Archive for the ‘dog rescuer’ Category

>I’m a little sad today. It is good news, actually. The dogs that we rescued the day before Thanksgiving have been returned to their “parents.” They stayed at our house for almost a week, though, and it is impossible not to start to love them in that amount of time. So I’m sad. Here’s the story:

Last Wednesday (the 24th) was a huge day. So much to do, I took a half day off from work to do it. The day before the Turkey Trot (the 5k race we put on in Palm Desert), there were many last minute preparations to attend to, including picking up the U-Haul truck we use to carry tables, chairs, cones, sound system, etc. for the race. Also on the agenda was shopping for Thanksgiving and hopefully getting a few things prepped. I wanted to do some last minute cleaning before my family arrived. And, finally, I had promised to sit with my grandsons while their mother did her Thanksgiving shopping. Since I had prevailed upon her to host not only Alan and myself for dinner, but my sons, my niece, and my future daughter-in-law, it was the least I could do.

As soon as I got home from work, Alan and I left to pick up the truck. It was about noon and while we were waiting for the truck to be brought to us, two little dogs wandered up. No collars (of course). At first we thought that they were the “U-Haul dogs,” that someone brought to work with them. So we asked. No such luck.

They were very friendly, relatively clean and groomed dogs. A poodle and a Maltese. They weren’t scared at all, in fact, they came right up to us. When we put them down though, they seemed to be heading right toward Highway 111, which is always loaded with traffic. No way could we let that happen.

So I brought them over to my car. I tried to give them some water, but they didn’t seem to be thirsty. So, what to do? Well, if you’ve read this blog and if you know me (and Alan especially) you know that I put those two little dogs in my car (Alan took the truck and headed on to pick up stuff). There was a neighborhood behind the U-Haul place where I hoped I’d find someone who would recognize the dogs.

First off, I climb into the car and both dogs crawl up on my lap. Cute, but that’s not going to happen. I moved them to the passenger seat, where they promptly lay down and cuddled together. I’m thinking, “Please, please, let me find their owners. I’ve got so much to do today!”

I drove around the neighborhood, which looked like government-assistance apartments (which did not take pets according to someone I spoke to), plus some single family homes farther back in the area. I asked the few people I saw, but no one claimed to recognize the dogs.

Now what? I wasn’t going to take them to the shelter, no way, no how. So I took them with me. First off, I needed a couple leashes and collars. I went back to my house, left the dogs in the car while I went in to grab two leashes (and endured my dogs sniffing me up and down–I’m sure they figured out the whole story). I had a couple choke chains that we don’t use, but they were huge. Next stop: Walgreens, where I bought two collars. Yeah, well….

I was heading over to my daughter-in-laws for grandkid-duty, so I brought the dogs along with me. I needed something to call them so I named the poodle (who was an apricot color) Peaches and the Maltese, Misty. The boys were, of course, happy to see the dogs. And Misty and Peaches were very well behaved. They walked well on their leashes, seemed to be house broken. They wanted to sit on my lap, pretty much all the time.

I ended up spending the rest of the day there. I had brought some of my dog food with me when I stopped at my house, but the dogs didn’t seem interested in my vegetarian chow offering. When I finally left about 7:00, I knew I wasn’t going to accomplish of what I intended, but I did stop by Henry’s to pick up some vegan marshmallows (necessary for my sweet potato casserole, in my humble opinion). I was afraid they’d be closed on Thanksgiving, and that is not an item you will find at your neighborhood Ralph’s.

Next came the doggy introductions. It was 7:30, we were tired, stressed, and cold. We usually do the “neutral turf” intro, bring the dogs outside, one by one, to meet the newcomers. Not this time. Alan carried one, I carried the other. We walked into the house, holding them above the fray until our dogs had calmed down somewhat. Actually, it went very well. A few growls, a few snaps, a few “what, again?” looks, but our dogs seemed to welcome Peaches and Misty into their pack. They even allowed them to join us on the bed that night, Peaches sleeping on my pillow, Misty cuddled up against my side.

