An old, geriatric Akita mix is standing in the middle of the road.
I tell her this is a very bad idea, to which she replies by trotting further down the middle of the road. She is heedless to the danger around her.
Mina decides this is a Very Good Moment to spew forth a volley of insults to the dog, who curiously stares at us and then decides this vehicle is a source of ridiculous things, like Pit Bulls.
I follow her down the road. She turns back and walks up to my car. Hey, I coo softly. Want to go for a ride? Oh wait. I mean, want to go for a walk to wherever you live? Because I'm sorry, but my dogs fail at helping other dogs. Ignore the barking Pit Bull and snarling Mexi-mutt.
She does. Me too, though. I continue slowly. She keeps looking and trotting back and then forward.
I notice her name tag - Nellie.
Nellie! I say this in an upbeat voice. Pausing, Nellie looks at me expectantly. Um, come! Ha, tail in my face and a dog further up the road.
I stand for a few seconds trying to figure out what to do, when Nellie comes back around the corner staring at me.
Ah, a summons. I hop back into the car with my screaming she-demons and follow Nellie.
She takes me to her home.
When I get out of the car, her tail starts wagging. See? You CAN follow directions!! I go up to the door and knock. Nellie barks to let the people inside know that this isn't a solicitor but a Very Important Dog Person.
No one answers. We are both chagrined.
I find the open gate she had wandered out of and point it out to her. Oh, she says and goes in.
And that is that.
I will be doing a little welfare check on her over the next few days, because it is simply sinful to leave an arthritic, old dog named Nellie alone in the yard with a ramshackle gate as her only barrier to the outside world.
When I get back in the car, Mina is mournful. Her source of ire has disappeared. Celeste is whining.
You are the worst dog-catching assistants, I tell them. Sternly, too. Mina has it in her to look a little shameful. Celeste is still not sure why we were all upset in the first place.
Nellie barks to say goodbye, maybe thanks.