He was out there for several days, face down on the sidewalk in front of our house. Many passed him by, most pretending not to see him lying there. Even I ignored him at first. Heather thought he had fallen off a passing stroller on the way to Discovery Park. But when I saw that pumpkin nearby, it finally dawned on me: Halloween pranksters did him in.
I took pity. I prodded him in the back with my nose, and he didn’t smell so bad. He was still a little warm, too. So I looked at Mike with pleading eyes and gave him one soft whimper, and he indulged me, taking my new friend inside and running him through a gentle cycle in the washing machine and dryer.
Now, I’ve already accumulated a fine collection of tennis balls on my walks. I think I’ve got five or six sitting in the basket by the front door, not to mention my red, spongey ball and my tiny fabric ball, both of which I found in Discovery Park. Those are my “inside balls” that I like to push under the furniture so Mike has to get down on the floor and fetch them for me. I keep those in the kitchen. I found all those balls outside, every damn one of them.
But this new find is my greatest prize. I call him Mr. Monkey, and I like to carry him around with me inside the house. I even let him hang around in my crate while I’m sleeping. After all, he’s got a nice smile, and he doesn’t seem at all interested in the treats I’ve been stockpiling underneath my pillow. Of all my buddies, he seems like he’d be the most trustworthy, since I know that everybody’s got something to hide except for me and my monkey.