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Fiction

Losing Mojo

The two of us sat in the middle of the floor in our new living room, surrounded by boxes and a few empty Boreal bottles. We were exhausted and finished off the last two of the pack as we looked around the space. Every once in awhile we would make eye contact and grin at each other, then move on. I looked back at the box I was leaning against which contained an exorbitant amount of books – all of which had passed the test during the pre-move purge. I couldn’t believe we had been able to get it all up the stairs. At least now the hard part was over. But then I looked around at the countless other boxes labeled “kitchen”; “linens”; “clothes;” or, worst of all, “misc.” and realized that it probably wasn’t. Looking at all of them I began to feel slightly nauseous so I closed my eyes and took a breath. When I opened them again I looked passed the boxes and piled-up furniture towards the kitchen. It was a big, beautiful kitchen with lots of counter space and a huge window looking out over the backyard, part of which our landlord had said we had access too. I was excited to grow tomatoes and squash once summer came around, and for now planned on growing herbs right there in the kitchen. There was plenty of light. The thought made me smile. Behind me was our bedroom — not enormous but definitely big enough for our queen-sized bed, dressers, and an arm chair which I knew was destined to become covered in clothes. Next to that was a smaller room which would double as an office and guest room.

“Guest room,” I mouthed almost silently to myself.

The word was strange to me, or at least the idea that we should have one was. We had just moved out of a studio, and before moving in with Hope I had lived with three roommates. But she had been working as a teacher for a couple of years now and when I got the job at the magazine it had just made sense to find a nicer place. It was modest but comfortable and I felt happy that Hope and I would be sharing our lives here.

“What are you smiling about?” she asked.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever had extra space,” I said.

“I know, isn’t it crazy? And we’re so close to the park!”

It was true. We were just two blocks away from Parc Laurier.

“Mhm,” I said. “Maybe I’ll start running again.

She rolled her eyes and slapped me playfully on the knee. I had been saying I wanted to start running again for over a year.

 

We slept in sleeping bags on top of the bed that night and, having never been much of a camper, I couldn’t get myself to sleep passed 6 o’clock. Eventually I swung my legs over the side of the bed and went into the kitchen. The coffee maker was buried deep in one of the kitchen boxes, so I started slowly taking things out and finding places for them among the cabinets. Hope woke up pretty soon after I had in order to be in her classroom before the kids got there at 7:30. I heard her come into the kitchen, but I let her surprise me by wrapping her arms around my waist.

“Good morning,” I said, smiling as she kissed the bottom of my neck.

“You’re up early,” she whispered.

“Yeah, I don’t know, I just figured I’d get started. I’m never going to get any work done until things are at least somewhat in order.”

I turned around and kissed her and she gently pulled on my hair, which was hanging down around my shoulders instead of in its usual braid.

“Well thanks for doing that,” she said pulling away from me gently. “I’m really not going to have time to do much unpacking until the weekend.”

“That’s okay.”

She went back to the bedroom and then reemerged with a towel.

“That doesn’t mean you get to make all the decisions about where things go,” she said as she sauntered into the bathroom.

I grinned.

By the time she got out of the shower I had unpacked all of the kitchen stuff. It wasn’t all put away, but it was all out of boxes and strewn across every counter. I expected her to comment on the mess, but instead she leaned on the counter and stared at me, her arms crossed.

“Paige,” she said.

“Yes?”

I was thinking in the shower… and last night, actually… that maybe…”

She paused and I stopped what I was doing to look at her.

“I was thinking that maybe we could get a dog.”

I laughed and shook my head, almost out of habit.

“Why not?” she whined. “You just said last night how much room we have and you work from home so there’d be someone home with it almost all the time!”

My reflex was to argue but I couldn’t dispute anything she had said so I stayed silent.

 

Over the next few weeks the apartment started to come together. The prints and paintings and maps we had collected over the years went up on the walls and I made the bed up with the winter bedding since it was starting to get cold. We bought a simple Ikea futon for the guest room/office and put my desk against the wall across from it. In the mornings I would sit in my wheely chair researching and writing articles, and in the afternoons I would unpack boxes. One morning I finished my writing for the day and headed to the living room to work on the unpacking. There was only one box in the corner and when I opened it I realized that it was filled with Hope’s personal nick-nacks, which I had no idea what to do with. I looked at my phone. 1 pm. Hope wouldn’t be home for another four hours at least. I sighed and grabbed my laptop then spent the rest of the day watching Downton Abbey, reading, and creating Spotify playlists. At 5:15 while sitting on the couch doing absolutely nothing except waiting for Hope to get home I suddenly spoke out loud.

