I watched the waning harvest moon in early morning swirling fog, my sneakers soaked in wet grass, trying to encourage two sleepy dogs to do their business.

My regular dog-walking gig segued into a dog-sitting sleepover when dog parents took a five-day getaway for a family wedding. My cat is very independent, so I figured I would load up her dishes with water and food, leave for the night, then return very early in the morning. However, the dogs didn’t agree with getting up and out in darkness, staring up at me from their comfy beds like I was a madwoman. I had to entice them with two treats each before they lumbered outdoors with a black sky lit by an impressive orange moon.

When I returned home after the first sleepover with the two dogs, it was immediately apparent that my cat was not pleased with my absence. All the papers on the top of my wraparound desk — piles that were carefully sorted by order of date and prominence — were lying askew on the carpet. Some had even been nibbled around the edges. My small collection of candles on the coffee table was also lying on the carpet, swatted there by a vengeful feline. Even the dish towel usually draped over the refrigerator door was on the kitchen floor. Thankfully, after returning home the following morning, there was no cat mischief in sight, and I found Darlin’ sleeping under my bed.

On the last night of house and dog-sitting, I finally figured out how to interpret the page of instructions on how to use the three TV remotes in correct sequence, thus able to actually watch a movie, which I didn’t enjoy because most current movies have too much violence. I chose it because Bruce Willis was in it, who I loved in the comedy/action “Die Hard” series. But Bruce wasn’t funny or an action hero in this. Luckily, I had just received a new book by Wally Lamb in my little free library donations, and I stayed up late trying to finish it.

On the last morning, when I leaned over the kitchen sink to look out the window for a stray dog that had been reported in the area, a sudden brightness startled me — an overhead evidently motion-sensitive light fixture. It revealed an intricate spiderweb on the outside of the window that filled several panes, which I hadn’t even known was there. Unfortunately, I couldn’t figure how to turn off the light, as leaning in wasn’t the trick and waving at it didn’t help at all. That had worked when my smoke alarm at home went off when I forgot about something on the stove.

The two dogs were well-behaved and delightful companions. I just hope the stray dog safely finds his way home and stays there.

Connecticut Media Group