My husband Peter and I just got married and decided do start our marriage off right by getting a puppy. We’d both grown up with dogs and we just knew that our little family wouldn’t be complete without a cute dog. We ended up adopting a Golden Retriever and named him Marvin.
We just moved in to our house that we’re renting about a week before the wedding, so we hadn’t really met the neighbors yet. We took Marvin on a walk around the neighborhood the first few nights that we had him and we got to meet a lot of other people that were out walking their dogs, but we still hadn’t met anyone from the house right next door.
Well one morning, I took Marvin outside to do his business. It was early, around 7 on a Saturday morning. It was a quiet morning and I thought I’d risk taking Marvin out without his leash. We didn’t have a fenced in yard, so we usually took him out on a leash and walked him around the yard. But he’d been really good about listening to us and I hadn’t really seen very many squirrels in the area and it was a quiet dead end street, so I wasn’t too worried about taking him out front without his leash.
At first, everything was fine. Marvin walked around and didn’t take advantage of his newfound freedom. He did his business and stopped to sniff at the tree before trotting back to me. But then, he stopped. His ears twitched and he turned his attention to the house next door and started sniffing at the air. And then he was gone. He took off running faster than I thought those little legs could carry him. He crossed my yard and then the neighbor’s, running up their steps, and to my absolute horror, through the dog door that I hadn’t known existed.
I stood there with my jaw open, not knowing what to do. I was in pajama shorts and a ratty old shirt, and my dog had just ran into a stranger’s house. Several seconds after he disappeared, I forced my feet to move and made my way up the stairs and knocked on the neighbor’s door, wondering what I would find.
The door opened to a woman not much older than I was, holding a squirming Marvin under one arm. He was licking his chops, trying to get the last of something off his lips. The woman smiled and introduced herself as Hannah before she handed Marvin to me and explained how he had raced through her doors and straight to the kitchen table, where she’d just finished setting down her breakfast: a full plate of sausage, eggs, and toast. He’d jumped up on her lap without hesitation and slurped down half of her food before she could stop him. Fair to say that it was the most interesting way to meet my neighbor, who actually became my best friend.