“This is boring,” I said to no one, feeling lonely.

Finally, around 6 o’clock she got home and we each had a glass of wine as we made dinner. When she turned her back to me to stir the rice I knocked back what was left in my glass and prepared to make an announcement.

“I’ve been thinking about what you said about getting a dog,” I said.

She turned to me with raised eyebrows, her blue eyes bright with expectation.

“I think it’s a good idea.”

She squealed in delight but I kept talking, mostly to justify the idea to myself.

“It’s been pretty quiet with you working so much and me here, and I think I’d like the company. Plus, I mean, if we have the space and I have the time, and there are so many dogs out there that need a home, why not?”

She was already hugging me.

“Yes, yes, yes, yes!” she said, separating each “yes” with a quick kiss. “Can we go tomorrow?”

 

We couldn’t go the next day because Hope worked all day and we had made plans with friends for dinner. But the day after was Saturday so she woke me up far earlier than the wine I had drunk the night before agreed with and we went. We took the train to Namur metro station and after spending only ten minutes slightly lost we made it to the SPCA. A bell jingled as I opened the door, and I was overwhelmed by the smell of cats.

“Bonjour, hi,” the young woman in paw-print scrubs behind the reception desk said to us.

“Hi,” Hope replied as she walked towards her. “I’m Hope, and this is my partner, Paige. We’re interested in adopting a dog.”

“Wow, good for you two!” the lady said enthusiastically. “Have you been thinking about this long?”

“Well,” Hope explained, “I’ve been wanting a dog for forever and we just moved into a nice new place that allows dogs. Paige’s been thinking about it since we moved in and she finally agreed.”

The lady looked at me so I grinned and shrugged my shoulders.

“Well, that’s good you took the time to think about it,” she said. “It’s a big decision.”

“That it is,” I said.

“Well would you like to see the dogs?”

The question was apparently rhetorical because she she spoke she got up from her seat and led us to a back room. The entire room was lined with crates, almost all of them containing a dog.

“Oh my God,” Hope said.

She was excited, but I heard a hint of sadness in her voice, which I understood. Some of the dogs were barking and some were silent, but they all stared at us with deep, hopeful eyes. We walked along the row of crates and my heart swelled as I looked at each of them. I couldn’t imagine picking just one but I knew, of course, that we’d have to. Towards the end of the row, there was a crate that seemed empty and Hope walked right passed it. But I peered inside and all of a sudden felt my breath catch in my throat. Inside, sitting silently just in front of the wall, was a German Shepherd mix. He was quiet, but he didn’t seem dejected. He just sat with his two jet-black front paws poised perfectly in front of him and stared back at me.

“Hopey!”

Hope came back and stood next to me. She was silent for a moment and I was afraid she would say he didn’t interest her. But when I looked over at her she was smiling peacefully and I knew she felt exactly as I did.

“Oh,” the lady said. “That’s Mojo. He came here about a month ago with his name on his collar but no phone number. We’ve been looking for the owner but no luck.”

“So he’s available?” I asked.

“As of about a week ago, yes. Do you want to take him for a walk and see how he feels?”

We both nodded and soon we were headed out the door with a poop bag, treats, and Mojo in hand. He seemed immediately at ease and pranced around on his beautiful black paws as we walked. He didn’t pull on the leash, and every once in awhile he would pause his sniffing and look back at us with a big doggy smile.

“He’s amazing,” Hope said half way through the walk. “And he looks like he’s wearing little dress socks.”

When we got back to the shelter we told the lady we were in love with him. She had us fill out an application and told us she’d give us a call in a few days. Exactly three days later, we brought Mojo home.

 

The things that I disliked about Mojo are as follows: His farts stank like potato salad left out too long in the sun.

The things that I loved about Mojo are as follows: Everything else.

 

Just one day after we got him, I was sitting at my desk trying unsuccessfully to write an article about “ways to stay stylish in the winter” without turning it into clickbait. I was bored by the topic and failing miserably. Perhaps driven mad by the writers’ block, I decided to venture down the rabbit hole of reading comments on past articles I had written. I had recently written an article on the price/quality difference between womens’ and mens’ clothing— an article I had found quite obvious when I wrote it but which had gained quite  bit of traction. In that comment section I was called a feminazi, a cunt, a bitch, and a worthless piece of shit. I was told to kill myself, told I should be fired, and told that if I wrote another article like that one the person would find me and rape me, “to give me something real to complain about”.

