If you follow me on social media, you might have seen the story of the lost dog I picked up on Dec. 27.
I was on my way to Simcoe to visit my Little Sister and her family. Traffic was light. However, I noticed a couple of vehicles making wide berths around something ahead. As I got closer I realized it was an adult German Shepherd running on the roadside. If you know dogs, you know the look he had at being lost. Panicked, frantic, just running for the sake of running. Hoping he’d find his way home.
It was a matter of time before someone hit him. I pulled over and put on my four-way flashers. Waited for a couple of vehicles to pass and then called him. Without hesitation, he trotted across the road and let me rub his neck, feeling for a collar. There wasn’t one. By then, a pickup and a car had both arrived from either direction and come to a stop. When I turned to open a door to the back seat, the dog leaped through the open front door and settled onto the passenger seat. It was as if this was our regular routine.
Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
Clearly, he was healthy and cared for. Why he had no collar was a mystery. And was he ever a sweetheart. He nuzzled my hand a couple of times and then curled up. He was exhausted and fell asleep almost immediately, loving the warmth, safety, and comfort of the car.
So, now what? I had someone’s beautiful pet in my car. How, in a rural area on a holiday for many would I possibly find his home?
I called my brother, who has a dog. “Find a vet”, he said. “They’ll check for a microchip for free.” Good plan. I Googled nearby veterinarians and called the only one whose listing said it was open. It was not. I texted my husband. He couldn’t come up with another plan than the only one I could think of. I started going house to house while Mr. Handsome slept beside me.
Meeting the Neighbours
Most people were very nice. It was around 9:30 am so I wasn’t waking anybody up. But the first 10 or so residents I talked to had no idea where the dog could be from. One suggested I find lost-and-found Facebook groups and post there. Of course! I took a pic of the dog and posted on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. I didn’t want to take him too far away so I kept canvassing the neighbourhood. The nearest Humane Society is in Simcoe. It turns out they were closed anyway. So I drove in and out of long, snowy, rural driveways, and met people wearing various housecoats, most holding a mug of their morning beverage.
I interrupted a man clearing a driveway with a Bobcat who suggested I talk to “Stan at the turkey farm”. Stan has a German Shepherd of his own and knows everybody who has a dog. And Mr. Bobcat was right. Stan did know Miller who was asleep on my seat. And Miller lived more or less across the road from Stan. Stan’s daughter was another neighbour. He texted her and she met me at Miller’s house.
Timing is Everything
Where were Miller’s people? Out looking for Miller! I had noticed a grey pickup making a couple of slow sweeps of the road but between backing out of unfamiliar driveways and checking social media when I could, I was never in a position to wave them down. Turns out Miller’s family has a grey pickup. This was a good sign that Miller’s in a home where he is loved.
Stan’s daughter let Miller in his house and all ended well. I never did get to talk to his owners but I hope they buy him a collar. Or maybe he wriggled out of the one he had. He also needs a bath. Sweating and running made him rather pungent. But he is the sweetest, gentlest, most easy-going dog I’ve met in a long time. I felt grateful to have spent an hour or so with him. And for several offers via social media to take him in if I couldn’t find his home.
Cuddles wasn’t impressed with how much I smelled of dog when I got home. He sniffed my feet and legs and promptly left the room. I’d also been visiting with my Little Sister’s puppy, Cario. That day marks the first time I’ve taken a shower to appease a cat.
These are the small humans I traveled to visit and exchange gifts with, along with their Mother (who took the pic) and their Dad (who was working). I’m a lucky gal.