Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Tale of a Stray Dog

Greg and Farrah were sure I would blog about this, and I hate to let them down... even though I don't have pictures to accompany this post.

Last Wednesday night, just before time for the Bible study we host at our home, the girls opened the front door and were startled by a large hound dog sitting on our front steps. After their initial "shock" they realized he was a very friendly dog so they sat down to pet him. He had tags on his collar and was very social so we thought he may have escaped from a neighbor's yard, but we had no idea whose. One of the tags had an 800 number, so Lyle called it to see if we could find out who the owner was. Unfortunately, the owner hadn't registered the dog with the tracking organization. They could tell us that he came from the county animal shelter, but they were closed for the day by this time. They asked if we could keep the dog overnight and then contact the animal shelter in the morning to find out where the dog belonged.

Lyle was reluctant to do that, but I convinced him. "He's such a nice dog! I'm sure it will be fine for him to spend the night with us." He was indeed very friendly, and even "submitted" to our smaller dog. The problem was that I hadn't realized that he was just a very large, playful, untrained puppy! He didn't sit down quietly at our feet during Bible Study like our own dog does. Nor was he happy being shut up in the utility room. Finally my husband made a bed for him in the garage. He was not happy with that either and howled in protest. We tried to ignore him as we continued our Bible Study. Poor puppy!

After our guests left we discussed what to do. Puppy had finally settled down in the garage, so we decided that he would be fine out there, and we hoped he would sleep all night.

Lyle started to tell me that I should be prepared for the owner to be mad at me when they finally got their dog back next morning. "Why in the world would they be mad? I would hope someone would watch out for my dog if she escaped, so she wouldn't get hit by a car or harmed in some other way! I'm only doing what I would want someone else to do!"

Just then the kids came running in to tell us that they saw someone driving around appearing to look for a dog. Lyle put his shoes on and went out to see if he could flag them down. Sure enough, someone a block down the street had been out hunting for the dog. They were so relieved that we had him! They had just got him a few days before and this was the first time they had left him in the yard while they went somewhere.

So we didn't end up having to keep him overnight... and the puppy was happily reunited with his owners.

When Lyle came back in we continued the discussion of whether or not someone might sue if a person took a stray pet in to care for it until the owner could be located. I think Lyle has a point. Some might do that, but I think most wouldn't.

Is it worth the risk to do the "right" thing? (I'm not saying that anyone who doesn't take in stray pets is doing the "wrong" thing. LOL! This is just an example of "doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.")

What do you think? Dare we follow the Golden Rule?

6 comments:

pse said...

Oh,my! What a decision!

Margaret Cloud said...

I think you did the right thing, some people have a tendency to be mean to strays, even though they may have tags. You did call the authorities and they advised you to keep him overnight.

Farrah said...

I'm so glad it had a happy ending! :-)

Since we aren't pet people, I already know we wouldn't have taken him in. But if we WERE pet people, I'll bet we would have done the same thing!

Aliene said...

You made the right decision. We are not animal people but we do feed the neighbors cat if he comes meowing at our back door. will the neighbors sue us for feeding a cute tabby cat? In this day and time you never know but - that poor puppy needed someone to watch over him until the owners found him.

Aliene said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joy said...

That happened to me once and the owners were gone for the weekend.
The people who were pet sitting let him out in their yard and must not have checked on him because he got out and traveled about 3 or 4 miles to our house. I called and called but no answer and finally late on sunday night they called
after I left a message on their machine. They were so happy to get him back so no I don't think the owner would sue... They should be happy someone cared enough to take him in until his family finds him.