Saturday evening, Emma and I were in the front yard, taking pictures of her in her Pig in a Blanket costume, when a black lab-ish puppy wandered down the street and over to us. She was leggy, about four or five months old, and wearing a pink Martha Stewart collar (no joke) with no tags. She was friendly, but a little apprehensive, and also seemed to have kennel cough.
|My little pig in a blanket wanted to keep it until we found the owner.|
|Two sets of puppy dog eyes working on me.|
My neighbor from up the street came by about that time, being walked by her two basset hounds. We asked her if she recognized the pup (as we learned during our summer puppy fostering adventure that dog owners in the neighborhood all know each other), but she didn't. The pup decided to follow her up the street, her dogs were going ape shit over the whole thing, so Emma gave ME puppy dog eyes and followed the parade up the street, returning a short time later with the puppy on a leash. She carried the pup (as she refused to walk on her own) into our fenced backyard before leaving for her party.
I gave the pup a bowl of water and some EXPENSIVE cat food (which she turned her nose up at), then went up the street to talk to my neighbor, who was then visiting with ANOTHER dog owning neighbor. No one had ever seen the dog before. I put the pup's picture on Facebook, on my wall and also on the humane society's wall. No one came forward saying they knew where the dog belonged.
I kind of forgot about the puppy in our backyard until morning, but when we checked on her, she was still a little skittish, still coughing, but had eaten the cat food and drank some water. My daughter tossed a tennis ball for her, and she not only ran after it, she brought it back for more. Over and over. Obviously, someone had taught her how to fetch; she was somebody's baby! I went to the store and bought some puppy food.
|Fetch in the backyard.|
When the humane society opened at 1:00 on Sunday, Emma and I loaded her in the car. She trembled and wheezed all the way there. We took her inside to see if she had been microchipped, and miracle of miracles, she not only had been, she had also been adopted from that very humane society, as they make a small, green tattoo on females near their incision from their spaying (I neither know, nor WANT to know, what they tattoo on males). They looked her up on their computer, called the phone number, left a message with my phone number, and told us we could either leave her there or take her home with us. We opted to take her home and wait for the owner to (hopefully) call.
As we were getting in the car in the parking lot, my cell phone rang.
"I got a message from the humane society that you found my puppy?"
I told the woman we were just leaving the humane society and would be home in five minutes.
"Where did you find her?" she asked. I told her the name of our street.
"I live right by there," she said. "Which house do you live in?"
I described our house. Two story Tudor. White--
"With green trim? Red Cross truck in the driveway?"
"I live across the street from you, in the corner house."
We kidnapped the neighbor's dog.
In all fairness, (a) they keep to themselves pretty much; (b) have only had the dog since mid-September; (c) we didn't even KNOW they have had a dog since mid-September; (d) the pup wandered over to our house from the entirely opposite end of the street from where she lived; and (e) SHE WASN'T WEARING ANY TAGS AND THEIR YARD ISN'T FENCED.
The owner was waiting outside her house when we pulled in the driveway. The puppy (Lilly, we now know) greeted her non-chalantly and wandered across the street to her own yard. The neighbor said Lilly liked to chase the cat and probably went down the alley and got lost. They noticed she was missing about fifteen minutes after we had
Emma and I walked into the house and told my husband the story.
"So, you went from being heroes to being kidnappers thisfast?"
"WE DID NOT KIDNAP HER! WE WERE TRYING TO KEEP HER SAFE UNTIL WE COULD FIND HER FAMILY!"
Emma, sitting on a kitchen stool, said, "We totally kidnapped her."
No good deed goes unpunished.