Thanksgiving dawns very early in our household. Alan is up at 2:00 am, so he can be out setting up the race course by 3:00. I’m up at 3:30 so I can be there by 5:00. In spite of the apparently welcoming attitude of our dogs, I was a little concerned about leaving the new ones at home, so, along with the registration materials, prizes, medals, and other miscellany, I loaded up Peaches and Misty and headed over to El Paseo for the Turkey Trot.

Here I will give thanks to the daughter of one our our volunteers. When they arrived, I told Maya that the most important job of the day was to care for Misty and Peaches during the race. While I whipped around working the race, Maya and the dogs played, walked, and bonded. By the time the race was over, she was wishing she could take them home and I think they were wishing the same thing.

Over the course of the next several days, the dogs merged into our pack. We changed their names to Molly (formerly Misty) and Dolly (formerly Peaches). They still slept on my pillow. They learned to use the doggy door. Our morning walk was quite a sight to see. I had to work on Friday, then Saturday we were so exhausted that we accomplished nothing. Sunday, however, we finally made up some posters with pictures and headed back to the Indio neighborhood where we had found the dogs.

Monday went by with no word. We discussed what we were going to do if no one called. As Alan said, six dogs is one thing, but eight dogs sounds like you are a little crazy. Finally, on Tuesday afternoon, we got the call. The man had left the dogs with his mother for just a little while. His wife was furious. His children were heartbroken. We believed that this was true because we knew how sweet and loving his dogs were. He came over right away to pick them up, received a stern lecture about collars and tags from Alan (you know, if they had tags you would have had then back in 15 minutes!). I gave them the collars that I had purchased. They were very happy to see their people, but I think I saw a little wistful look from Molly.

We know we did the right thing, both rescuing the dogs, then returning them to their home, but we still have this little sad feeling inside.

Most of our friends, even those who know us well, wonder why we would go so far out of our way to rescue stray dogs. I guess the only answer is, “It’s what we do.” And, it’s who we are:  We Call Him the Dog Rescuer, Olivia. Lily or Here We Go Again, Our Pet Family.

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>This is the kind of story that reminds you that there is a higher power. A story that shows that when you unselfishly pray for a happy outcome, there is really someone listening. And I don’t have any pictures, because it happened so quickly.

The dogs (Brando and Peanut, as Alan named them), spent the night in our front yard. They ate, they drank, they were petted and cuddled. If you saw the pictures from my previous post, you can see that they were also pretty darned comfortable. Throughout the day and evening, Alan kept saying, “Those dogs must belong to someone.  They are just too sweet.” Even though they had no collars, had quite a few scars, and had obviously never learned some doggy basics like “sit,” “stay,” or how to walk on a leash, he felt sure that they at least had a loving family somewhere. And he was determined to find them if possible.

After our run this morning, Alan spent time making posters.  After printing out the photos that I had taken, he affixed them to fluorescent green poster board. The plan was to head out to the area in which we found the dogs, and be on the lookout for, what? Hopefully, signs, someone out searching for their dog, a bolt of lightening.  Somehow, we found the latter.

After passing by the found spot, we turned down the next street, eyes open for anything that might give us a clue. About a mile down the road, where the pavement ended and a dirt road trailed into the distance, we noticed a sign on the telephone pole.  We pulled over to read it. It was in Spanish, and yes, they had lost a dog, but it was black and white. Alan called the number anyway, but we had little hope.

On a whim (or an inspiration, or by a guiding hand), Alan decided to head out on the dirt road. We’d never been down there, had no idea where we were headed. At this point we were about one mile and a half from where we had found the dogs. After about a half mile down this road, we saw a large building, which we soon saw was the Body of Christ Church. Just past the church, a baseball field, playground, and just past that, a small neighborhood, with paved roads, chain link fences surrounding mobile home type structures, many dogs in their yards.

The first house we passed had a pit bull in the front, similar in color to Brando and Peanut. Alan stopped the car, walked toward the house, calling (no way to go in with the dog in the yard).  No answer. Across the street, four Chows added to the noise level. No people around.

Alan got back in car. As he did so, a ragged man on a bike rode by. Alan waved him over and he gave us a toothless grin. “Do you know this dog?” Alan indicates Brando in the back seat. “Oh, yeah, that’s Pizza,” the man says (we found out later his name was Larry), he lives in the house on the corner. You can just drop him off in front.”

