This morning, I woke up from a dream in which I had been carrying a very large tame salamander in a big paper shopping bag with handles, walking down suburban streets with rectangular, green, well-trimmed lawns, in a temperate climate, on the way to my aunt's and uncle's house (although the former is in fact deceased) in the Bay Area. I apparently had just landed at SFO and bought the salamander. The beastie (whom I'll label as a male for convenience, though I had no sense of the gender) was about two feet long. enjoyed gobbling down nasty-looking bugs with multiple legs, and had dry skin like a lizard, rather than moist skin like an amphibian (which I noted with puzzlement, though without reclassifying him). At one point he had gotten out of the shopping bag, without my noticing right away, but I found him sitting on a lawn. He then was quite amiable about my grabbing him and putting him back in.
The dilemma that distressed me as I walked down the street, shopping bag in hand, perhaps looking for a Bay Area Rapid Transit stop (though I didn't have the BART's name in mind), was the following. On the one hand, I realized that my hosts might be less than thrilled if I showed up on their doorstep carrying a two-foot long amphibian (or even lizard) in a shopping bag. On the other hand, I was concerned that, if I simply released the creature to fend for himself, he might not be able to survive. I was totally fine with releasing him if I thought he would be okay, and I noted to myself that at least the Bay Area doesn't get cold like many places, but I still wasn't quite satisfied that I could release him in good faith.
The alarm clock jolted me out of this dilemma before I could decide what to do about it.