Monday, April 6, 2009

Lost & Found; Making Room For Chicklet

© 2009 Leighann Lord

So, I’m driving through my neighborhood when I see a dog wandering in the street. An adorable little white powder puff, he looked like one of those breeds that people pay good money for, a house dog not a savvy, street stray. My plans for the day changed instantly.

My first concern was to get him out of the street. I walked up slowly, smiling, knelt down and waved him over. A friendly dog, he came right to me. He got a little nervous when I hooked my finger in his collar, but I didn’t want him to run back out into the street.

On closer inspection it was clear he belonged to someone. His fur was a beautiful, pristine white and he didn’t smell. His tag had the name and number of a local animal hospital. I spotted a woman coming out of the candy store across the street and asked, "Miss, is this your dog?"

"No," she said. "But it looks like the Reverend’s dog. I’ll go ring his bell."

I picked up the dog and followed her. On the way I called the Animal Hospital listed on his tag. I figured they’d be able to tell me without a doubt who his owner was and where he lived. I described the dog and the receptionist asked me if it was a boy or girl. "Um . . . I dunno." I’d been calling him a "he," but hadn’t actually taken inventory. When I reached the house I put the dog down, trying to roll him over to see if I could get a peek, but he demurred.

Just then an old white-haired gentleman in a bathrobe answered the door. The Reverend, I presumed, was understandably cautious and perplexed. Why would two strange women be ringing his doorbell so early on a Saturday morning? "Hello Sir, sorry to bother you but is this your dog?" The Reverend saw the dog at my feet, opened his screen door and said, "Mister?!? Get in here!" With no hesitation Mister scampered up the front steps and disappeared through the door without a backward glance.

The Revered, still a bit bewildered, thanked us profusely. I was happy I had done a good deed. Well, I should have been happy, but there was a part of me that was disappointed. I’d been not so subconsciously thinking:

"Oh what a cute little dog ... what if I can’t find his owner . . . I can’t just leave him here ... I guess I’ll take him home ... no wait ... he’ll have to go to the vet first ... Oh great, how much is that gonna cost? ... Will my dog like having a new dog in the house? ... My Little Guy is old and cranky and set in his ways... Maybe he’ll resent having to share his humans ... Everyone tells me a second dog might help cure his separation anxiety ... Ug! We can’t afford another dog, but maybe this was meant to be ... Guess I’ll swing by Petco ... We’ll need more dog food, some toys, another dog bed.... How much is this gonna cost me? ... Maybe I’ll name him Chicklet."

By the time the Rev had reclaimed his Mister, I’d already pictured my Chicklet on this year’s family Christmas card.

I know I did the ethical thing by finding the dog’s rightful owner, but I wonder if he’s a good owner. If my dog were lost, you wouldn’t find me lounging at home in my pajamas. I’d be out leading the house to house search party. And you certainly can’t let a dog roam New York City streets unescorted. Too easy for them to get hurt or fall into the hands of nefarious dog traffickers. And Mister’s tag – true evidence of The Reverend’s neglect – showed the dog’s shots were two years out of date.

The street where I saw Chicklet is one I travel often, so I’m keeping an eye out. If the Rev gets careless again, Chicklet is getting a new home.

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1 comment:

roy said...

i had that same filling and went though the same thought process but it ended a little diffrently. the dog saw was being walked i smiled as they got closer just as my heart started to warm the dog hit me with a dose of reality as he stoopped down to do his business well that did not bother me. even as i realized he was doing it in my yard:-O. what got me was when his owner stoopped behind him and picked it up:-( iknow it was the right thing to do however!!!!!! i have a little boy just out of diapers.need i say more.