[Short Story]The Waiting Dog

photo of siberian husky puppy

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Romero has a café in the park. It is called The Park Café. Romero thinks the name is boring, but he can’t think of a better name. The Park Café is very popular in summer. Many people come to the park to walk their dogs.

Romero likes dogs and he is a smart businessman. Dogs cannot come into the café, but Romero has a special area for dogs outside. Dog walkers can tie their dogs up there. They can see their dogs through the window. Romero has bowls of water and treats for dogs. It is good for business.

One Saturday, the café was very busy. The dog area was full. The café was full. Romero did not notice that one dog had been there for a very long time. The café closes at 4pm. All the customers left. Romero was surprised to see that there was still one dog tied up outside. He looked around his café. It was empty. He went outside to talk to the dog.

“Where is your owner? Did your owner forget you and go home without you?”

The dog wagged its tail and barked.

Romero looked at the dog. It was a nice dog. It was clean and well fed. He looked at the dog’s collar. There was a tag on the collar with the name Lucien, and a telephone number.

He went inside and called the telephone number. There was no answer. Romero did not know what to do.

He went into the kitchen and found some leftover hamburger. He put it in the bowl and took it out to the dog.

I will have to call the people who take dogs that are on the streets, he thought. But first I will clean up. While Romero was cleaning his café and kitchen he watched the dog out the windows. It was a very nice dog.

Finally Romero finished his work. His last job was to take the bags of garbage out. When he went out to the back of the café he got a big shock. There was a man lying on the grass. Romero thought he was dead, but he ran inside and called an ambulance.

The ambulance came. Romero was right. The man was dead. “It looks like a heart attack,” said the ambulance men. “He’s been dead for hours.”

The police came. It was dark and Romero went outside and brought the dog into the café. It’s against the rules, he thought. But I don’t care. That poor dog has been alone for hours waiting for his owner.

Romero sat in the café with the dog. The dog put his head against Romero’s knee and Romero patted him.

Finally the police said. “The dog belonged to the dead man. The man’s name was Raoul Findeas. It seems he had no family. We will take the dog now.”

“No,” said Romero. “I will keep the dog.”

“OK,” said the police and went away.

“Well,” said Romero to the dog. “It has been a hard day for you, but I will take you home. And I think I will change the name of my café. I think I will call it Lucien’s Café. What do you think?”

The dog barked.