Let me preface this to say that I *try* to be a good person. I really do. I think I have a big heart... but I really struggle to carve time out for "doing good." [Some of you are very good at this... and I hope you know that you amaze me. And I think/hope you know who you are.] It's gotten much harder to "do good" since Spencer has come home as well. And I haven't taken on a cause in a very long time. Until today.
A little background: Most of you who know me, know I love dogs. But most of you don't know that I am terrified of strange dogs. Especially strange dogs that aren't attached to a human by a leash. Ironically, the cause of that fear is because of the damage two leashed dogs did to Roxy one January morning. (By far the worst day of my life) So, when I was out walking with Roxy and Spencer yesterday morning and saw a strange dog running towards me with no owner in sight, I took off for the nearest neighbor's house yelling "coyote!" (yeah, I don't know why either) It was quickly apparent it was not a coyote, and was more scared of me than I was of it. I made my way home (tentatively) but saw this dog many more times throughout the day.
This morning, I opened my garage door to find it sitting in my driveway. I'm not sure which one of us was more startled. I'm pretty sure we both screamed. By this point, I was pretty sure this was a very, very lost dog. So while walking Roxy, I called our vet to see if anyone had called in a missing dog. I then proceeded to call the animal control office. No one had any answers. I then proceeded to call a bunch of other vets in the area. No one had received a call. At this point, I was pretty sure this dog was very far from home, or worse... dumped. All of a sudden, it became my mission. I'm not really sure what came over me... but I needed closure on this dog. I soon received a call back from the dog officer that she had been in the area a couple of times trying to catch the dog with no success, it was just too terrified to let anyone get close. This spurned me on to continue calling more vets with no success. (Note: B!ng on your phone can be a dangerous thing) I figured that if the owner knew where the dog was, they'd be able to get close enough to catch the dog.
All day long, I couldn't get this dog from my mind. Random sightings didn't help. I couldn't get anything done since I was distracted. Finally, around 6, I saw her in my front yard. Then she started frantically pacing my fence line and trying to get into the backyard. Something clicked and I knew that I could get her confined enough for the dog officer to get to her. I was pulling on my shoes as I dialed the officer's cell and strapped Spencer into his booster seat. When I looked out the window again, the dog was IN my yard. She was desperate enough to get in that she either jumped the five foot fence or squeezed through a six inch gap. I spoke with the officer briefly to tell her what was happening and where I lived. (After confirming multiple times that she would bring the dog to a no-kill shelter.)
Now, I cannot reiterate enough, I am not this person who does these sorts of things. I got the kibble, a spare bowl, and a yardstick (you can never be too careful). I gated Roxy and Spencer in the dining room so there was a double barrier between us and them. Then I went out on the deck. The next thing I know, she's on the deck, eating kibble. After multiple requests to go in the house, she settled down and took a nap until the dog officer got here. It was amazing that she was that calm, that she was able to nap. If you had seen the way this dog acted the previous days, you would understand how unbelievable that was.
I also am amazed at how well Spencer and Roxy handled the situation. After an initial "she's getting the GOOD food?!" outburst from Roxy, she settled right down and waited (a very long time) for her evening walk. Spencer, once released from his chair, went over to the sliders and made nice with the dog. Even trying to let the dog in a couple of times. It made my heart sing when he saw she had no water and went and got another bowl from the closet and indicated he wanted to put water in it for her. But it almost broke my heart to see the pup being led from my yard with a "but I live here" look.
Now, they try to reunite her with her owner, or find her a new home. I'm pretty sure this is where "our" story ends... but I'm pretty sure it's where another piece of my journey begins. What this means, or how it plays out... who knows? All I know is, it's been a long, long time since I've "done good." Too long. That won't happen again.