It Builds Character

Friday, March 07, 2008

Have you hugged your dog today? - Part II

Monday night, we spotted the dog running down the busy street. Tuesday night, we saw the missing dog flyer and called the number that was listed. Wednesday morning at work, I got a call from the lady. She didn't get my message until just before she called me. I told her that I was hoping the reason I hadn't heard from her was that the dog had been returned. No such luck.

She said they've gotten a lot of calls from the flyers they put up all over town, but the dog (a purebred Wheaton Terrier) is so scared of people that he won't come to anyone. The family has only had the dog for about 3 weeks. They got him from a shelter who got him from a breeder. He had been neglected, and the lady said that he was almost certainly abused as well. She said she could tell by the way he would go into his kennel when they were about to leave. He acted as if he had been kicked into his kennel in the past.

It turns out that Bubba didn't break his chain while he was outside. Because of his past, he startles easily, so when they had the dog outside on the leash, they needed to have the leash wrapped around their hand, just in case he got scared and tried to run away. The dad had him outside on his leash, but did not have it wrapped around his hand. The dog was startled by something and bolted. That's the last they saw of him.

The lady said that her kids are absolutely heartbroken. I'm not sure how many she has, but I know that one of them is in middle school, so anywhere from 12-14 years old. This daughter had bonded with the dog the most. She actually has her own dog walking business, and gives half of her earnings to the humane society. It's just so sad that these people, who clearly love dogs, tried to save this one, and have now lost him. When I talked to the lady, she was of course, fearing the worst because the dog is too scared to come to anyone. I can't even imagine now knowing where your pet is. Did he get hit and killed by a car? Did he freeze to death? Did someone earn his trust and bring him into their home? If they knew the answers, I'm sure they'd be sleeping a lot better at night.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Have you hugged your dog today?

UPDATE: Tonight, Jason and I took the kids to Applebee's for dinner. As soon as we walked in the door, Alex shouted, "Mom, look at this!" It was a poster for a missing dog. A dog that looked a lot like the one we saw running down the road last night. It said that his name was Bubba, and he is a bit skittish, because they just adopted him from a shelter. I called the number on the poster, but only got a voice mail. I left my name and number, and explained why I was calling. That was about 3 hours ago, and I haven't heard back from them yet. I'm going to plug my ears and sing "lalalalalala" and assume that the lack of response from them means that they have their dog back, safe and sound.

Tonight on the way home from Boy Scouts, Alex and I had kind of a scary experience.

It was about 8:45, so it was completely dark. We were on a 2-lane road where the speed limit is 50, I think. We came upon a car that was frantically flashing its brights, so the car ahead of me and I both slowed down to see what was going on. I assumed it was an accident or something, until I saw the reflective leash bouncing down the middle of the road. Some poor little puppy had broken it's chain and had escaped. As I got closer to it, I slowed down more and rolled my window down and called to it.

Just then, a car came up over the hill from the other way. I flashed my lights like crazy at the car, but he seemed to not have a clue that something was going on, he just kept barreling toward the dog. At the very last second, the driver saw the dog, and swerved and honked. The dog swerved a little bit the other way. The car came
***this*** close to hitting the poor little loose dog. So close, that I actually shouted , "Alex, don't look!" It would have been bad enough for me to see that happen, but he would be completely inconsolable and haunted.

At that point, I had come to a complete stop and turned my hazards on. I jumped out of the van and started calling to the dog. "Here puppy, come here!" He seemed like he was going to come to me for a second, then changed his mind and ran down the embankment into a housing development. There was really nothing else I could do then. It was a pretty steep, snowy hill, and I couldn't even see him anymore.

Alex was still worried, and so was I, of course. We have no way of knowing what happened to him, but I told Alex
that I'm choosing to believe that someone will find him tonight and keep him warm. It's pretty cold out tonight, about 7 degrees right now. I hope he finds his way to someone's door soon, because I'm sure there's someone out there who went to let their dog in, and was devastated to find only half a leash.