New Dog came into our lives -- and left it nearly as quickly -- in the most unusual of ways.
DS was holding our dog, Taz, on a leash, while my arms were completely full of everything I'd neglected to previously pack for our weekend trip to Atlanta.
"Hop in," I said to Taz, and when a blur flew beside me, I was surprised to see a brown Pomeranian instead of our usually grumpy and gray-haired Min Pin. New Dog jumped all over the car; from the front to the back, into the back window, and briefly landing in the car seat, which prompted DS to cry out: "That's MY seat."
For 5 minutes, I looked from Taz, now walking around aimlessly as DS and I looked at New Dog do sprints inside the Hyundai, and pleaded with New Dog to calm down. Finally, she did.
I tucked under my arm and held her out to a neighbor who turned out to simply be saying hi. "Is this your dog," I asked? Nope. And as I walked down the street, knocking on doors; and later, drove slowly with my windows down looking for the owner, I was greeted with the same answer.
One neighbor would point to one house, and someone else to another, until finally I'd lost both my patience and an hour and a half. So DS, Taz, New Dog and I set about doing the errands I'd plan to do anyway. First, the Library, during which trip I called my mom for advice (call Animal Control, she said). Then I dropped Taz off at the vet, and had the dog scanned to see if she had a microchip. She didn't. So the receptionist, Vet tech, me, DS and New Dog all shared a brief awkward moment during which I whined, "I don't know what to do I'm supposed to be going out of town and now two hours and passed and I don't know what to doo-oo." So the receptionist handed me a couple of phone numbers to Animal Control and the SCPA and sent us on our way.
I did another quick trip around the neighborhood, neck craning to hear an owner screaming New Dog's name. Nada. So I called Animal Control and they dispatched someone out to pick her up. Not knowing how long the wait would be, I put a collar on her, hooked up the leash and put it around the post in front of my house. She didn't even touch the water or the dog biscuit I put out for her.
Of course, I couldn't stop thinking about New Dog the entire trip. I'd call the shelter Tuesday, I decided, and put my name on a list I'd convinced myself existed to claim New Dog as a new member of the Brown family (wasn't sure how Jamil felt about this plan, but I figured once he saw the cuteness, he wouldn't be able to resist)!
Just 15 minutes ago, we pulled into our neighborhood and were greeted by colorful "lost dog" posters, bearing New Dog's photo. I called the number and the woman who answered was so relieved and was crying to hard and so loudly, that I didn't even hear her when she told me New Dog's real name.
She offered me a reward, but I declined. All I wanted, I told her, was for her to get New Dog microchipped so this couldn't happen again. She said she would, and I believed her; she'd had the dog for only two months, and got her from an abusive home.
Whatever her real name is, New Dog signaled the end of a super-hard week for me, and was the beginning of something unusual, and fun. And I'm glad that I could play a part in helping her get back home.