Days like this need to stop coming the week before finals. It began as a nice run along the Mesa trail to enjoy the 70 degree weather in December, and for a while all was going well.
Unlike most days, nobody was out on the trail, and unlike most days, it wasnt freezing cold outside. Everything was joyful with color. As I was taking a moment away from leaping over the various boulders, logs and bushes in the pathway, a little dog ran around the corner without any people following. He ran up to my feet and then dropped down to a sprawl out by my feet. He looked thoroughly exhausted for the reason, I would find out later, was that he had a fond habit of chasing deer.
Being a little tired myself, I decided that we would each sit on the ground, and I would pet his ears a little bit. None of his tags had any numbers, but he did have his rabies shot. This was a reassuring feature for me.
Several people walked by, commenting on how nice my dog was, but none of them could say they were the owner, or where a potential owner might be. I was stuck with him until a couple came running up the trail dressing in everyday clothes, ran up to the dog, past the dog, and kept on going. It looked like they had decided to abandon their dog, but they were the only people who could give me some information. They told me there had been a young man calling the name Malcolm into the woods further down the trail. Now I knew a name. “Okay Malcolm” I said to my new furry friend, who was now sniffing around the bushes, “Time to go.”
Malcolm was a runner. I almost lost him a few times to a deer trail. He was a dedicated hunting animal. As I got closer to the base of Chataqua mountain, people kept telling me I was getting closer.
Eventually I found the owner at the base of the mountain. At Least I had a good reason for being late to class that day.