Going To The Dogs

This morning at 6:20 a.m. while I was getting ready for work, something shocking happened. My doorbell rang. "Who rings a doorbell at 6:20 in the morning?" my brain asked. My heart nearly burst through my chest but said "it's alright, calm down, it can't be a home invasion, it's far too early and they almost never ring the bell."

I opened the door and there was a well dressed lady of about 55 who skipped any greeting and went straight to an exasperated "Is this your dog?" A cute little dog of undetermined breed stood off to the side of her wagging it's tail and looking up at me. "No, it's not my dog." "Well I was walking and this dog started following me. He just kept on following and so I said GO HOME and it came here." "How strange, but it's not my dog, I've never seen it before." "I don't know what I'm going to do because he won't stop following me." "I'm not sure what to tell you." She just shook her head and turned and left with the dog following her.

I put on my pants finished getting ready and headed down the street toward my train. I could see her and the dog a short distance ahead and a man walking in my direction stopped as she told her story. He shook his head No and for a few steps, the dog followed him but thought better of it and turned around and rejoined her.

As I caught up with all 6 legs of them she said "I've already missed one train this morning, I don't know what I'm going to do with this poor thing." I smiled and said "I don't know either, good luck!". The dog looked at me, looked at her until she gruffly said "Come on" and they turned down the laneway off in search of new beginnings.

I didn't miss my train but I did perhaps miss an opportunity. If I'd just said "Yes! Sparky! Where have you been?" and taken the little fella in, I could have called in to work, had them courier me the paperwork and I could have started an adoption leave. I'm not much of an opportunist first thing in the morning.


Mob said...

Don't you hate it when you get caught flatfooted like that, but who can be crafty at such an unGodly hour?

Creepy said...

Two words fer ya: bear mace. They sell it in easily dispensed cans. Especially up there in the great white north.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

It depends if the quotation comes at the end of the sentence or is embedded within it (about the punctuation thing).

Were Sparky and pissed off lady not waiting for you when you got home then?

Tenacious S said...

You cold-hearted bastard. A homeless dog and a woman who had already missed her train. Well, can't say I'd do anything different. I'm paid hourly.

mellowlee said...

Heehee! Your post totally made my day Dale :O)

BeckEye said...

You should've told her that the dog was obviously hers since it was following her. You seem like you would enjoy toying with the elderly. ;)

X. Dell said...

I take it that calling the animal shelter wasn't an option?

Sad to see a dog lost. It's obviously domesticated. I wonder what happened to it?

Fearless said...

I was hoping that the exchange would have gone in this direction...
"Does your dog bite?"
"No, my dog does not bite."
"I thought you said your dog does not bite."
(Insert Punchline Here)

Coaster Punchman said...

I'm so glad she didn't come to my door - I would have taken them both in and fed them.

We'll have to wait until Beth appears, but I think the punctuation always goes inside the quotes. Which makes sense to me sometimes and other times does not. For example:

"Get that smelly ass dog off my porch!" I told her. <---makes sense

That damn lady and her dog just interrupted my viewing of "101 Cum Shots." <--- this does not make sense to me, since in my view the period completes the entire sentence and not just the quote, which means it should come after the quote mark. Nonetheless, I believe it always goes inside the quote no matter what.

What is less clear is when you have a quote within a quote at the end of a sentence. Here I am never sure what to do:

Poor George said this morning "how many more times am I going to have to listen to you watch 'Dreamgirls?'" <--- Someone please clear this rule up for me. Thank you.


deadspot said...

It depends upon your style guidelines and upon which side of the Atlantic you are currently residing. British English and American English handle the punctuation differently.

Flannery Alden said...

Way to dodge the question, Deadspot.

I happen to have my copy of the APA Style Guide handy.

When a period or comma occurs with closing quotation marks, place the period or comma before rather than after the quotation marks. Put other punctuation (e.g., colon, semicolon) outside quotation marks unless it is part of the quoted material.

For example:

At the beginning of each episode, Ryan Seacrest says, "This is American Idol."

