On Sunday, I was heading out and about when I saw a dog a few blocks from my house. This dog had ZERO survival instincts -- she was literally sitting in the road and watching the cars drive by. She was right in my path, so I slowed. And slowed. And she just looked at me like it was the most fascinating sight in the world.
Well, that won't do. I pulled over. By now, the dog had trotted off the road. I patted my thighs, and she marched right up to me. Bending down, I examined the collar -- yellow, nylon, no tag.
A little dog like that is unlikely to travel very far under normal circumstances. I picked her up in my arms and decided to try a few houses to see if any of them owned the dog or knew who did. As I walked, the dog fell asleep in my arms.
The dog trusts you, I thought. You know what this means.
No one knew where the dog came from. A couple of suggestions, but nothing came of it. So I put the dog in my car and took her home, figuring that would be the safest place for her. She certainly couldn't be trusted outside on her own.
Unfortunately, it was Sunday night. Any place I could go to check if the dog was chipped were closed, and I wasn't about to surrender her to Animal Control or PETA or the ASPCA where they will kill the dogs. I had to wait until Monday and hope and pray that I got out of work on time. And if nothing turned up, I would keep the dog -- I refused to condemn her to death. Meanwhile, I fed and bathed the dog, and she settled in.
Monday. I get home from work. The dog was remarkable well behaved, nothing chewed up, no mess around the house. After taking her out, I drove her to a vet clinic to see what could be found.
WARNING: IF YOU HAVE A PET THAT IS CHIPPED, YOU NEED TO GO TO A VET TO GET YOUR INFORMATION ENTERED! OTHERWISE, ALL THE CHIP WILL HAVE IS THE LAST POSESSOR OF THE PET! The dog did have a chip, but it listed a place in a town about a half hour away from me. One that had closed up five years earlier.
I took the dog back home. I held her as she relaxed, and started thinking. The dog was housebroken. No scars or signs of trauma. Whoever owned the dog loved her and wanted her back. But who could it be?
The store had closed five years earlier. So it had to be someone here for a long time, no one who recently moved here.
The dog had been groomed recently. Someone likes things tidy and taken care of. So any houses with, say, cars on blocks wouldn't be it.
I drafted a plan of action and a map, spreading out roughly three blocks from where I found the dog. I then went and started walking, using my criteria to guide me.
I found the right house on my seventh try.
So, I don't have a dog. Instead, I enabled a very very happy reunion.
For the moment, life is good.