my soft spot

just a mom who plays hockey and knits

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

One lost, one saved

A few Saturdays ago, I was in Lafayette. I was heading back to the freeway when I saw a little fluffy dog, like a Shi-Tzu, running through a parking lot. "Oh no," I thought. Then I saw a woman running along the sidewalk, jogging in flip-flops. I figured it had to be the owner. I called out to her, "Are you looking for a dog?" and she didn't react at first. Then she was past me and looking at the cars behind me, and the light changed. If I'd reacted faster, I would have leaned over, thrown the door open, and had her jump in, so I could turn into the parking lot, get to the other end, and head off the dog.

I didn't. I drove onto the freeway, fretting and fuming about my lack of action. I hope she got her dog back.

Today, I was in my boss's office, finishing talking about something, and a dog trotted by the window. I waited for an owner with a leash to casually walk by, and nothing. I raced to the back door, but the dog had gotten past it already. I went through to the street behind our building and spotted him. He was sniffing a tree and peed on it. I said soothing words and approached him, and he slowly and warily headed across the street. Now, this isn't a main street, but people do use it as a shortcut and sometimes drive fast. I looked both ways and ran ahead of the dog. He stopped and eyed me warily. He let me touch him and seemed OK until I reached for his dog tags to see where he lived. Then he snapped at me. I considered letting him go and calling Animal Control. I reacted the way I would with my own dog, telling him "No!" sternly and grabbing and closing his muzzle. He relented. I looked at the tags again, he snapped again, "No" stopped him. The tags were from Lake Tahoe! Argh, people need to put current numbers on their dogs' tags.

I decided to lead him back to my office and call out for my dog-owning coworkers to find a leash, as I didn't want to get bitten. Taking the collar into my hand to lead him got me bitten. He didn't break the flesh and did lay off after that. Then an SUV pulled up and the driver said he had the owners within. They said the dog was 12, deaf, and a little blind. I was a little sulky about being bitten but happy the dog was going to be safe. They were visiting from Lake Tahoe and had been on the Marina when the dog took off.

I have a small swelling on the back of my hand, but my heart is happy another loose dog will be safe. It coulda been Lucy (who was corralled by neighbors the last time she got out, bless them).

Hug your dogs, and make sure their tags are up to date!


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