UNITED STATES—This is a story about dogs.

I was walking my two dogs on a Saturday evening in Hollywood. I was on my way to Yucca Supermarket and I remembered the teaching of one holy man–such as occasionally inhabit these streets–imparted when I was very new to having a dog. Seeing the tension produced when my chihuahua terrier tugged abruptly on the leash he got luxuriantly transfixed by an exotic scent, producing a halt in our walk’s progress that was contrary to my agenda, and which could and still can turn my into a raving maniac in a heartbeat, the holy man said, “Follow the dogs where they go, you know not where they’re taking you at the sharp, unexpected snap of a leash, “They are watching out for you with all their sensitive apparatus. And wherever you’re going you can be sure it’s a place you are supposed to be.”

So I came down Yucca walking in a westerly route, and instead on entering the mall via the usual driveway by Panda Express, I noted that the dogs snouts were being lead by the sidewalk that goes up Cahuenga. I indulged the dogs, this time, and we went by way of the Cahuenga driveway, passing the Vietnamese restaurant and the smoke shop.

The thought occurred to me to get a cigar, but I quickly deemed that it would be “better for me,” not to get a cigar, even though it was a balmy night and the milestone of my daughter’s graduation was barely a day behind.

In bringing the dogs past the smoke shop and toward the supermarket, I was ready to lasso them both to the handicapped parking sign pole. Even though it’s a dog friendly store, it can be a bit much to shop with two mutts in tow.

I saw some folded paper on the sidewalk; it was like green origami. While handling two leashes and a poop bag, I lunged for that green of a particular shade and grabbed what turned out to be currency. Grab first, ask questions later.

There was simultaneously a man pulling up to the handicapped parking space in a black BMW. He got out of the car, stepped up onto the sidewalk and said a little disappointed:

“I was going to get that.”

He was not joking or dejected or even upset. In him predominated a touch of wistfulness.

I said, “I think there’s a enough for both of us.”

This, even before I had unfolded the find. Well, it turned out to be a twenty. I happened to have two fives in my wallet–that was lucky. I offered the two fives and pocketed the twenty.

“Nice doing business with you,” the man said.

This idea came from my heart, not my head. After sharing the loot, I was filled by joy. There are those of you who may have done totally differently and reacted according to the law of finders keepers. Sure, I could have kept it all, but what I did epitomized my way.  What was sure was what I felt was more than the dollars relinquished.

This guy was taking his kids to Panda Express; he needed that money and me: who’d passed the smoke shop and rejected the idea of getting a cigar, reasoning it would be “good for me,” to forego it, could now stroll into the smoke shop humidor and get a Dominican cigar.

Oh, joy, it was meant to be. Thank the dogs.

Humorist Grady Miller is the author of “Later Bloomer: Tales from Darkest Hollywood” (on Amazon.

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Hollywood humorist Grady grew up in the heart of Steinbeck Country on the Central California coast. More Bombeck than Steinbeck, Grady Miller has been compared to T.C. Boyle, Joel Stein, and Voltaire. He briefly attended Columbia University in New York and came to Los Angeles to study filmmaking, but discovered literature instead, in T.C. Boyle’s fiction writing workshop at USC. In addition to A Very Grady Christmas, he has written the humorous diet book, Lighten Up Now: The Grady Diet and the popular humor collection, Late Bloomer (both on Amazon) and its follow-up, Later Bloomer: Tales from Darkest Hollywood. (https://amzn.to/3bGBLB8) His humor column, Miller Time, appears weekly in The Canyon News (www.canyon-news.com)