Friday, June 5, 2009

contest and lost dog

Writer Susan McLeod is holding a contest to celebrate the release of her latest book. Info here. Her new book, The Cold Kiss of Death is coming out soon! Six weeks to go.

Today, my oldest son talked me into going out to get a cup of coffee. We ended up running a couple errands along the way. I mention this, because all these stops led to me (who didn't want to even leave the house today) being driven down the street at the same time that a puppy was running across the street, barely being missed by two cars. I stammered out to my son, hey...pu...look...stop! He pulled over, and by that time the puppy was all the way across the street, on our side of the street, shaking, quivering and peeing in fear. The dog looked well fed, just scared and she had a kind of odd hair cut, one side of her face hair was longer than the other. Might or might not mean anything...There was no collar on her. She was very friendly. We looked around and only saw one person come out of a deli, kitty-corner to where we were. That was the direction the puppy came from, so we turned around and went there. My son asked around, but no one was missing a dog. We left my name and number at the deli, in case anyone was looking for their dog, then went home with her. We already have three dogs in our house right not, one temporary, so we had to put the two biggest dogs outside, and keep the lost puppy in a room with one of my other sons.

I called animal control, even though I have a lifelong reluctance to deal with them. This dog looks like a yorkie, and though at first I thought she was full grown, she seemed to be a puppy still, maybe 6 or 8 months old. After about a half hour, animal control came by. We were talking to him, telling him where we found the puppy, when a lady called my house looking for the dog. The officer asked me to ask her if her dog was microchipped. She said no, her dog was tied up in the back yard and got loose. (Why would you tie up a yorkie in your backyard?) She described the dog, gray. This dog had gray and light brown hair. We figured it was her dog. I asked the officer if we should just take the dog to her and he said sure. While my son went in to get the keys, the officer was talking about how expensive these type of dogs were, and that there's been a missing dog from another area of the city for quite awhile. Suddenly I got a weird feeling, and said to the officer, do you have a way to scan this dog - to make sure there's no microchip? He said yeah, and I asked, do you want to scan, just in case?. He said, yeah we should. Turns out, the dog did have a microchip. He got some info from the chip and made some calls, but kept getting answering machines.

He called his supervisor, and ran the situation by him. The lady who says it's her dog, also says the dog wasn't microchipped. This dog is. End decision; Animal control takes custody of the dog. We had caller ID so we were able to give the woman's number and name to the officer. While we were making decisions, she called again, and my son had to explain to her that the animal control officer was keeping the dog. She was pissed, accused us of stealing her dog and lying about the microchip. Really. If we wanted to steal the dog, we wouldn't have even left our number. We explained again, this dog was chipped, so the officer was required to take the dog and research the ownership.

This lady called four more times, yelling at everyone who answered our phone. Finally her son called, and my husband answered. The son told my husband he had papers proving the dog was his. He was worried, his mom told him we were keeping the dog. My husband had to tell him that animal control had the dog, we didn't have the dog anymore, and they would be calling his mom soon. They could sort it out with the officers, then he asked the man to tell his mom to stop calling us and yelling at us.

I feel bad for the woman. But there's a few weird things. She works in a salon. She said her dog was not microchipped. This dog was. This dog also had a strangely amateur haircut. The hair on one ear was way longer than the hair on the other side. The hair along the body, back and belly was extremely short, obviously a rather recent and hurried grooming. The hair around the face was the strangest hue of brown, light brown I've ever seen on a dog. It was almost orange, or that off color you get when you try to bleach dark hair. If this woman really paid for the same dog, then someone stole it from someone else. Because if you buy a microchipped dog legitimately, they register you as the new owner, you're told that there is a microchip in the dog. Something's not right with this particular situation.

The animal control officer left his card and number. On the off chance that this dog really does not belong to the woman, or to anyone else, we could be able to claim the dog for our own. I actually hope that they find the microchipped owner, because I have the feeling that this dog was probably stolen. Maybe not by the family who says the dog is theirs, but by someone, and then probably sold to them. Someone is missing their dog. At any rate, in a few days, I'll call the number, just so I can find out if they found the real owners.

I'm glad now, that my son forced me to get out of the house. All these little events, going for coffee, stopping at the store for my daughter, driving down one road instead of the usual way, led us to the intersection right when the dog, who had gotten loose, was crossing the street, avoiding being hit by pure chance and luck. Pretty amazing.

Update: June 5, 2009

This afternoon I called animal control to check on the status of the little yorkie. It turns out that the dog was a lost dog, and belonged to another family- not the woman who kept calling us. I wonder what happened. She could have found the puppy, or someone dognapped the puppy and sold it to her (she didn't even know the puppy was microchipped), or it could have been a completely different dog (unlikely). It's odd that her son had papers "proving" the dog belonged to them. P I just keeping thinking though, how if my son hadn't talked me into leaving the house, and we hadn't made a few stops, then drove down a certain road, we wouldn't have seen the puppy run across the street. Then, if I hadn't listened to my gut feeling, and asked the animal control officer to scan the puppy, we would have just taken the puppy back to the wrong person. So many ifs, there's got to be something like coincidental fate going on here. (coincidental fate - probably not a valid phrase, but it works for me here). And the puppy's haircut, looked like a rush job, and a little sloppy for someone who works in a salon-though maybe she works in a nail salon- at any rate, the haircut could have been meant to change the look of the dog a little. (paranoid? me? cynical? a little). At least the dog is home now.

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