Well, no way were we going to do that, but we did head down the street. After asking a few kids if they recognized the dogs (most were clueless, but one agreed it was Pizza), Alan approached the house on the corner and called out. A man answered and come out to the street.  Sure enough, they were his dogs! The man said he had no idea how the dogs had traveled so far. As his kids watched through the window, Pizza and Peanut (we didn’t hear her real name), obediently walked through the gate into their own yard.

All told, this took us less than half an hour, most of it driving time from our home. As we drove away, Alan was overwhelmed for a moment by the experience. Somehow, with miles and miles of homes, ranches, empty territory, we drove straight to the correct place. When we driving, Alan told me that he had prayed last night for help in finding the owner so that he wouldn’t have to take the animals to the shelter.

Someone was listening.

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>A Quick Follow Up

>I think they’re settling in nicely, don’t you?

No, we’re not keeping them.

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Well, we’ve done it again. Out on a ride today, about nine miles from home, it is already hot, probably about 90 degrees by 9:00 am. This time it was me who saw the dog. Hiding in the bushes on the center divider. I called to Alan and we both turned around to check. Actually, there were two dogs. No collars (of course). The older, larger dog was male and apparently the father of the female puppy. Scared, thirsty, apparently abandoned.

This may seem like deja vu. As I’ve mentioned in this blog before, my husband, Alan, is a dog rescuer. Actually, the Animal Rescuer is more appropriate, since he also takes care of the neighborhood feral cats. You may also remember that we rescued not one, but two abandoned dogs last August. I’ve lost count of the times that Alan has found lost dogs wandering around the streets near our home and made sure that they were returned to their owners, sometimes with a stern lecture about tags or microchipping or some form of identification. We’ve had many dogs parked in our front yard while Alan made phone calls to local vets, animal shelters and animal control offices trying to track down doggy families. He’s made posters and hung them up around town. He’s walked or driven around the neighborhood on the lookout for missing owners.

Of course, I do my part too, which mostly involves not complaining when he brings home another dog. Neither of us could possibly leave a stray dog in a dangerous situation. So that brings us back to this morning’s adventure.

As Alan got off his bike to investigate, I was a little concerned because both dogs were obviously pit bull mixes. The male had some scarring on his side. I love all dogs, but I know what evil humans can do to a dog’s spirit. But I had no cause to worry this time. Both dogs were very scared, but very sweet. They let Alan touch them and pet them (homeless dogs always seem to sense something about him). We had no plain water, but they were happy to sip on some of Alan’s Cytomax. Now, though, we needed a plan to get these dogs (and us) out of the sun and safe.

Last year, Alan was the one to hurry home to get the car, the reasoning being that he was the faster rider and could get it done quicker. Good reasoning, but this year, I was the chosen one, since he had bonded with the dogs. I believe I stepped up to the plate today, averaging about 18 mph on the way home. Once there, I quickly changed my shorts (no matter what, I have to get out of my bike shorts right away), grabbed some water, a bowl, and two leashes, and headed out the door.

Once I got back, we had to carry the dogs to the car. They seemed scared and unused to being on a leash. In fact, I don’t think the puppy has ever been on a leash, she seems totally at a loss as to how to behave. We got Alan’s bike in the car, and headed home.

We will not be keeping these dogs. Our friends know we’re a little crazy, but even we know that we don’t have room for two more dogs. Alan has been working the neighbors, friends, facebook, on the lookout for a good home. On the off chance that the dogs really were lost and not abandoned, he will make some calls on Monday, tomorrow we will drive around the area in which we found the dogs in case signs are posted.

In the meantime, Brando and Peanut (yes, he’s named them) are happily esconced in our shady front yard. It is hot out today, but we have a huge tree out front, and we can keep the grass wet which cools the area off nicely. Brando discovered the kittens couch:

Anyone looking for a smiling dog?

