“Whose dog is this?" I asked a nearby tobacco seller, squatting in the stone alcove that was his store.
“Nobody dog,” he said. “Bastard dog."
“'Street dog,'" said a pilgrim.
I picked her up and the pilgrims kindly made way for me. I carried her to the Saturday café, a popular veg restaurant that had a donation box with a phone number for an animal shelter. We were in luck: a veterinary nurse was working nearby and agreed to meet me by a big brass bell near the stupa. And I exhaled. Surely the shelter would welcome this poor puppy, she’d be taken care of, and my job would over. I could go back to thinking obsessively about that plot problem and enumerating my mid-life regrets.