I have a weakness for stray animals, dogs in particular. This one, a Basset hound (the second Basset stray to show up in the past 14 years), was adorable and sweet. She had a collar but no tags. As with all stray dogs who come to my shop, I let her inside and called the shelter to report her found.
She was clearly well loved. Her nails were trimmed. Her teeth were white. She was, well, *not starving*. And she smelled like shampoo, albeit shampoo mixed with “eau de chien.”
Several hours passed with no word from the shelter. Since I had to go to town anyway, I put her in the truck (that took some doing) and took her to our vets’ practice so they could scan her to see whether she had a chip, hoping I’d learn who she belonged to (or who belonged to her, if we’re going to be honest; she was that sweet). No chip.While I unloaded the recycling and trash from my truck, then went to a couple of quick appointments, I left the truck running with the air conditioning on. It was at least 90 degrees out and I know better than to leave a dog (or any living animal — or plant, for that matter) in a vehicle in such weather.
Please note: I am not that person who routinely leaves the car running with the air conditioning or the heat on. But in this case I saw no responsible alternative. I was just trying to reunite a dog with her family.I’d given her a bowl of water when she first arrived, and she had a good drink. I also gave her some of Joey’s food and one of his biscuits (he complained loudly from inside the house), but she was reluctant to eat. Every so often while I worked, she would go over to the door as if to say “I need to get back to my people! They need me!” Yes, I could have let her go, but I have seen too many animals killed by vehicles on our road. I take care of strays in my shop because (a) I love animals and (b) I hope that someone would do the same for one of my dogs or cats.
Around 6 I called the shelter and left a message asking whether my shop guest had been reported lost by her family. A few minutes later I got a call from her owner, who lives around the corner — a corner about a mile long. She had run across the hypotenuse, through the woods.
I took her outside as a thunderstorm was forming. As soon as she saw the truck, she started running (again, all 70-or-so pounds of her on those stubby legs; I would never have guessed that she could exert such a pull on the leash). That was one sweet reunion. She even jumped (yes, all 70-or-so pounds of her, on those stubby legs) into their truck, which is higher off the ground than mine. Her name is Missy, they said; they’d been heartsick all day and had left messages at the shelter reporting her lost, just as I had, reporting her found. Somewhat frustrating for all of us, though no doubt the phone was busy (for all of our calls) because the shelter staff were taking care of business.
A good job done. Please support your local animal shelter.