Our landlord was a smooth talking Louisiana man who always wore a suit with a bow tie and drove a big white Caddie that resembled a 25 foot boat more than a car. I'm not sure how it really got around corners. He was a nice man and regretted to inform us that since we had indeed broken the rules, we would have to leave.
We found a place up Magazine Street a bit, a little closer to All Natural, the health food store we used to go to, and to the levee around Audubon park. I would ride my bike up the Camp street cobble stones and Grumble would follow along. If I went to the A&P, he would wait outside. If I went to the park, he would run along side my bike. Only if I went to the French Quarter would I sometimes put him on a leash, but I rarely brought him there so he was rarely on a leash.
One day, when I was out on my run with him, I saw a man on a second floor balcony carrying a dog out of the corner of my eye. As I got closer I could hear he was yelling something. Then I noticed there was a dumpster below the corner of the balcony.
"Hey! What are you doing with that dog?!" I yelled.
"I'm gonna throw 'er in the dumpster!"
"Stop!" I yelled. "I'll take her!"
I ran up the stairs with Grumble following along behind and met the man face to face. He was a fowl looking man, drunken and unshaven. I could see there were children in the apartment through the cracked doorway, dirty and blonde still in their underwear.
Now I was not in some bad neighborhood. I was running off St. Charles Avenue where all the nice restaurants and mansions are and the huge oak trees line the streetcar tracks.
The man didn't have a leash so he went inside and got me a necktie. The dog was terrified. He threw a bag of dog food at me. The children's eyes looked low at me and I wished I could take them too.
The last thing I needed was a dog, however, much less any stray children. How could anyone even think to throw a dog off a balcony into a dumpster? How was this dog raised? Who could be so cruel to an innocent animal? I wondered if the children were even in school and what they were doing there.
It was difficult getting the lean, black, female dog back to my apartment with the necktie always coming loose as she would resist and then try to run forward quickly. The tie was made of a slippery material and I had a good seven or eight blocks to walk with her, the dog food and Grumble.
Finally, I got her home. I could not believe what had just happened. Now what was I going to do with this dog?
Well, first thing's first - so I gave her a bath. 'Tomorrow I'll bring her to the vet,' I thought. I made her a little bed and gave her skinny self some food and went on about the rest of my day crossing my fingers nothing else out of the ordinary would happen.
To be continued.....