On Monday I was driving home from school, had just turned on to Murlen (only 40 mph, but gets some traffic) when I saw a dog running down the sidewalk. He stopped, turning to look over his shoulder at a woman jogging by. The woman stopped abruptly upon seeing the dog, ran out into the street, giving the dog a wide berth, then back onto the sidewalk and continued jogging. I shook my head, rolled my eyes, and turned the truck around to go check out this dog. By the time I had the truck turned around, he had taken back up running for his life down the sidewalk. I was able to pull into the grocery store parking lot about 100 yards ahead of him. I stood close to the sidewalk, and when he got close, I called him, thinking he would keep on running by. But, his eyes lit up and he ran straight to me...grateful that a human finally realized SOMETHING was not right here!
I realized he was an older guy, gray faced, and boy was he hot from all the running! It was a warm day, and with a totally black coat he was panting like crazy. He had a collar on, but no tags. I called Chris to get the Olathe Animal Control number. He asked me several times if the dog was really lost. I do have an unfortunate history of finding "lost" dogs in their own front yard, putting them on a leash, calling their owners on my cell phone, then having disgruntled owners coming out the front door or from the back yard on their phone looking at me like I am crazy. Once, in Manhattan, I found a little dog in our unfenced backyard. He was wearing a rabies tag but no ID tag, so I called the company, gave him his rabies number, they gave me his owners name, then I looked up the name and phone number online, called the owner. Owner lived next door and had just let the dog out to potty. It turned out I had stolen their dog for 20 minutes. Hmmm...do good intentions count for anything? How was I supposed to know they lived right there? Anyways, I assured Chris that this one really was lost, no owners in sight!
So, I called Olathe Animal Control from where I was, and they said they would be out to pick him up in the next few hours. I always figure the first place people will check is the city shelter. We drove around the neighborhood for a bit, scaring random people by pulling up next to them and asking if they knew who he was. No one did.
So we came home and sat in the shade in the front yard. Had some water, got to know each other a little bit better. I took his picture:
and posted it to Craigslist as a found dog. I also put it in the KC Star. He was obviously loved by a family, with trimmed ears and feet, and a lovely temperament. I hoped it was just a matter of time before they found him. Animal control showed up (very nice by the way) and he had to suffer the indignity of riding in the back. I requested he be allowed to ride in the front, but something about legal blahblahblah (damn lawyers). But, it was air conditioned (I checked), so hopefully it wasn't too bad of a ride.
I thought about him all week, wondering if I should call and make sure his family found him. Then wondering what I would do if they hadn't found him... So I didn't call. But boy was I glad to receive this email last night:
"I want to thank you so very much for your assistance with Chipper. Not only did he get out, but he lost his tag in doing such. We were frantic in looking for him as he is a much loved member of our family. We actually called Olathe Animal Control and was told that they did not have a dog matching Chipper's description. We found Chipper from your ad in Craigslist. Chipper is back home with us tonight. I cannot begin to tell you how happy we all are to have him back home. Again, thank you so very much for everything you did. It is greatly appreciated."
Oh, the warm fuzzy feelings I got reading that email! Chipper is back home with his family. A happy ending! I can imagine how I would feel if one of my dogs was ever lost, and I can also imagine how one of my dogs would feel if they were lost. I hope that someone would do the same thing for them.