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>I Got an Email Today…

>…From Dogster reminding me that it was Goldie‘s birthday. Of course, I had to go to the website to check out her page, which reminded me to add Olivia and Lily to the site. For those who don’t know, or who aren’t dog nuts like I am, Dogster is a website that allows you to post photos, videos, stories, and other data about your dog, plus make “Pup Pals” with other dogs and their owners. Subscribers are also kept up to date about dog-related news and information. Cat lovers don’t despair, just direct your browser to Catster, which provides the same services to feline aficionados. I, of course, am a member of both.

Anyway, Goldie turned six today. Of course, since she was rescued off the street, her age is an estimate and we picked the date (which is also my sister Sue’s birthday, who died from cancer almost six years ago. That’s for another post on another day.) The same holds true for all of our dogs except Sidney, who was a puppy when we adopted him.

All this made me realize that I haven’t really posted the family story yet. The doggy family story, that is. I have written about Olivia and Lily, and their introduction to the pack, but this story really starts over 10 years ago…

The first pets that Alan and I brought home were Boris and Natasha. We had just moved in together, in 1998, and felt we were ready for “children.” We headed out to the Orphan Pet Oasis, the no-kill shelter in North Palm Springs, and adopted our two wonderful kittens. They are not related, but after 11 years together they certainly are family.

Later that year, we rescued Lulu. I was working at the La Quinta Senior Center at the time, and one day, she just walked in the automatic doors. Seriously. I brought her home that night, intending to take her to the Pet Oasis the next day. Long story short, Lulu became the first canine member of our little family. Sadly, Lulu was an escape artist. Impossible to keep her in the yard, it eventually led to her death, hit by a car only two years later. She was a wonderful dog and I still want to cry when I think about her life and her untimely death.

Before we lost Lulu, however, we adopted Morena. Ah, Morena, our Bloodhound. Alan had always wanted a Bloodhound and when his mother saw an ad in the Desert Sun, we jumped at the chance. The family who kept her also had three other dogs, including two Mastiffs, who picked on Morena. Although she weighed in at about 110 pounds at the time, these larger dogs nipped at her and chased her, until even the family who loved her realized she needed a better, safer home. She was three at the time and she spent 10 years with us, until her death earlier this year. I wrote about it at the time.

Lulu was an Australian Cattle Dog (mixed, we think with Akita–she looked like someone had stuck an Akita head on her body). After we lost her, Alan’s way of mourning was to look tirelessly at the ACD rescue websites. He spent hours looking at these wonderful dogs who needed good homes. Finally, we found Sidney, an Australian Cattle Dog puppy, offered by a “breeder” in Escondido. I put breeder in parentheses because she was a poor excuse for a breeder. We were led by our sadness and our need for a dog, but she ran a dirty operation. I have learned a lot about bad breeders over the last few years and now know we should never have dealt with this person. Not that I would give up our little boy Sidney for all the knowledge in the world.

When we took Sidney home, he was so infested with worms, the vet told us that he could have died if we hadn’t taken care of the problem as quickly as we did. Sidney is a sweet, smart, wonderful dog, but poor breeding has led to serious issues. He is now blind, after having undergone eye surgery several years ago. That is not to say that he is handicapped. He is so smart, he gets around so well you’d hardly know he can’t see. Sid is nine now, starting to get a little arthritis, but still going strong.
About a month after Sid came home, a neighbor knocked on our door. With him he had a Dalmatian that he said he had found hanging around his front yard. She had no collar. He said he was going to call local shelter to see if he could find the owner. By the time Alan and I came home from work the next day, the neighbor had called Animal Control and had the dog picked up. We were angry about that, fearing that sending her to the animal shelter was sending her to her death. I called up the shelter, put my name in (with a nine day waiting period), and set about finding her a home. The one person I found decided she was too old (around seven), so after the nine days, Dixie came home with us.

Dixie was our introduction to Dalmatians, and she was wonderful! She had a sweet, gentle disposition (although she really didn’t like our cats). We had Dixie in our lives for only one year. She became ill, then was finally diagnosed with a brain tumor. It broke our hearts the day we had to carry her into the Animal Specialty Hospital to say goodbye.

