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He wiped the sweat off his brow and flapped his shirt against his chest. It was already 83 degrees outside and it was only 9:30 in the morning. Fifteen minutes ago, Grant had asked to go on a bike ride and he’d figured that this early in the morning wouldn’t be too miserable temperature-wise.
The swamp-ass infesting his shorts was telling him otherwise. “Okay, Grant, let’s go down this street then head back home, we could both use some water.”
That wasn’t just a cop-out. Grant was red-faced and huffing a bit as he pedaled his neon green bike. Any time the street inclined even a bit, his father had to give him a little shove in the back to get the wheels turning.
A few houses away from their own, Grant stopped the bike and pointed.
“Dad, there’s a dog in our yard!”
His father snapped his head up and narrowed his eyes towards their front lawn. Sure enough, there was a medium-sized brown dog just chilling out in the grass.
Hey champ, I get that it’s some luscious grass, but I don’t need you tearing it up.
“Yep, it sure is a dog, Grant. Bike up slow, you don’t know if it’ll get scared.”
He half-hoped the dog would just leave the yard as they approached. While he could appreciate a cute dog like anyone else, he’d never been one of those people who absolutely HAD to own one. Especially since he already had a small creature that was effective at making messes and taking up all his time.
They approached apprehensively, as in he walked slowly and held an eager Grant by his shirt. Anticipating that the dog would bolt was incorrect. It cheerfully walked up to them and tentatively sniffed their ankles, then allowed Grant to gently pet it.
While Grant petted and smiled wide, his father looked for a collar or tag but had no such luck. The dog was too well-groomed and cheerful to be a stray but must have slipped his collar.
Grant, still petting profusely, looked at his father. “Is this our new dog?!?”
Are you paying for it and taking care of it? Then no, hell no, it’s not, son.
“Uh, I don’t think so, buddy, I think this is someone else’s dog. They’ll find it. Come on, let’s go inside.”
He turned to head towards the front door, then turned back around and got his phone out.
Might as well post a picture in the neighborhood Facebook and see if the owner comes out of the woodwork.
Picture taken and Facebook post done, he motioned for Grant to come inside. He was immediately followed by the dog. Grant smiled.
“He wants to come inside with us!”
“Well, buddy, that’s just not going to happen. Inside we’ve got…” he trailed off, trying to think of anything inside that was valuable at all. “I don’t think our landlord would let us have a dog.” He knew their landlord probably wouldn’t care, but still.
Grant’s eyes started to well up, and he knew he at least had to make sure the dog wasn’t wandering the streets. “Grant, why don’t we see if he wants to go to the backyard? We will put some water out for him.” Grant’s teary eyes immediately dried up and he sprinted to the side gate with the dog following him. His father opened it, let the dog slip past him into the backyard, then shut the gate.
As he and Grant walked back towards their front door to get into the house, he asked Grant “So what should we name the dog while it’s here until his owner comes to get him?”
Grant pondered for a moment, then said “Captain Poop Pants!”
Yeah, not gonna work.
“How about Mauer instead?”
Grant thought on it, then replied “Okay, Mauer. Can I go play with him?”
“Let’s put some water out and let him get acquainted with the backyard. Then maybe if his owner hasn’t come to get him, you can play with him a bit.”
By the time they’d gotten inside and filled up some tupperware with water, Mauer The Stray Dog was digging up the small basil plant he had growing in the backyard. He banged on the glass door to startle the dog and get him away.
Great, now next time I make chicken parm I’m going to have to buy basil at the store like a commoner.
Despite his initial trepidation at keeping the dog around the house, aside from the basil massacre, the rest of the afternoon was smooth sailing. Mauer proved to be energetic but gentle and enjoyed running around with Grant in their small backyard. As he watched his son play his first game of fetch, he wondered if it wasn’t time to start building the classic bond of boy and dog.
Well, I’d be dumb as shit to take on much more financial burden, especially not knowing what Great Hills is going to cost. Not to mention Grant takes up all my free time anyway, and the house is already a mess all the time. But, it’d give him someone to play with and get his energy out. And teach responsibility. Shit, I wonder how much boarding a dog costs now.
By the late evening, they decided to let a seemingly less energetic Mauer into the house, making up a mat of towels on the kitchen floor. He felt that he’d been checking his post on the neighborhood Facebook every fifteen minutes in half-hope that someone would come claim him, but no one did. The only thing that had come of the post was a neighbor bringing over some dog food for Mauer’s dinner.
Grant hugged the tired stray before heading to bed around 8:30. As his father sat on the couch and turned on the TV to watch the dog’s namesake play baseball, Mauer walked over and laid down by his legs on the carpet. Initially anxious that he might pee inside or just get hair/dirt all over the carpet, eventually he found it quite relaxing just watching baseball with the pup.
You know, having a dog might not be so bad.
He had nearly drifted off to sleep on the couch when he noticed his phone lit up with a Facebook notification.
“Oh thank goodness! That’s my sister’s dog, she lives over in the Falls of Woodmark, I don’t know how he got that far! What’s your address?” .
If you’re enjoying following “PostGrad Single Dad,” be sure to go listen to the latest episode of “The DadGum Podcast,” live on Grandex Labs.