Sam stayed with his grandmother when his parents went to Mexico for their vacation. "We are going to bring you back something nice," his mother told him. "It will be a surprise." Before they came home, Sam's parents looked for something Sam would like. All they could find was a beautiful sombrero. It cost too much. But that afternoon, while they were eating their lunch in a park, they decided to buy the sombrero after all. Sam's father threw what was left of their sandwiches to some stray dogs, and they walked back to the marketplace. One of the animals followed them. It was a small, gray creature with short hair, short legs, and a long tail. Wherever they went, it went. "Isn't he cute!" Sam's mother said. "He must be one of those Mexican Hairless dogs. Sam would love him." "He's probably somebody's pet," Sam's father said. They asked several people if they knew who its owners were, but no one did. They just smiled and shrugged their shoulders. Finally, Sam's mother said, "Maybe he's just a stray. Let's take him home with us. We can give him a good home, and Sam will love him." It is against the law to take a pet across the border, but Sam's parents hid the animal in a box and no one saw it.
When they got home, they showed it to Sam. "He's a pretty small dog," said Sam. "He's a Mexican dog," his father said. "I'm not sure what kind. I think it's called a Mexican Hairless. We'll find out. But he's nice, isn't he?" They gave the new pet some dog food. Then they washed it and brushed it and combed its fur. That night it slept on Sam's bed. When Sam awakened the next morning, his pet was still there. "Mother," he called, "the dog has a cold." The animal's eyes were running, and there was something white around its mouth. Later that morning Sam's mother took it to a veterinarian. "Where did you get him?" the vet asked. "In Mexico," she said. "We think he's a Mexican Hairless. I was going to ask you about that." "He's not a hairless ," the vet said. "He's not even a dog. He's a sewer rat--and he has rabies."