Last week, my bloodhound Zeke resorted to yet another case of petty theft while I was out working hard to reunite a lost dog with their family. Here’s what happened:
On Wednesday afternoon, there was a knock on my door. Two neighborhood girls, Ashlee and Mary, found a wandering dog in my neighborhood. They knew that I do animal rescue so they brought the dog to me. He was a sweet, older pit mix with a collar that had a frayed yellow rope tied to it, but no ID tag. I immediately created and posted three giant, neon FOUND DOG posters and put them up in my neighborhood.
I called Brian Newsham, one of our Missing Pet Partnership volunteers to come help. Brian scanned the dog for microchip. We were surprised and excited to discover the dog did have a microchip! Brian called the microchip company only to discover the phone # rang and rang (and turned out to be the wrong number). Because this dog was found in the City of Federal Way and MPP has a partnership (through our CERT-MAR program) and one of our goals is to save the City of Federal Way money (impound fees), we transported the dog to the Twin Lake Vet clinic so they could hold him while we worked further to try and find his family.
We put out a few more FOUND DOG signs in my neighborhood and posted FOUND DOG info on Craig’s List. A neighborhood girl, Quisaira, was walking by my house and I asked her, “Do you know who lost a dog?” Quisaira thought she knew who owned the pit mix that I described, but it turned out to be the wrong family. All three of the neighborhood girls who helped on this case (Ashlee, Mary, and Quisaira) stopped by my house again later that day. They were very interested in helping to get this dog returned to his family.
But by the next afternoon, no one had called me. I ran errands which included lunch with a friend at Olive Garden where I ended up with a small Styrofoam container of leftover Eggplant Parmesan (YUM!). But because I had Zeke, a known FOOD THIEF, inside of my car I took the container of eggplant out of my car while I ran two different errands.
As I pulled into my neighborhood, I stopped at one of the florescent FOUND DOG signs and called the vet’s office to see if the dog had been recovered. No one had claimed him and the vet’s office had called Animal Control to come transport the dog to the shelter. Bummer. As I climbed back into my truck (carrying my eggplant which I had removed when I was outside the car making my call), I noticed that two boys (who had been walking home from school) were now standing in front of my sign.
I quickly got out of my SUV and asked them if they knew anyone who’d lost a dog. The boy wearing a backpack said, “I lost my dog two days ago, but this isn’t him” he said as he pointed at my sign. Now, look at the photo I had taken of the dog plus my sign and tell me if when you read it you would think it was YOUR dog: BROWN PIT MIX FRAYED ROPE ON COLLAR.
I left the rope color (which was yellow) out of the description so that if anyone tried to claim the dog they would have to describe it properly. So I asked the boy, “What does your dog look like?” He said, “He’s a pit mix, but he’s not brown, he’s more black.” Then I asked him, “What color collar did he have on?” and he said, “Green.” Then I asked him, “Was there something attached to his collar?” and he went, “Yes, a yellow rope.” Well, he had just described the dog, who I learned was named “Toby” to a “T” so, I spent the next 10 minutes calling the vet and telling them to cancel Animal Control, and giving the boy (and his parents) the phone number for the Twin Lakes Vet.
I was elated when I climbed back into my truck, only to discover that my bloodhound Zeke made me “pay” for being careless. I had left my eggplant container unattended in the car and Zeke had licked it clean!
You know how you sometimes eat the not so great food on your plate and save THE BEST for leftovers? Yeah, that’s what this was. I had consumed the ho-hum spaghetti and salad and bread and left the yummy eggplant leftovers…for Zeke. So, when people tell me how exciting and cool it is that I have a bloodhound that is trained to track lost pets, I just remember cases like this where I’m out busting my buns to reunite a lost pet while my lazy bloodhound is lounging inside my car and stealing my leftovers. I just smile and tell them the truth when I say, “Yeah, Zeke really is a great dog!”
p.s. Ashlee came by my house a few days later to ask if we had found the dog’s home. I told her that yes, their work had helped to save this dog’s life (from being run over by a car), that the dog’s name was Toby, and that he was back with his family. I gave her an autographed copy of my book The Lost Pet Chronicles as a thank you gift for being a “Junior Pet Detective” and told her that they can contact me anytime they know that someone has lost or found a dog. Zeke and I could always use the help!