I have this problem with stray dogs; I can't leave them on the side of the road. Even though nine times out of ten, the dogs I find have been dumped from a passing car, I always have this image in my head of a distraught owner calling for the dog, children crying for their lost pet, and doggie mates whining for their friend. So when I saw the puppy in the road at dusk the other night, I just knew it was a lost puppy and not a dumped dog. After all, who would dump a small dog? So I had to stop. Well, I had to stop because it wouldn't get out of the road, so I guess I should say I had to save it. A small dog has less than a 1% chance of making it through the night outside around here, even inside a fenced yard. This one had no chance at all.
My neighbor was with me and neither of us had ever seen this dog before. Turns out it wasn't a puppy, but a full grown (and older) chihuahua - dachshund mix. Chiweenies are sneaky like that, pretending to be a puppy to lure you out of your car. So even though it wasn't a cute little puppy, I didn't think anyone would dump that breed, especially when there are people like my mother who think there is always room for just one more little dog. And this one had such a cute little face, panting in the lingering heat and the added heat radiating from the asphalt, eyes lighting up when it saw me get out of the truck. Chiweenies are sneaky like that too, using cute and helpless to get you out of your car.
I carried it (turned out to be a female) to the nearest house, and no, it wasn't theirs, and no, they had never seen it before and didn't know of anyone missing a dog. That scenario was repeated three more times until I gave up and got back into the truck with her. Now I was having doubts about her being lost, but I was committed since I already had her hot little body in my lap. Make that her hot little stinky body. Good thing I just lived around the corner. If she stayed overnight with us, she needed a bath. And then she started scratching. Make that a flea bath.
I dropped off my neighbor and then walked into our garage with the dog. While Hubby wasn't thrilled to see her, Buddy the cat was outraged. It didn't help that I filled a bowl with water and offered it to the dog. That was cat territory and everything placed on the floor belonged to him. After being ousted with a door shut in his face, Buddy began the howling meow that he can keep up for hours. But I knew if they were in the same room together, Buddy would attack the dog.
By then, it was after 9p.m. and completely dark. But Hubby grabbed his keys and we went back to the truck to see if we could find someone looking for their dog. This time the dog rode in the back of the pickup. She didn't drink any water, which meant she hadn't been out very long, and she was squirming to get down. Plus, we really didn't want fleas in the cab of the pickup.
We drove back to the spot where I found her, and watched for cars driving slowly or people walking with flashlights, and listened for someone calling a dog. Nothing. Finally, we saw a man dragging his trash can to the street, so we pulled over and I asked if he was missing a dog. No, he wasn't. Did he know of any neighbors who had a gold chiweenie? No, he didn't. Actually, he sounded Scottish, so what he said sounded like "Nae lass, Ah dinnae know a one." Scottish accents are so cool. He didn't really look Scottish though. Or maybe he did. Picture Sean Connery with a foot long beard, about fifty pounds heavier, and dressed like a biker, and you might have this guy.
Then I said she was an older dog, graying around the nose and getting cataracts. "Tis a she ye say?" he asked. "Dae ye hae her wi' ye?"
So I hopped out and lifted her out of the back. Then he reached for her and exclaimed "Och Reba lassie, whit urr ye daein' thare?"
He thanked us, put her on the ground and said, "Ga alang hame noo." The dog trotted toward the house, he turned to wave at us and then trotted off after her.
I guess the question we should have been asking is "Do you own a gold chiweenie," instead of "Are you missing one" for the owner who didn't know he was missing a dog.