I sat at my desk for a long moment, then slammed my laptop shut and made my way to the couch where I curled into a tiny ball and squeezed my eyes shut. After a minute my cheek felt wet and I wondered if I had started to cry without realizing it. I opened my eyes and saw that Mojo had pressed his nose against me. When we made eye contact he jumped up and lay down on top of me. There we stayed and eventually I fell asleep. When I woke up he was curled up on the other end of the couch and I was feeling a whole lot better.

“Fuck those ignorant assholes, right Mo?”

His ears perked up and I laughed. I spent the rest of the day typing away until Hope came home and it was time for a walk.

But, as it always does, writer’s block came again. But this time, I didn’t torture myself with confronting misogyny and I didn’t lose myself in countless videos of baby goats in pajamas. Instead, I went to my room, changed into an old pair of Nike leggings that had been pushed to the back of the drawer, and laced up my sneakers.

“Let’s go, Mojo,” I said, grabbing the leash.

Right away he jumped up from where he was lying on the floor and ran to the front door. Once we were on the sidewalk I started to stretch and he looked at me, confused. Soon he got over it and sniffed the weeds poking through the cracks in the pavement. Once I was done, I tugged on the leash and took off in a slow jog. Mojo loved the run. Usually a big stop-and-sniffer on walks, he didn’t pause once. In fact, each time I started to falter he pulled ahead and kept me moving. The next day, we did it again.

September turned into October and the weather got colder. Mojo and I still ran three times a week, though, and on weekends all of us, Mojo, Hope, and I, went on walks in the late afternoon. One sunday, we were finishing up in Parc Laurier. Our cheeks and noses were rosey from the chill and Hope and I were both smiling underneath our scarves. As we approached the edge of the park, a woman ran up to us. Well, it was more like she ran up to Mojo.

“Oh my God!” she squealed as she wrapped her arms around him.

Mojo seemed unfazed and even bored. I smiled thinly, but felt somewhat irritated. Many people wanted to pet Mojo in the park, but usually they would ask permission, or at least not be so intrusive about it. The woman stayed there, kneeling down and hugging Mojo for what began to seem like an inappropriate amount of time. Hope and I glanced at each other and then she cleared her throat.

“Hi, can we help you?” she asked.

The woman finally looked up at us then stood, smiling.

“Yes, I’m so sorry,” she said. “But this is my dog! Thank you so, so much for finding him!”

My heart dropped suddenly into my stomach.

“What?” Hope asked.

“This is my dog, Mojo.”

“That’s impossible,” I said. “He’s our dog.”

The smile faded quickly from the woman’s face and she looked as confused as I felt.

“No, this is my dog!”

I pulled Mojo closer to me and Hope stepped in front of him.

“I lost him a few weeks ago. He escaped from the yard. His name is Mojo and he has black socks just like that!”

“I’m really sorry but this is our dog,” I said.

I walked away and Hope followed, struggling to keep up.

“That’s my dog!” the woman yelled, almost screamed, after us.

I could feel the people staring as we hurried towards home.

 

When we got home, neither Hope nor I really knew what to do. I started washing some dishes just so I wouldn’t have to look at her, but I could feel her gaze on me. Out of the corner of my eye I saw her sit down on the couch, still watching me.

“Paige,” she said finally.

I turned off the water.

“Can you come here?”

I dried my hands half-heartedly on the dish towel then joined her on the couch.

“We have to talk about this,” she said softly.

My reaction was more defensive that I had intended.

“There’s nothing to talk about! That lady is obviously nuts.”

“How do you know that? We’ve only had him for a little bit.”

The woman at the SPCA said they had searched for the owner. Plus, if she had lost her dog don’t you think she would have called them to check?”

“I don’t know, P, maybe something got fucked up in the system. Or maybe she just didn’t know to call.”

“Well, if that’s the case then she doesn’t even deserve to have a dog anyway.”

Hope just looked at me.

After a minute she said, “she knew his name”.

“Yeah, the name that’s on his collar.”

She sighed and shrugged her shoulders.

“Mojo is our dog. I’m not just going to hand over the leash to whoever says otherwise,” I said, resting my hand on her knee.

“I guess you’re right,” Hope said. Then she added, “but I think you should have at least listened to her.”