A few months later, Alan and I participated in a 5k race in Palm Springs that benefited the Animal Samaritans. We brought Sidney and Morena because it was a dog friendly race. Volunteers from local shelters also were out there, each with a dog wearing a vest that said “Adopt Me.” When we saw a young, skinny, scared Dalmatian wearing her vest, Alan and I exchanged a look. That was all it took. We knew that Penny would be a part of our family.

Today, Penny is our Alpha “Momma” dog. She makes it her responsibility to take care, watch over and reprimand all the other dogs.

A couple years later, although I know better, I was reading the “adoptable pets” section of the newspaper. I saw a picture of a young dog that I thought looked very much like Sidney, our Cattle Dog. The paper called her a “Kettle Terrier.” I called, and they said, yes, she is a Cattle Dog mixed with some type of terrier. I was hooked, and my lovely husband was right there with me.

We headed out to the shelter, where given an opportunity to take the dog out to a small fenced-in area, she quickly jumped up on Alan’s lap and gave him a hug. Really, she hugs, actually wraps her arms around you and hugs. One hug was all it took, Sassy was ours.

Not only does Sassy hug, she snuggles, cuddles, and kisses. She is our sweet, needy, baby, and when she got hit by a car a few years ago, it almost did us in. Fortunately, she survived and now is the “bossy little sister” of the household. She needs tons of attention, but returns it with tons of love.

When we first saw Goldie, she was alone in the streets, wandering behind a woman who wouldn’t claim her. We were walking our dogs, and certainly couldn’t leave a dog alone on the street. We brought her home. Goldie and Sassy have some “issues” and we keep them separate so they won’t fight. It is all in a days work at the Woodruff’s!

A few years ago, Goldie injured her back, to the point that we thought she may never be able to walk again. Again, off to the Animal Specialty Hospital. Either spend thousands for surgery, with about a 50% chance of walking again, or don’t, with about a 50% chance. Huh? We opted for no surgery, but Alan spent hours on physical therapy, working with Goldie, moving her back legs, walking her (using a strap to support her back end). Then came the day, after several months of this, that Goldie wagged her tail. The first time since her accident! From there on, it was all good. Now, Goldie walks, runs, jumps, leaps on the furniture. So, her back end is a little wobbly. She doesn’t care and it never slows her down.

So that was the story, up until the addition of Olivia and Lily. Now, you know why Alan and I are pretty busy and tend to stay close to home. Anyway, Happy Birthday, Goldie!

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>As I posted on Twitter and Facebook last night, we have another new member of our family. Her name is Lily. Another little dog in another bad situation. Is it happening more often? Or are Alan and I somehow fated to find these dogs in need? I’m not sure, but here is Lily’s story:

Alan and I were on the way home from Cross Country Practice. We’d stopped at the grocery store for dinner supplies. It was a little after 7:00. As we drove up the street toward our home, a little black and white dog crossed the street in front of us. She was very small, and we could see that she did not have a collar.

I pointed her out to Alan, who had already seen her. He slowed down as she crossed the street and started heading down a side road. We turned and followed her. We hoped to find out where she lived and get her safely home.

She stopped as we approached in the car and as I spoke to her through the window (“Hi Sweetie, in baby-talk), but as soon as I started to open the car door, she started running away. The last thing we wanted to do was scare her farther away from home, so we backed off, and decided to “head her off at the pass,” so we circled the block and came around from the other side.

This time Alan got out of the car, but again she ran away, turning down another street. We decided to give it one more try, so we slowly drove down toward where she had finally stopped and settled down on someone’s front lawn.

Hoping that we’d lucked out and this was her home, I knocked on the door and a young girl answered. She told me that it wasn’t her dog, but that she lived across the street, on the corner. As Alan went to the door, I stayed to keep an eye on the dog, to make sure she didn’t try to run away again.

As I stood there, a woman came out of the first house (apparently the mother of the young girl). As I waited for Alan, this woman started to tell me about how badly the owners treated this poor little dog. She said they threw rocks at her, didn’t care if she ran all over (I could see that already!). I was wishing I’d talked to her before Alan had a chance to knock on the owner’s door.

In the meantime, someone had answered the door at the owner’s house. He came out, but he acted like he just didn’t care. He made no attempt to pick her up or call her to come to him. In fact, he just went back into his own house! When he did, I called Alan over and filled him in on what I had been told.

