Call me Dr. Doolittle. Or Noah from the Bible. Animals flock to me, I swear. I rescue animals- ALL. THE. TIME.
I have no special training or background in this. I’m just a housewife/PTA mom/
award winning actress movie junkie. Maybe there’s an aura around me that says, ‘I am a sucker for animals’.
The other day a dog wandered into my garage. A sweet, large shepherd type dog. Big and fluffy with blondish, beige fur. Sweet and friendly, obviously someone’s pet. There were tags and on the tags the name of the vet. I knew exactly which vet it was. So I just had the dog hop in my car and we drove over to the office. The dog was obviously used to riding in a car and very well behaved. I went inside to the front desk and asked if I could bring the dog in that I found. They were friendly and accommodating. The front desk lady grabbed a leash and followed me out to my car. She said they had some calls on a dog named Gracie that fit my description. I didn’t see a name on the tag, but when she went to read the tags, she says, ‘yep, Gracie. I knew it! Glad you found her.’
Well, then I was just overjoyed that I had done the right thing in bringing the dog to the vet. She was safe, and would be reunited with her owner. Sometimes you wonder if you should just let it be, maybe it will wander home, maybe the owner is near. It’s hard to know what to do. This time, I felt validated.
This was not the first time, nor the second time this has happened. This was probably the fifth time. Yes, fifth.
There was Hope. The big brown dog that looked like a bear mixed with an ewok mixed with a chow chow. Poor Hope. Traumatized and lost with scars on her face from a life of hard knox. She had a mean dog’s expression. People thought she looked vicious. She was just scared. She wouldn’t come near me. For two weeks I fed that dog and helped with it’s rescue owner (she had recently adopted it from a rescue and she escaped from her kennel) to get Hope home. We tried and tried to gain Hope’s trust. It was the beginning of a very warm June. 90 degree heat wave- this is Seattle, 90 degrees is always a heat wave. I made sure there was water out. I noticed water bowls throughout the neighborhood. Everyone wondered who that brown dog belonged to that would sit in the shade. Once I almost got her to eat some bacon out of my hand. We had animal control come by several times to try and catch her for us. Then one day, they came with their tranquilizer guns. I figured this was a good thing because now Hope would get the care and rehabilitation she needed. They shot the first tranquilizer dart in her side. Yes, the first. She ran around the neighborhood for more than an hour with that dart hanging from her flank. She was tough. She wouldn’t slow down. So they shot her with a second dart. I was on foot tracking them. I wanted to know there would be a happy ending to this story. It wasn’t possible, but I wanted so much to hug and pet this dog and show it love that it never knew. What was sweet about Hope was she was very happy to see other dogs. She would prick up her ears and show interest in any of the neighborhood dogs even though she shied away from people.
After the second tranquilizer dart, she still wouldn’t slow down. She kept at a steady jog through yards and cul de sacs, clearly afraid. And then, the animal control fellas that I thought were going to help her, did something shocking. They got out their tazer and tazed her. Twice. She seized on the grass of my neighbor’s yard and then they lifted her lifeless body into the truck. The owner followed them in her car to the shelter. I convinced myself she was just in shock and would be fine.
The owner called me the next day and said that Hope didn’t make it. She went into cardiac arrest at the shelter. I was so angry and heartbroken over the whole thing. I’ll never forget Hope. She was like that ASPCA Sarah Maclachlan commercial. A dog that had such a hard life, her scarred face from who knows what. She looked mean to so many, but she just needed love she never knew.
The other stories are less involved. There’s been two different labradors that have strayed into our yard. One we returned to our vet to see if it was chipped. When they said they would keep it until it was claimed we put a sign on our yard that read, ‘FOUND BLACK LAB- call —–‘ Sure enough, we got a call that night saying they saw our sign. We directed them to the animal hospital saying their dog was waiting for them there. They didn’t even thank us! Asshats! You lose your dog, we find it for you and not even a ‘oh thank you so much for making sure our beloved puppy is safe’. Just a ‘okay, cool’ and hung up. SERIOUSLY?
Two dogs I’ve returned in our neighborhood just by driving around and seeing people looking like they were looking for lost dogs. Then asking them if they’ve lost a dog, sure enough- it was theirs.
I drove an hour to my friend’s house to recover a kitty that was definitely a stray and needed to be looked after. My friend couldn’t afford another cat and darling McSweetie won’t allow me to have anymore. So I drove it out to my shelter that is no-kill and lied that I found him in my neighborhood (they only take strays found within our city limits). They gladly took him and after examining him found he had two broken teeth. Good thing we saved him or those teeth would’ve caused him health issues for sure.
So there’s my story of lost pets. Seriously, if it’s lost, it will come to me. Oh, and I forgot about when I called 9-1-1 for a deer hit by a car and I watched as it rolled off the people’s car and they drove off. WHO DOES THAT? It was like watching a movie in slow motion.
“watch out Harold, that’s a deer”
“I see it Edith, don’t worry- woops, oh wait, that would be the deer on our hood. oh and there it goes- rolling over the roof of our car. Sure hope it doesn’t damage the roof rack. Did it come out the back side?”
“Yep, just drive on Harold, it’s in the ditch, no biggy.”
That’s how I picture the old couple’s dialogue that hit it. I had to pick Emma up from Kindergarten so I couldn’t stick around and wait for the animal control truck. Hopefully they didn’t taze the poor thing.