I got up abruptly and stomped into the bathroom, slamming the door behind me.

“Paige!” she called after me.

I took a long shower and then watched Netflix in my office until I was certain Hope was asleep.

 

The next day the doorbell rang while I was making lunch. Mojo barked and I stopped what I was doing.

“Mojo, stay!” I said sternly before making my way to the door.

When I opened it I couldn’t believe my eyes.

“Please don’t shut the door,” the woman from the park said as soon as we made eye contact.

“Can I come in?” she asked.

“No.”

I stepped outside and shut the door behind me.

“How did you even find this place?”

“I, well, I followed you home yesterday.”

“Unbelievable,” I said, although I had guessed as much. “I should call the cops, you know.”

“Please don’t.”

Her presence freaked me out, but she seemed calmer than she had the day before.

“I’m sorry about yesterday,” she said. “That must have been really scary for you. I’ve just been so upset since I lost my Mojo. When I found him I just lost it.”

“You didn’t find him. Not your dog anyway.”

“The dog came from the shelter with that name, didn’t he?”

I decided not to answer her question and instead asked my own.

“How long ago did you lose him?”

“About three weeks ago.”

I grinned triumphantly.

“Well, we adopted Mojo over a month ago, so…”

“Wait! Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’ve lost track of the days.”

“Okay,” I said, opening the door and stepping back inside.

“Please wait!”

The desperation in her voice stopped me against my better judgement.

“Mojo is always surprised by his own farts” she said. “He won’t eat his food unless you push his water bowl far enough away. He gets really scared if music is playing too loud and he loves to go on runs.”

I felt like I was going to throw up. I couldn’t manage any words but her face softened and I knew my own face must have given away my shock. She took a sharp breath.

“Do you have a piece of paper?” she asked, pulling a pen out of her bag.

I managed to take an envelope out of the mailbox and hand it to her. She scrawled her name and number onto it and gave it back to me.

“Please call me when you change your mind.”

I slammed the door in her face.

 

When Hope got home that evening Mojo and I were sitting on the couch, the envelope on my lap. When I heard the door open I somewhat unconsciously slid it into my pocket.

“Hey!” she said cheerfully and sat down next to me, pushing Mojo off.

“Hey,” I replied as she kissed me on the cheek.

“How was your day?”

“Um, fine.”

“Still weirded out by the Mojo thing?”

I opened my mouth but didn’t say anything. I knew this was my chance to tell her about the woman showing up at our door, but with each passing second it slipped away.

“Look, I’ve been thinking,” she said once she decided I was taking too long. “You’re probably right about Mojo. It’s crazy that she never checked in with the SPCA about him.”

“It is crazy.”

Which was true.

“And we have no real reason to doubt, right?”

“Mhm.”

Less true.

“So yeah, I think we can just forget it, okay?”

“Okay.”

I got up and went to the bedroom to change into my running clothes.

“Mojo, come!” I called when I was changed, then pulled him out the door without looking back at Hope.

 

I did manage to forget it, or at least put it on the back burner, for a few days. I researched, I wrote, I ran. Mojo was happy, Hope was happy, I was happy. By the time Saturday came around and Hope and I took Mojo on our family walk, I had all but forgotten about the issue. We took a long stroll that day, venturing beyond our normal Parc Laurier and down to Mont Royal where we walked all the way to the lookout. Fall was in full swing. The squirrels darted from tree to tree double-time, despite their pre-hibernation layers. The cool air gave Mojo more energy than usual, and he chased them delightedly around the park as Hope and I sipped our St Ambroise Pumpkin Ales. But eventually the sun set, catching us off guard. When it did the air turned suddenly quite cold, and we decided to head back. We were shivering by the time we got to the Mile End and I rushed into the apartment—a pot of tea my main concern. Hope took her time in the doorway and by the time she joined me in the kitchen the water was already simmering. Her expression had changed dramatically since we were both on the sidewalk. Her lips were pressed tightly together and her eyes were dark. An open envelope was clasped tightly in her left hand and some other sort of paper in her right.

“What’s that?” I asked, my pitch high as if trying to keep the mood light.

“Pictures of Mojo,” she said flatly.

The knot that had been lying dormant in my stomach all week suddenly swelled. I didn’t want to move but she shoved the photos into my hand so I looked at them. They were indeed pictures of Mojo. Mojo swimming in a lake, Mojo asleep on his back, Mojo as a puppy with his socked front paws looking extra huge, and Mojo with that woman in Parc Laurier. Behind the photos was a scrap of paper with some scrawled writing.