After Ryan Secrest says, "This is American Idol," the show begins.

Did Ryan Seacrest forget to say, "This is American Idol"?

By the way, Dale, lovely story regardless of punctuation. Isn't it wonderful to brush up against a bad day and avoid crashing into it?

Chancelucky said...

this dog story sounds strangely like one of your dreams.

You sure it actually happened in quotes or not?

Coaster Punchman said...

Thanks, Flan. I'm glad at least one of us is not too damn lazy to take a book off the shelf and check.

Anonymous said...

I'll bet Sparky runs the same scam every time he gets tired of the dogfood selection at home.

Bubs said...

You put on pants before you go to work?

Geeti Das said...

"Who let the dogs out?" would have been too clever by 'arf.

deadspot said...

P'raps, Flan, but we both know that the APA Style Guide is the fruit of the devil.

BeckEye said...

Good Lord, that whole quotation mark/punctuation business has caused me many a headache. Here is a good, handy reference I found on the web some time ago: The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation.

I used to have a Style Guide, but who knows where it is. Maybe the dog ate it.

Mel said...

They say dogs pick thier owners, that dog had picked her. I hope she took it home.

So when is a good time for a home invasion? I am hoping no time!

Writeprocrastinator said...

The "Lost" Dog: No, you don't understand lady, we gotta go back there! That guy puts on shows! He dances on his deck with the ghosts of Gene Kelley and Jerry The Mouse!

Beth said...

Call me next time you're confused about punctuating inside v. outside the quotation marks. I can 'splain it — and even make it sound interesting.

John Mutford said...

You should have started following her too, maybe picked up a few more strays on the way.

Malnurtured Snay said...

You should have your doorbell rigged so anyone ringing it before 8am gets hit with a shotgun blast.

Valerie said...

This sounds like the beginning of some oddball movie...

Dale said...

My craftiness usually requires much planning Mob and then I still suck at it. Mornings, I'm caught unawares of just about everything.

Is the mace for the would be home invaders, the lady or the dog Creepy? I'd use it on you maybe if you got too close to my secret location.

Thanks Barbara. I half expected to see the poor little fella tied to my fence but no sign of either.

Thank you for the compliment Ten S. I will treasure it always. I'm paid hourly. Made me laugh.

Why Mellowlee? Did you send her to my door just to see my stunned expression?

Oh Beckeye, I'm so scared of what will happen to me at the nursing home when I get there. I'll push that buzzer once too often and the nurses will torture me. I'm crotchety now. Look out.

You may soon know X. Dell. Considering I wrote the next post before commenting here, I'm pretty sure, all's well that ends well.

The dog was too cute to bite, the lady however? She bared her teeth a few times Fearless.

My lawyer told me all copies of my debut film '101 Cum Shots' had been removed from the market Coaster Punchman! Do you know how tired I was after all the shooting it took to make? Thank you for the assistance in helping to almost clear up my quotation confusion. Dreamgirls again?!

Thank you Deadspot. I wondered if the dog was you at first but he wasn't in as bad a shape.

Flannery! Excellent examples and thanks for clearing things up a bit more. Glad you liked the story and I'm glad I avoided the crash landing too.

I've been having really strange dreams lately Chancelucky but this one actually happened!

Everything she does, she does for the greater good CP.

Brilliant deduction and a liklihood PinkFluffySlippers.

It was a special day I guess Bubs. I often forget to put them on but nobody seems to mind.

Oh Geeti Das, why didn't I think of that? Clearly, I need you, that's why.

Thanks for keeping her in check Deadspot, you know what she's like!

Or I could just stick with italics and leave use air quotation marks Beckeye. Thanks for the link. Youse guys is smart.

Any time I'm not home is okay if it's got to happen Mel but I tend to want it not to happen too.

Wouldn't he have laughed to see such sport Write Procrastinator?

You're my go to guy Beth.

I should have just to see what else happened to her that day John.

Now that's good thinking Malnatured Snay. Who says you're malnatured?

It could have set off quite a set of events for any of the characters involved Valerie but I just went to work. The End. Almost.