Friday morning I went out front to share peanuts with the crows. I've read how smart they are and how they learn people. I imagine myself going outside and clicking my tongue and having them flock to me and eat peanuts out of my hand. Yeah, I really do. I'd love to tame them down for me.
So, I toss out the peanuts and I see a little dog across the street. Sniffing one of the neighbors' lawns. Bad time of the day for a dog to be in the street. Our street is wide, very few cars parked at the curb and morons driving on our street don't seem to understand that the 25 in 25 MPH is the maximum speed. It's really bad at certain times of the day, when parents are taking their children to school. The fact that they're in a residential area, where there are houses that people live in, seems to escape them.
I walked out to the street and got this dog's attention. It looked at me and came to me. I picked it up. A boy. It's a boy. I walk back down to our yard and yell for Brian. He was in his shop, so he didn't hear me. I yelled his name a couple of more times with no response, so I went with the tried and true "YOOHOO!" That worked.
"Did you lock yourself out of the house?" he asked.
No, I need you to come out here.
I have a dog.
He comes out front, looks at the dog. What now? He's annoyed that the dog was loose. He thinks he's seen it before. He has no kind words for the owners. A dog running loose. So irresponsible. He took the dog and I got my cell phone and called the vet's office. Explain the situation. "Bring him down here and we can check for a microchip." He had a collar, but no tag with any identifying information. There was a charm type thing, but that didn't help in the least.
We went inside, Brian set the little dog down. No interest in the cats, whatsoever. No barking, no growling, just a pretty chill little dog. Huh. He gets a carrier and we get the little dog inside. He grabs the keys and we're off to the vet's office. Minutes later, we're there (it's not even a mile away). Bring the carrier in, take him out. One of the receptionists takes him from me and behind the desk and scans him for a chip. No chip. A tech comes out from the back and looks him over. She says he seems kind of thin. They said he looks like a Shih Tzu.
He's been groomed. His paws looked kind of dirty, so did the white fur. Has he been on his own for a while or what? They offer to keep him and give him a bath, trim his claws. Okay, sounds good to us. We leave him there.
On the way home, the discussion began about what to do if we can't find his owners. Even discussion about do we WANT to find his owners? We could give him a good safe home. There was some serious conversation about what we wanted to do versus what we should do.
I did a "found" message with a photo of him on a Facebook page for lost and found pets in our area. Nothing.
The vet's office called to let us know he was ready to go home. We went down there and picked him up, along with a bag of canned dog food and kibble. No charge for anything. That was so nice of them.
We'd already decided to keep him if the owners couldn't be found.
When we got home, he went out in the yard and pooped. I checked it out. It was a good poop, a decent poop. Brian went to the closest pet store and brought back a collar and leash. (The vet's office had kept the one on him when we brought him down.) The collar was too big, but it was the smallest they had. We'll deal with that later.
This little dog is not abandoned or a stray. He has owners. He got out.
Brian had mentioned earlier about a black car that was going slowly down the street and someone had been calling. He didn't think much about it (really? it never dawned on him that this might be the little dog's owners?). He said it looked like a Deputy Dawg car. I said "well, maybe it was the owners of the cat you heard last night". (Coyotes..he said it was horrible to hear.)
But that poop. The poop. It was a good poop. The poop of a well fed dog.
I asked him if he had one of the fat Sharpies in the office. No, but he'll get me one. I got a piece of cardstock, 12" x 24". Wrote on it. Showed Brian. "Not big enough, fill the page." I got another sheet and tried again.
F O U N D
Small male dog
I grabbed a couple of push pins and took it out front and attached it to the post that holds up our mailbox. Within the hour, we got a hit.
The people across the street were pointing at our house. There was a car coming to a stop in front of our house. A second car was behind it.
A black Deputy Dawg car. The man in the front car got out. We exchanged some words, how I'd found this little dog, his trip to the vet, he described how he got loose (yard work the day before and the gate wasn't properly latched; the dog (Jingles is his name) got out Friday morning). He described the little dog perfectly. We went up to the front door. The little dog was standing at the screen. "That's him", he said. I opened the door and the little dog came out, cautiously.
I told the guy if we hadn't found the owner, we'd have kept him. "Seriously?" he responded. "Yeah. We like him and there doesn't seem to be a problem with the cats, he doesn't chase them and just seems pretty laid back."
Well, the dog belongs to his mother-in-law and a couple of months ago, she discussed giving him up. But decided to keep him. If I meant what I said, about taking him, he'd talk to her about it. Okay. They leave. Jingles is going home.
I called the vet's office, explained what had happened, gave him the dog's name. Kind of sad, but it is what it is.
Within the hour, there was a voice at the gate. I go to the front door to check it out. It was the guy.
"Are you still serious about taking him?"
Yeah. Still serious.
"Well, he's in the car and so is Gramma, she'd like to meet you."
I walked out, Brian followed. Introductions around, hand shaking. Mike handed Jingles to me. I handed Jingles to Brian. I asked Nancy if she'd like to come in.
She's eighty-seven years old and not in the best of health. This day had been awful for her because Jingles had gone walk-about. She was a nervous wreck, her blood pressure was through the roof, she was dizzy and it was just really tough on her. The discussion about rehoming him two months ago was because of a similar incident. And now she could give him to someone she was pretty sure would give him a good home. A safe home. Her son-in-law worked a lot, her daughter was gone for work as well, and she just didn't feel it was a good thing for Jingles.
Jingles is a purebred Shih Tzu, he's eleven years old. The only thing that she was worried about was if it didn't work out "don't have him put to sleep", she said. Brian reassured her that we don't do that. He'll have a forever home here. She cried some more.
We exchanged phone numbers and she called Sunday morning. She has all of his records, did we want them? Yes, please. Brian told her that Jingles was fitting in nicely. And she can visit anytime. But that we'll be taking him for walks and can take him to her house (it's just around the corner).
So, we have a dog. A Shih Tzu. He's eleven years old and he's so darned chill. He's quickly becoming acclimated. He sleeps on the sofa or loveseat. He likes the yard. He runs. He bounces. The delivery of his new toys showed up last night and and he prefers the ones that squeak. I ordered a halter for him for walks and a new collar that fits. Today I will make a tag for his collar. We have to find out about licensing him, which we will do. Microchipping is also on the agenda.
We have to get his feeding down, we've free fed for so many years, but that's not an option with this little guy.
Like I said, the cats don't seem to mind him so much. He's more an object of curiousity. Pancho hasn't left my sight for days now. He has Jingles within view quite a bit. They both sleep on the sofa. If I'm sitting there, Pancho is at my hip. Jingles stays on his end. Yesterday, Pancho was on the arm of the sofa, Jingles on his end, and Rory wanted up. She jumped up and woke Pancho. Rory didn't complete the jump because of Pancho, so Pancho didn't see her. The ruckus woke Jingles who sat up to see wussup and Pancho decided it was Jingles who disturbed his rest. I had to get him to understand that it wasn't Jingles, leave Jingles be. He did. This morning in the backyard, they actually touched noses, sniffing one another, no hissing. Jingles just trotted off.
So, we have a dog.