 

I don’t see how you could have any doubt after seeing these. You have my number.   Please call me.

 

— Alice

 

I looked up at Hope.

“Yes, I saw the note,” she snarled. “You have my number? What the fuck does that mean?”

“Look, she came by the other day asking me to reconsider.”

Hope scoffed.

“I didn’t think it was a big deal! Like you said, there’s no reason to believe her.”

“And she didn’t give you any reason to believe her when she came by?”

I must have hesitated just long enough.

“Jesus, Paige! Look at these pictures! This is her fucking dog!”

“How can you say that?” I yelled back. “He’s our dog. He’s at home here! I can’t believe you don’t even care.”

“Don’t care? Paige, I’m heartbroken. I love Mojo so so much. But you know who else must be heartbroken? The woman who lost her dog and now must feel like we kidnapped him.”

“But it doesn’t make any sense! The timeline is all messed up and it… it just can’t be right.”

Hope took a breath and then continued more calmly.

“I get that; I really really do. It’s totally possible that you’re right! But we can’t just take that as proof. We need to at least sit down with her like adults and figure this out.”

At this point my chin was quivering and my vision was getting blurry.

“You need to call her.”

 

And the next day I did call. I tried to set up a meeting for the following week, but in a cheerful, accommodating voice she assured me that she would cancel her plans and be over later that day.

“Great,” I said, then hung up. “She’ll be here at noon.”

“Okay,” Hope said from the couch where she was petting Mojo. “Do you want to take him for a walk?”

She didn’t say it, but the second half of her question hung in the air.

It might be your last chance to.

“No,” I said. “He looks too cozy. Let’s just stay here.”

We spent pretty much the whole morning on that couch. I scratched Mojo’s tummy and behind his ears for hours as we watched episode after episode of Stranger Things. Hope was completely lost in the story but I couldn’t concentrate. I constantly pressed the home button to check the time on my phone. At 11:55 the doorbell rang. I jumped and Hope quickly pressed pause. Then she got up, brushed some of the dog hair off her jeans, and went to the door. I listened with disdain to the mumbled pleasantries from my spot on the couch and did not get up when they entered the room. I did offer a brief hello, but my eyes were glued on Mojo. He lifted his head up off his paws and glanced at Alice. I held my breath, but he just put his head right back down and closed his eyes, unfazed.

“Hi Mojo!” Alice said with nervous enthusiasm.

He didn’t move — not even a slight wag of the tail. I did my best to hide my creeping smile. Alice’s face lost its warmth and she cleared her throat.

“Well, I think it’s best if we get right down to it,” she said briskly.

“Look,” I said. “The photos are very convincing, but they’re definitely not enough proof for us to let you take our dog away.”

“Mhm, I figured you would feel that way.”

Is this lady a fucking lawyer or something?

“So, I’ve gone ahead and gotten Mojo’s dental records from his vet.”

For a moment the room was completely silent as my mind raced.

“Well we don’t have his dental records,” I finally said.

“I bet the SPCA does,” Hope said.

Without meaning to, I shot her a nasty glare.

“What?” she spat back. “She’s going to get them eventually.”

I rolled my eyes.

“Okay,” Hope said as she took out her phone.

She spent a minute tapping the screen, then brought the phone up to her ear.

“Hello, yes… I’m fine, thanks. How are you? That’s great. Look, I adopted a dog a few weeks ago, and I was just wondering if you could send me his dental records…. Sure, my name is Hope McGregor and the dog’s name is Mojo. Do you have my email on file?... Great. Thanks so much.”

I already felt my heart sinking.

“Okay, well she’s going to email them to me.”

There was a long silence in the living room. I heard an ambulance go by outside of the window and after a few minutes noticed the sound of my laptop overheating. Hope cracked her knuckles twice and Alice tapped her long nails on the coffee table. Suddenly, Mojo farted so loud that he startled himself awake and he jumped up off the couch. Alice and Hope burst out laughing and plugged their noses. They laughed for too long, grateful for an excuse to fill the silence. The sound tore mercilessly at my brain. Finally, Hope calmed herself and looked at her phone.

“Oh, I got it!”

Alice took out her records in preparation and Hope moved to her computer.

“Does anyone even know how to look at these?” she said.

“Yes, I’m a doctor,” said Alice.

“Of course you are,” I mumbled under my breath.