The woman told us that she left food out for the dog, but she already had two dogs and couldn’t take any more. She said that this poor animal preferred to sit on her lawn than go to her own home. She wanted to call animal control, but she was afraid if they took the dog, she would end up being put down.

Alan told her that he would give her is business card, and to call him before animal control. We didn’t want a confrontation, but we did want to get the dog out of her awful situation. At that point, the owner (who was hovering around his front gate and probably heard what was being said) came out. He said “well, she just showed up here a couple months ago, she’s not really my dog.” We were quick to jump on that and told him that if he didn’t want her, we would take her. He said fine. Not wanting to give him a chance to change his mind, we walked back across the street, where the woman picked up the dog and handed her to Alan.

She was so scared! If we moved too quickly, she would snap in self-defense, so we slowly took her to the car, talking calmly, and holding her tightly. As we pulled away, Alan said, “Are you sure?” I knew what he meant (six dogs!) and said “yes.” “If they don’t get along, we can find her another home, but for now, she’s with us.”

So we drove home and reminiscent of a few days ago, set the little dog down on our front lawb and brought the “pack” out to meet her. She was much more scared than Olivia had been, and tended either to shrink away or snap at the other dogs. I can’t blame her for that. if I had five dog snouts sniffing every bit of my body, I’d be snapping too! Although she needed a bath, it was getting late, we were getting hungry, so we decided it could wait until the next day.

Sassy doesn’t look real thrilled to have a new sister. Oh well, she’ll get over it.

I brought her in the house, showed her where the water bowl was and put her down on the ground. She was too tense to drink anything, and even though she acted hungry, she didn’t want to eat either. We tossed a couple names around and decided to name her Lily. Much better that “Crispy,” which is what the previous owner said “uh, that’s what we call her.”

I tried to keep the dogs from annoying her too much, but it is a process that dogs need to go through to establish the proper order in their pack, so, staying close, I let them work it out. She stayed right there for the rest of the evening and the dogs eventually got bored and left her alone. When we headed off to bed, we let her stay there as the rest of the pack followed us into the bedroom.

When I woke up this morning, the first thing I did was check on Lily. I found that she had moved from her spot. In fact, she was comfortably settled in on the couch in the living room. She was much more relaxed, and even looked happy to see me!

The morning went fine. She ate a little. I’m so used to big dogs, that I’m not sure how much little dogs are supposed to eat. I’ve already seen that Olivia doesn’t eat that much either. She also piddled on the kitchen rug, but we’ll work on that. I doubt that she’d ever been on a leash, but she was happy to follow the other dogs and all enjoyed their walk.

By the time I left for work, Lily and Olivia were actually playing. So it looks like this little dog will be fitting right our pack. We are happy to have her. Happy to be the “Dog Rescuers” again. It’s what we do.

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>When I headed out for my ride this morning, I had some vague idea that I would ride 100 miles and complete my August century. After all, the weather has been unseasonably cool (relatively, of course, we are in the desert). This morning it was in the mid seventies, dry, really a nice morning. I missed out on riding Cool Breeze, and I don’t know when I’ll have another chance without heading west for nicer weather.

Even with cooler weather, though, the temperature would heat up to around 104 , so when we didn’t get started until 6:25, I knew my chances for a century were slim. It’s one thing to head out for a short ride in such weather, but to try to complete 100 miles…well, it wouldn’t be fun. And that’s what this is all about, isn’t it?

It was a beautiful morning, though. The sunrise was stunning, the sun a red globe low in the east (my pictures don’t do it justice). The new plan was to ride about 50-60 miles along our usual route, east of La Quinta. There is very little traffic and lots of open roads and lovely views.

About 10 miles in, we pass the SilverRock Golf Resort, which is where we will be holding our 11th Annual Turkey Trot 5k Run/Walk. I cruised in for a minute to take a couple photos. It is not complete yet (the golf course is, but the resort part is not), which actually makes for a better location for our race. It is a beautiful setting, definitely worth the photo ops.

