"You said it was like this when you found it?" I said.

"Yeah," Mia said, nodding.

The dog's jaw hung open, its tongue lolled out of the side of its mouth.

"Are you sure?" I said.

"Yes! It just started to follow me, and I didn't do anything."

I looked at the dog. It wagged its tail and grinned. It looked like a German Shepherd, but it was too small.

"That true, dog?" I said.

"Que?" said the dog, tilting its head, still happy, but confused at the same time. "Lo siento; no te entiendo."

"I didn't do it!" Mia said. "I don't even know how to speak Spanish."

"We can't take him home," I said. "Mom's allergic."

"But he's so cute!" Mia said.

"Leave him alone and he'll find his own way home, right dog?"

"Lo siento," the dog said. "No hablo Ingles."

"See? He'll be fine."

Before Mia could say anything, a car pulled up along the sidewalk and a man came out.

"Ese mi perro!" he said. "Tomas! Tomas!"

The dog ran to the man, jumping and wagging its tail like crazy. The man knelt down to give the dog a hug.

"Gracias!" said the man, looking at us. He got up and opened the car door, and the dog jumped into the passenger side. The man went inside for a moment, then came back out.

"Gracias!" he said again, he held out his hand, and gave me and Mia five dollars each. Then he got into his car and drove away.

"So that's okay then," I said.

Mia looked like she was deep in thought.

"Mom's not allergic to cats, is she?"

"Don't," I said.

"But a talking cat--"


We walked home.


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