You can't always get what you want. Francesca and I were aiming for a quiet night last Friday. She had prepared a lovely meal and we were planning to enjoy a movie when there was a knock on the door. It was my son, Ian, holding a fat, old dog. He had found it wandering in the rain a few blocks away.
The ancient French bulldog was frail and half-blind but not hungry enough to eat
our dog's food. With her considerable girth she looked like she could go weeks without eating.
Her name ("Pancha"), address, and phone number were on her collar. When we called we only heard a very young girl singing Mick Jagger's "You Can't Always Get What You Want". I let my son know we very much wanted him to find the owner in the next ten minutes, if possible.
He drove to the dog collar's address in an exclusive Miami Beach island enclave. The couple there said they'd just moved in and had no idea who had lived there before them. Ian offered them the dog. They graciously refused.
We texted Pancha's owner and near midnight got the reply, "Sorry, busy. Call you tomorrow". The dog, which resembled an old swollen sausage, bedded down for the night on our back porch.
In the morning she was dead, or at least she looked that way. Nothing was moving and she didn't respond to her name or "Porky". When I poked her girth her eyes barely opened. I was thankful I would not be burying her. It would have been a big hole.
Saturday afternoon, we got a phone message from a young woman who said, "I am the owner's assistant and am in a meeting all day". We tried feeding the finicky fatso but she wasn't interested.
We took her for a walk to encourage her to "do her thing". She didn't do any "thing". Nothing was going into or out of this smashed-faced pooch.
Finally at four, we got a call from the woman who said she'd be driving down from Broward County to pick up her boss' pet. An hour later a new Range Rover pulled into the driveway. An attractive Latina stepped out and we invited her in. Concha was glad to see her.
She explained that her employer had just moved to the Grove and was attending a wedding in Montana. I blurted out, "Gabrielle's wedding?" (I had just read that Burn Notice actress, Gabrielle Anwar, was marrying a local restaurateur at an exclusive ranch in the far-west state).
The assistant responded, "Yes, do you know her? It's her dog!". I told her "no", that I had only read about the British actress' wedding yesterday in the Herald's gossip column. She
went on to explain that the star-struck pig dog was one of a pair. She had no idea how the slow-moving 14-year-old had escaped.
A moment later the personal assistant was heading out the door with the spotted sausage in her arms. Now we could try that romantic evening again.
You can't always get what you want but this time, we did.