From there, we took one of our regular routes. As we were heading toward home, I suggested to Alan that we take a slightly different route, that would take us past some calves that I have been watching grow up. He is as nutty about baby animals as I am, so we headed up a different street. We were riding past the cattle, side by side, when he suddenly pulled over. I thought that maybe he had a flat, so I stopped and turned around.

I looked back and saw Alan bent over trying to get a small, scruffy dog to come to him. I have blogged before that my husband should be called the dog rescuer, so it was no surprise to see this little dog lower itself to it’s belly and shuffle toward him. I held back a little, not wanting to startle it, but as soon as Alan starting petting the dog, I joined in. In fact, I picked her up and tucked her into my arms.

We were in a very desolate area. The closest house was about a half mile down the road, but there was nothing else there, just empty desert on one side, palm trees and cows on the other. Fortunately, my husband and I see eye to eye on many things, including this: There was no way we could leave this little dog out there, where if she didn’t get hit by a car or eaten by coyotes, she would surely die from lack of water or food.

The only question was who would go get the car. Alan nicely suggested that I do it, but since he is the faster rider, it made sense for him to go. We were about 10 miles from home, so he rode hard all the way, got the car and came back for us. Olivia (for that is what I named her while we waited) and I stayed behind, tried to find some shade, and barked at the cows (she did the barking, I just took pictures of them).

Alan arrived fairly quickly, we packed up the bike (I briefly thought of riding home, but it was getting hot, and the momentum was gone anyway). We drove home, where we introduced Olivia to our family: Sassy, Penny, Sydney, and Goldie.

We also gave her a bath, the poor thing was filthy. Shortly after, we headed out to Petco, where she was a hit. The gals at Petco believe she is a Brussels Griffon (or partly anyway) and after looking at pictures of that breed, I agree. We picked her out a pretty pink halter and some puppy food (not sure how old she is, but she is young and very skinny). Monday we’ll take her to the vet for a check up and shots.

She looks very cute in her halter, doesn’t she. I think she’s found a new home.

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>My husband and I have four dogs. We had five until a couple months ago when we had to put our beloved Bloodhound, Morena, to sleep. We also have two cats. That is a good number. The dogs are fairly large, a Dalmation, an Australian Cattle Dog, a Terrier mutt, and a yellow mutt. The cats have their own room (basically we put a gate in front of the door so the dogs don’t bother them).

My husband is the Dog Rescuer. He is well known in our neighborhood, because if he finds a stray dog, he will take the time to track down the owner, sometimes giving a lecture on the importance of dog tags. He will take the dog to our local vet to see if it has been chipped. He will make posters and hang them around the neighborhood. He will never pass by a loose dog. Never.

So, it wasn’t much of a surprise when he came into the house yesterday after his run and said “Come outside and see what I’ve got.” What he had was a beautiful Golden Retriever/Lab Mix, female. He had her tied up in the front yard, with water and shade. She had a collar, but no tags.
I had to head off to work, so I left the hubby, making signs, waiting for the vet to open. I talked to him once during the day, but no news. She was not chipped, and he hadn’t heard from anyone yet. He did tell me, “she’s in the house.” That is kind of a milestone, because my pack of dogs can be very possessive to outsiders. Of course, she weighs about 50 lbs more than any of my dogs, and she had such a sweet, non-aggressive personality that she was able to just fit right in.

By the time I got home from work, she had become part of the family. She greeted me at the door, grabbed a toy and hopped up on the couch to play with it. If my husband was a child, I know the first words out of his mouth would have been, “Can we keep her? Please?”

And because in some ways, the hubby and I are very much alike, (and I love Golden Retrievers), I probably would have said yes. At that time, he had a call into animal control, who did have a report of a missing dog, but we hadn’t heard back for sure. I had to leave to take our Cattle Dog to a vet appointment, I could hear the words in the air, “please, please, please?”

I was gone about a half hour, and when I returned she was gone. Her owner had picked her up (her name was Jade). Even though she’d been there for only a few hours, the house felt emptier. I’m not sure if my dogs felt they’d lost a new friend, or that the competition had left (or had no feelings on the subject–they are dogs after all).

I do know that I felt sad. That for a little while, I had been the kid thinking, “Can we keep her?” This time, the answer was no.

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