Monday, April 27, 2009

Moving Day - or - Why People Suck, Part 2-Gazillion

So last night I'm driving up our street, which is one of the main roads in town (actually the old "river road" that goes back to Colonial days), Princess and I are chatting away when suddenly, nay mercifully, I see a flash out of the corner of my eye and slam onthe brakes. Here's why:
This sweet little boy ran across the road and damn-near under my tires. There were more cars coming, no time to get out, so I opened the door and said "C'mon puppy!" He hesitated for less than a second and came flying into my lap, trembling. I checked - he had a collar that had obviously been his for awhile, but no tags, no phone number written on the fabric of the collar, nothing.

We were less than a block from home, where the traffic dies out a little, so we went home, gave him a snack and some water, and then took him for a walk up and down the street hoping someone would be looking for him.

No luck.

So I called the local animal hotline, nobody there 'til Tuesday. (Budget cuts, dontcha know.) Called the non-emergency police and fire number, and they said I'd have to turn him loose or hang on to him until the shelter opens. Called the local SPCA (they will scan strays for chips) but they are also out until Tuesday. So we had an overnight guest. This is the sweetest little poodle-y guy...timid but clearly eager to please, and also flat-out terrified and panicked between the near-death-by-car encounter and being 'jacked by unfamiliar humans.

When we gave up looking for a bereft owner, we came home and soothed him. He climbed into the Princess' lap and after he stopped quivering, he passed out. He ended up sleeping with Therese, first in a nest she made from an old blankie, but somewhere in the night he hopped up into her bed and snuggled under the covers with her. When she got up for school, his head was on her spare pillow. This is a doggie who was loved and who loved his people. So what happened? How could such a gentle and nice little guy be out and about with no id and no one looking for him?

Easy. It's the last weekend of the month. Moving weekend. In our old town, there are lots of big old, historical houses - some on our road going back centuries to the Colonial era, followed by the ubiquitous Victorians, Cape Cods, Prairie, Four-Squares, Craftsmen, horrid 50's-70's split-level name it, you can see the styles grow "younger" as you head further out from the center of town. (Ours is a Roaring 20's wealthy banker-real estate mogul's house, so we're on the edge of the city/township line). Many of these older houses have subsequently been divided up into apartments, indeed some were originally built to be boarding houses. (There are still original cement and iron hitching posts and mounting blocks in the front yards!)

Anyway, the last weekend of the month is when people move out of and into these dismal half and quarter-house apartments. Cats and dogs are thrown out like so many broken lamps and particle board entertainment centers...and left to fend for themselves. I have no doubt that this poor little dog suffered that same fate - he was decently but not recently groomed, hungry, thirsty, and way out of his element. No pets allowed at the next place? Sorry Curly, you're on your own. But what if I'm wrong? I can't (and really shouldn't) just take in a dog from the street - what if his owner really didn't take his tags off the collar and turn him loose?

I called a friend at the police department to ask what I should do - he sent an Animal Control officerette to pick up "Curly" for a 72-hour hold on the off-chance that someone cares enough to look for him. They will call me before making any more "final" decisions about what to do with him.

Well, friends...what do you think I should do? The Golden Retard and Labradork didn't seem to mind him once the ritual butt-sniffing and eyeballing took place....although Jack was not amused in the least. I think he was actually marking his jugular and other vulnerabilities so he could take him out if needed. They are roughly the same size and weight.

It's a cat-eat-dog world, after all.
Darn right, says Jack....


Packrat said...

Just makes you weep, doesn't it? Throw away animals. Throw away babies. All defenseless.

The dog could be just lost, though I doubt it. No tags wouldn't mean much on a lab, shepherd, or hound, but on a cuddly house dog that's a different story.

I think you just inherited another dog. :)

Angela M. said...

And what will you call the new baby?!

Kit said...

Arrrrgggghhhh....I don't know if I can do it. The Beloved will slaughter me! Just hoping and praying that my deep seated distrust and loathing of the majority of humanity is slightly misplaced in this one instance, anyway.

RJW said...

Congrats! You've ben adopted!

The Digital Hairshirt said...

You got a doggeh! You got a new doggeh!

Kasia said...

Well, there's a chance that he wasn't just dumped. Moving weekend - who doesn't know someone whose cat or dog has freaked out and done a runner during a move? And then poor Fido or Whiskers is lost, terrified, and the owners (who may or may not have been moving locally) are short on time and options.

However, if the owners don't turn up, YES, you should keep him.

Just my 2 cents.

Anonymous said...

Advertise that you have him I guess and see if he gets claimed. If may just have an extra friend around :)
I too would love to think this isn't a case of dumped pet; but my cynicism is deep set these days.

gemoftheocean said...

Agree, advertise, and if owners don't show up, keep him. and check the vets in town and take a picture of him around. They might know. [Perhaps some elderly couple moving and frightened dog "did a runner?"] Let's hope for the best. I can't imagine dumping a much beloved pet. [Maybe these people had to move and were told the dog would be euthanized and they were hoping some kind soul would take him in?]