We both joined Hope at the desk and stared at the images. I had never looked at dental records before, especially canine ones, but I looked intently anyway.

“These are the same,” Alice said.

“No!” I said looking frantically at Hope. “Maybe she’s lying.”

“Okay, that’s enough,” Alice said. “I feel I’ve been very patient so far. I’m obviously not lying. It would be far too easy to catch me.”

She sighed and turned to Hope.

“Look,” she said, her tone changing as if she were finally speaking to an adult. “I hate to say this, but if you don’t let me take my dog now I’m getting a lawyer.”

“That won’t be necessary.”

Hope came over to where I was standing and put her arms around me.

“Paige, go get Mojo,” she said softly.

I shook my head but then grabbed the leash from where it was hanging and went to the kitchen where Mojo had run to.

“Hey, buddy,” I whispered, squatting down next to him. “I’m so sorry.”

I kissed him on the head and clipped the leash to his collar. He jumped up, excited to go on a walk. I took him to the living room and handed the leash to Alice. Hope bent down to give him a scratch and I started to cry.

“I love you so much, Mojo,” I whimpered, wrapping my arms around him.

Alice pulled on the leash and began dragging him towards the door. Mojo’s tail sank between his legs but he didn’t bark or bite, just slowly followed her out. When they were gone, Hope put her hand on my back but I pulled away.

“Don’t talk to me,” I said and went into my office.

And I stayed there. For days I locked myself in, emerging only for a snack or to pee when I knew Hope had gone to work. I didn’t shower, I didn’t write, I didn’t check my social media. I just lay on the futon either staring at the ceiling or watching Planet Earth. I watched the episode on Deserts twice in a row and only noticed at the very end.

On the third day, Hope knocked on the door.

“Paige,” she said, more impatiently than her tone had expressed in the days before. “This is extremely unhealthy. I know you’re stronger than this. Haven’t you ever had your heart broken before?”

She waited on the other side of the door for a moment and then I heard her leave. I lay still, thinking. At least she understood that my heart was broken. The last time I had felt this way was when my ex, Lisa, had broken up with me. What had I done to get over her? That was years ago now. I had run. That summer I had run up the mountain every single day. I felt my feet slide to the floor and before I knew it I was changing into my leggings. When I was dressed, I opened the door and walked slowly to the living room to stretch. I lay down on the floor and twisted my left leg over my right. Just under a week ago I had been in this exact position when Mojo had come over and sat directly on my face. I smiled, then my heart cracked even more. There was no way I could run without Mojo.

I stayed in the living room until Hope came home.

“Did you run?” she asked when she saw me?

“I tried.”

“Well, that’s something. I’m going to make seafood pasta for dinner. Will you eat some?”

I nodded.

We mostly ate in silence, but it was the first real solid thing I had had in my stomach in a few days and it felt good. Hope finished before I did and sat, leaning back in her chair and staring at me. My eyes darted up at her a few times as I scraped the bottom of my bowl with my fork. She looked like she was on the verge of saying something to me each time. But just as I was putting down my fork the doorbell rang. I looked at her, unmoving.

“No, you get it,” she said. “I’ll start cleaning up.”

I moaned but got up to open the door. The first thing I saw was Alice’s face and my lip curled.

“Um, hi,” she said.

I didn’t reply. My attention was on the dogs with her, one on a leash in each hand. Both German Shepherds had long black socks on their front paws and the exact same markings along their backs. They were the exact same size and let their tongues hang out of their panting mouths in the exact same way. But the one in her left hand was pulling hard to get away from her and finally she let go. He barked and jumped up on me.

“This is my Mojo,” she said as she leaned down to pet the other dog.

I was speechless. After a moment Hope came to see what was going on.

“Holy shit,” she said when she saw the dogs.

“I’m sorry,” Alice said. “I can’t believe it. He… my Mojo was found this morning. The SPCA called me.”

“But what about the dental records?” Hope asked.

Alice shrugged.

“I swear I wasn’t lying. They were exactly the same. You can have the vet look at them if you want.”

I considered it for a moment in the hopes that the vet would find she had been wrong, giving me an excuse to make her life a living Hell. But in the end I shook my head.

“Thank you,” was all I said.

I took one last look at the other dog and imagined running into him in the park. I wouldn’t have had even a shadow of a doubt that it was my Mojo. Even the way he was cocking his head to one side was the same. A strange shiver ran down my spine. Finally, I waved and shut the door between the Mojos.

 

Alejandra Melian-Morse