Adventures in animal rescue

The doggies were in the backyard yesterday afternoon while I was working at home. They started barking like crazy at the fence, and I figured the golden retriever next door was giving them the business. But then they ran inside the house and started barking out the front window. Then they ran back outside and went into what I like to call their “hidey hole.” It’s the space in the blackberry bushes that they used to escape the yard on the creek side of our house. We put up some chain link so they shouldn’t be able to actually get out of the yard that way.

I went out the front door to look along the side of the house from that direction, expecting to see the doggies sitting on the other side of that chain link. As I opened the door, a little red and white dog, sort of like a King Charles Cavalier, bolted out from under my car and ran toward the street.

Well, that explained the ruckus. I walked down the driveway to see if I could catch the little guy, but he had moved so fast he was long gone.

I went back to the side of the house, where I found Mia sniffing along the bank of the creek. The chain link was flat on the ground. Leo was still on the yard side of the gate. I resituated the chain link and brought the dogs in the house.

Several hours later, they started barking out the front window again, and I saw TWO dogs running down the driveway. The same red and white one, and this guy:

Rob says word must have gotten out that I’m adopting doggies.

Neither of them had collars. The red and white guy ran away, but this guy hung around. He wouldn’t come to me when I offered him treats, and seemed more interested in playing in the creek.

I went back inside and the dogs started barking at the back door. The little white guy had wandered into the dog run. He was dirty enough that he could have been a stray, or he could have just gotten that way from the creek. I closed him in the dog run, where he cowered in the corner.

My first thought was to figure out where to take him so someone could read his microchip, if he had one. Rob, who is much more hospitable than me, offered him food and water. The animal shelter and our vet were closed, so the thing to do was call 911 and have the animal control guy on duty call me back.

Meanwhile, Rob, who is also a better detective than I am, remembered that the old lady three doors down has little dogs, so he went over to check with her.

He was gone a long time. The animal control guy called and said he’d be right over. I saw the red and white guy running next to our neighbor’s house, so I rang their bell to make sure they didn’t have any little dogs I didn’t know about. They did not, but they said that those dogs had been running around all day.

I remembered seeing the animal control truck on our street earlier in the day. Had this been a daylong doghunt? Boy was I clever, to be the only one to contain one of these elusive creatures.

Rob came down the driveway of the old lady’s house. A woman about 70 years old pulled up and Rob went up to her car window to show her a picture on the back of his digital camera. “Is this your dog?” “Yes it is.”

Seems easy enough, but what I missed was that this woman was actually the daughter of the really old woman who lives in that house. Rob had rung the bell and stepped far back on the porch. He didn’t want her to think he was running some scam. “Hey, I’m looking for my puppy, little girl. Do you want to come with me in my windowless van to look for my puppy?”

He asked her if her dogs were missing and she said, “Noooo.” He showed her the picture on his camera. “Nooo, that’s not my dog.” I’m paraphrasing the rest, since I wasn’t there. She said she has four dogs, but that wasn’t one of them. Rob asked if she wanted to go take a head count and make sure. “Oh, maybe that is my dog…”

So good thing her daughter got there when she did. We returned the little white guy, whose name is Trigger, and told the nice animal control guy that we’d found his owner, and apologized for his having to come out.

“But, uh, there’s a little red and white dog running around that’s theirs too. He’s really fast. I couldn’t catch him. So, uh, if you want to go over there and help them out with that.”

He called a few minutes later and said that they got that dog back home too.

… OK, OK, I know this isn’t the most dramatic or exciting dog rescue story. But every time I see a loose dog, I want to make sure it’s safe, because I’d hope someone would do the same for me. Maybe Trigger and his buddy would have wandered home eventually, but they’d been out and about all day, so maybe not. I’m glad we were able to make sure they got home.