He ran through the kitchen sliding glass door screen of mom's studio apartment that I had just opened, as I turned my attention to Mom to say hello. He was whimpering excitedly, tail wagging... a burst of energy. He was clearly in unknown territory, and now he was in my mom's apartment; at my mom's feet. Mom is terrified of dogs, and this little guy ran directly toward her. She tried her best not to lose it. A bit excited now herself, mom welcomed this little bundle of energy. The sweet little dog had a white heart-shaped spot between his ears; she saw this as an encouraging sign... the dog was a bundle of love.
Now, to troubleshoot the situation. I checked for tags... none. I tried to calm him with food and water.. not having it. I took him outside in hopes that he belonged to a neighboring apartment tenant; maybe he escaped an open door... nope. Eventually, I walked the entire complex asking the few people I ran across if the little guy looked familiar. No one had a clue. But on my second round, joy. From the street, I heard excited screams, followed by, "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!." The woman who had been pet sitting Cookie, shouted, "There he is!" Cookie? Anyway, Cookie was from out of town and dashed out the woman's car door at some point; she had been driving around frantically looking for him. She was in tears. Both were overjoyed to be reunited. Now on his leash, still happy as can be, Cookie jumped right into the car, and away they went into the cool desert night.
A visitor... and a happy ending