Thursday, January 15, 2009

little dog lost (and found)

Two nights ago, I was settling in for an evening of knitting and lattes with a couple of good friends, when my cell phone rang. It was my spouse calling. "Lucy got out."

My heart sank. Lucy is only ten months old, very friendly, absolutely fearless and with no street smarts whatsoever. And we live on a very busy corner.

Within minutes, my friend D. and I had packed up and collected our other friend who had yet to arrive at the coffee shop. They both insisted on coming home with me to look for my dog. I tried to suggest to them that it wasn't necessary but I am very glad that neither of them would listen to me.

We arrived at my house about fifteen minutes later, in a blinding snow storm, with the temperature dropping rapidly. On the drive home, I had felt anxious and queasy, hoping desperately not to see Lucy's little body in the street.

My neighbour, who was out shovelling, insisted on joining in the search. My spouse was already in our car, checking out the local dog parks. My neighbour hopped in his vehicle to help comb the neighbourhood streets. He's a good man.

The rest is a blur. I know that my friend D. went to speak with my oldest son, who was extremely worried. My friend K. offered to call the Humane Society, so that I could go look for my dog. I pretty much launched myself into the street, bellowing her name.

I wasn't out for five minutes when two young women called out from across the street, "Ma'am, have you lost your dog?" I waited what felt like hours for the light to change so I could go and talk to them. When I described Lucy, they nodded emphatically. Two of their room-mates had picked her up (on the sidewalk of the busy street) and taken her home. Since she wasn't wearing a tag (we are such procrastinators and let the fact that she is micro-chipped lull us into a false sense of security), they had called animal control, and they, in turn, had taken her to the Humane Society.

I was so relieved. And grateful. I was in too much shock to remember where they lived or to get there names. But I am so thankful that they did what they did.

My two friends and I drove to the Humane Society (still in a blinding snow storm). It was closed but we circled the building and pounded on every door before driving back home. I did manage to call the bylaw officers to confirm that a dog matching Lucy's description had been taken to the Humane Society. And, thanks to my friend K., I spoke to someone at the Humane Society who told me that Lucy would be warm and safe until we came to collect her in the morning.

Back at my house, many of us cried tears of relief.

We bailed the dog out of jail the next morning, none the worse for her adventures. She was very, very happy to see us and very, very tired. There is no evidence, however, that her brush with the law has set her back on the straight and narrow.

Some interesting things I learned and observed during this adventure, listed randomly:

1-I have the best friends anyone could ever hope to have. I aspire to deserve them.

2-There are many good people in the world. So many people helped to save our dog and calm our fears.

3-Every dog should have a tag on with the owner's phone number whenever she goes outside.

4-Tibetan Terriers are nimble and they can jump. We have not yet figured out how she escaped but I think we need to clear all the snow away from our fences. And we can't leave Lucy in the yard without supervision. As the temperatures have plunged (down to -39C with the windchill), this is a challenge.

5-I am a mother to my very core. I was worried about the dog for my own sake (I love the little brat) but I was especially concerned for the sake of my kids (especially my oldest, who loves the dogs as much as I do).

6-Apparently, even bundled in winter gear from head to toe, I am now obviously old enough to be called, "Ma'am."


Dee said...

Whew - I know that feeling about being a mother to the core. A few weeks ago, when we came home to our lame cat, the first vet said she should have surgery, or we could do amputation and then there was this unspoken "or" - putting her down as they felt her injury may not heal on its own. I couldn't even face the idea of putting her to sleep and it wasn't just for my sake, but for my son's. Eddie has grown quite attached to "Lizzie".

Luckily, I didn't put her down. An orthopedic vet surgeon thought that it was just a partial tear and that it might actually heal on her own.

Today, she's barely limping - almost a normal gait.


Mom2Amara said...

Since I saw your tweet that Lucy was home, I knew the ending. So as I read this post, my first thought was how lucky you are to have friends and neighbors you can rely on! What a blessing!

Anonymous said...

OHMYGOD! I just checked you-know-who's neck. There's our phone number. Stella's gotten away from us X2...both times neighbours caught her right away and brought her home. Watch out for those sticks with little bundles attached, containing snacks and a toy or two. They're great indications the TTs are planning a run. I love these guys.

B in T

laurie said...

Dee- My friend had the EXACT same experience with her cat. He too healed well on his own.

B- I didn't know about Stella's esecapes. Our girl now has a little tag.

Anonymous said...

Phew! I'm so glad you found her. How scary for her to get out when the weather made the situation extra crappy. We've had the experience of a couple of our cats getting out (through the doggie door, which we had to stop using because of them, much to the detriment of our sleep schedule because our German Shepherd now has old lady bladder - we have to make sure she gets out at least every six hours now), and it was so scary because when they saw us outside, they acted like we were total strangers, and they were terrified. They actually ran away from us, so we were lucky that they found their way back to the doggie door to come back in.

We almost lost our Shih Tzu once when we lived in an apartment and she bolted through the front door. The only way we could get her to come back was to yell "Cookie!", which she happily came running back to us to get. She wouldn't answer to her name at all. We adopted her from the shelter, after she'd obviously been out loose for a while. She was in terrible shape - filthy w/ eye & ear infections. We quickly figured out how she ended up on the streets, as she would try to run away at every opportunity. She loooooves people and apparently just can't get enough of strangers.

What great friends, to go out looking for your dog in such terrible weather. What a relief that she was able to find nice people right away, so she wasn't stuck out in the freezing cold.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness I am so glad it came out ok!