Last year at Christmas time, I was out with Kyrie and Rebel on a very long walk, and Kyrie hurt her foot. I didn't know what to do -- it was around 9 PM, very cold and very dark, and we were all the way down in the far end of Sigmund Stern Grove -- absolutely alone.
I'd left my cell phone at home. And there were no pay phones in the park, which, for those who don't live here, is more like a wild canyon than a regular city park.
By the time we climbed up the hill out of the park, it was obvious Kyrie wasn't going to make it home. So I looked around the quiet neighborhood, hoping to see a house that just screamed, "Non-paranoid dog lovers live here."
There was one house with its lights on, both the interior house lights and Christmas lights, with a brilliantly lit Christmas tree in the window. Even the porch light was on. And no stairs. So I took a chance and rang their doorbell.
A man answered, and I said I lived on the other side of the park. I explained my plight and asked if he could call my mom and have her come pick us up. I could hear his dogs barking, and he asked me to wait a minute, and shut the door.
He came back almost immediately. "I put the dogs in the back room," he said. "Here's my phone."
I called my mom, and she said she'd be right over. Then he asked if his children could meet Rebel and Kyrie. I said of course, and the two most adorable children came out, in plaid flannel PJs and little bathrobes with belts, one boy, one girl. And their mom. And they had dog cookies for Rebel and Kyrie, who took them carefully, as they always take things from children. Then the entire family waited with us on their lawn until my mom pulled up in her little Scion.
I got the dogs into the back of her car, and we went home.
This year, both Rebel and my mom are gone. Kyrie and I just got home from a short walk. I remembered my phone, but nothing happened.