afternoon.  I fed him chicken and tuna, and eventually he allowed me to get close enough to pet him.  I knew I wasn't going to be able to keep him (another reason why I miss living alone), so I didn't bother giving him a name.  Besides, he might already have one -- he didn't look like he'd been out long; someone must have been looking for him.  I posted this picture on Facebook, hoping someone might recognize him.  At the suggestion of a friend, I also posted an ad on Craigslist under Lost and Found. I worried that something might happen to him the longer he was out, so I decided I would take him to Animal Services if I didn't receive a response by Wednesday.

Today I came home, and like clockwork, he was there waiting.  This time he allowed me to pick him up (I prayed he didn't have fleas).  I took him inside and prepared another meal of chicken and tuna while he walked around the place and tried to hide; obviously his initial growling was just for show.  When he was done, I cleaned up and we headed out.

I was concerned that he would freak out in the car, but he was great -- another reason why I think he'd only been recently lost.  Ten minutes into the ride and he crawled into my lap, looking out the driver's side window.  When he started licking my hand, I almost turned the car around and drove back home.  We arrived at the shelter and I took him inside.  I wanted to check to see if he had a microchip so I could be reassured of a quick reunion with his owners, but the attendant didn't have a scanner available.  I didn't realize how guilty I would feel leaving him there until I was saying goodbye, looking into his little golden eyes.  I'll call in a couple of days to find out what happened; hopefully he'll be adopted if his owners don't claim him.  Discovering him at my front door tied me to him in a way that makes me feel responsible for whatever happens to him.

On a tastier note, last Sunday I attended the Chocolate Salon in San Francisco, and gorged on milk chocolate, dark chocolate, spicy chocolate, tea-infused chocolate, chocolate truffles, chocolate milk with vodka... I feel like Bubba from Forrest Gump, but I don't care, it was friggin' awesome.  Better than Beerfest -- yes, I said it, it was BETTER!  Long live chocolate!