I was out for a walk with one of my current favorites from the shelter recently when I encountered a big surprise. Rapunzel and had stopped briefly for some poochie smoochies when all of a sudden I glanced up to see another dog running toward us. He looked quite happy and sweet, but like with any off leash dog (without a collar) I felt a flash of apprehension. He turned out to be just a dog of the neighborhood, about 5-6 months old and looking for some fun. He was also somewhat dirty, had thin hair and a huge open sore on his ear.
Had to Check
I had to make sure that whatever was wrong with this little guy’s ear wasn’t contagious and secondly that he wasn’t a stray roaming the streets so with the the help of some neighborhood folks and a loaned belt as a makeshift slip lead, I got them both back to the shelter. Once in the intake kennel, this little guy started collecting hearts with his sweet demeanor and soulful eyes and I soon found myself sitting on the floor with fellow volunteer, E, making over this sweet pup.
A Dime a Dozen
Unfortunately our kennels were full so I soon discovered that Animal Care and Control was called to come pick up our little stray. Being that he was clearly under a year old, I knew he had no chance of entering the Pit Bull ambassador program that AC&C offers so unless he was pulled by a rescue, his chances were slim and despite his winning personality, dogs who look like him are a dime a dozen in our area.
My buddy volunteer, E, began brainstorming. E is at his city limit (5 dogs) but could take him home as a foster if he was in a program but that wasn’t guaranteed either. I couldn’t let him go but knew I was possibly jumping into something by following my heart rather than my head. I would take him to the vet to make sure the sore was not contagious and that the thinness of the hair was not mange. We wondered what his name was or what we would call him. I told E I had an idea, but “once you name the puppy, the puppy is yours” so we held off.
One of the great staff at the Shelter found a collar and leash we could use so E and I walked Puppy to the vet clinic for a check up where the entire staff of the clinic quickly became smitten. He didn’t have mange and the sore on his ear is from fly bites. Ick. Dr. R said a topical antibiotic like neosporin would clear it up and since it looked like he’d be coming home with me, I had him wormed and vaccinated. I nearly said his ‘secret’ name out loud, but I held strong.
Walking back to the shelter, we decided that E would take Puppy home until I got off work when a car came screeching up behind us and the driver said “HEY!” then glared at us. The lady in the passenger seat got out and said, “That’s my dog.”
I asked her where she lived, and the street was the same as where I found him and she said he didn’t have a collar because he was playing with the other dog and it came off. She said his name was Smokey and that he was the last of a litter that her dog, Onyx, had. Because it was clearly her dog, with a heavy heart I handed him over with his new collar, a rabies tag, and a heartworm tablet. We introduced ourselves and G took her dog away, saying he’d already had his vaccinations and this would be his second rabies tag.
About an hour later, I was surprised to get a call from E. He actually sounded just as surprised as me, when he said G had returned to the shelter and decided that I might be able to provide a better home for “Smokey” and if I wanted him, I could come get him!
Tune in tomorrow for what happend next.