When Leah and I were driving home from the grocery store on Saturday a dog was running in the middle of Huffaker Road. We stopped and eventually coaxed him to us. It was a small-to-medium-sized, black and white male, probably a pitt or pitt mix. He was just on the edge of maturity with a lot of puppy left in him — so much puppy, in fact, that he peed on my shoe.
He was such a frantically energetic dog that we decided we couldn’t take him home to terrorize the cats, plus we had no way to keep him out of the weather outside. So Leah took our groceries home and I stayed with the dog, trying to call some contacts with rescue groups. I used my belt as a leash; clearly the dog had never been on a leash.
I called three rescue contacts plus a neighbor. The neighbor couldn’t help because they had just taken in another stray to add to their large pack. The rescue contacts recommended taking him to the pound. In the past that would have been an almost certain death sentence, but these days the rescue groups are saving almost 100 percent of the unclaimed dogs at our local pound. I had already called the pound four times with no answer before one of the rescuers I called told me they don’t answer the phone on weekends.
I didn’t want to take the dog in our car, but Leah is not comfortable driving our big truck. So she came back with the car. I rode in the back seat with the dog. This was an excited dog. When it wasn’t licking my face it was chewing on my jacket. When it wasn’t chewing on my jacket it was humping a canvas tarp we put in the back seat. Squirming constantly. Wiggling. Whining. Climbing onto me. I can only imagine what it must have looked like to people in the cars we passed.
The city and county have built a new pound which, fortunately for us, is about half as far away as the old pound. As it was we made it to the pound about 15 minutes before they closed. And they took him away to hold for 72 hours before they release him to a rescue group. It’s a relief not to feel like we have only two choices, either to take a stray in, feed it, house it and try to find a home for it; or to leave it to fend for itself in a cruel world. Now these wonderful people in the rescue groups do all the hard work.
Leah liked this dog. If we didn’t already have three, she said she would have wanted to keep him.
It’s just barely possible that he was not dumped. He was wearing a collar but the tag had been torn off, and it wasn’t near any houses. Based on how reluctant it was to get out of our car at the pound, I suspect that it was forced out of a car right where we found it, and it didn’t want to repeat that experience. I’m probably reading more into his behavior that there really was, but I think part of the reason he was so excited in the car was that he was relieved to have been taken in after having been abandoned. Who knows?
It’s not at all uncommon to see abandoned dogs and cats on Huffaker Road and Fouche Gap Road. As I mentioned, one of our neighbors had just recently taken one into their own house. Coincidentally, the first car that came along after we stopped also stopped and slowly pulled up to us. It was driven by a man that I had talked to one day when he saw me walking the dogs. They, too, had only recently taken a stray into their home.
I suppose that in the greater scheme of things, abandoning dogs and cats ranks pretty low among all the despicable things that we do. But I hate it.