I was walking Annie in a place that, as I reflect on it now, suggested a composite of several neighborhoods that I’ve lived in or that I once frequented.
I spotted a stray white toy poodle – a much younger, well-groomed version of Annie, another “poodelini,” as my ex-gf (she was already my ex by then) used to like to say. The setting, as well as the youth of the dog I guess, made me recall a day years before the ex-gf and Annie, when I was out walking in my old East Hollywood/Los Feliz neighborhood, and encountered a wandering half-naked toddler, and I coaxed him into accompanying me while I went looking for his parents.
I picked the little poodle dog up while also holding on to Annie – who had herself been a foundling, a stray, 13 years ago, first spotted crossing a busy street along with what must have been a littermate (rescued by another motorist). I checked this new stray’s collar. Had a tag and information, as well as a charm of the sort you’d see on a keychain, with the words “God and Country” printed clearly across its face and further identifying the dog as belonging to a military veteran, a fact confirmed by passers-by who had by then joined us.
I noticed that Annie was gone, had somehow slipped out of my hands. Holding on to the young poodelini, I couldn’t see Annie anywhere, couldn’t figure out what happened to my old, blind doggie.