The Dog Saga

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you probably know bits and pieces about what happened to us on Saturday. The short story is we found a dog.
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Let me tell you the longer story though.

Saturday, about an hour before we were going to leave to head to the Bay Area for my Aunt and Uncle’s BBQ, my mom and I ran up to Whole Foods to grab a few things. On the way home, on a busy and highly trafficked stretch of road, we saw this little guy darting in and out of the passing cars.
Dog Update: still no parents. But he's still cute. And we now own a leash, treats, dog toys, and food.

I don’t know what compelled me, but I was DEFINITELY compelled, to pull over on the side of the road and get this dog out of harm’s way. He was wearing a full harness, so I assumed he would have a collar, but after a quick search there was none to be found. I opened up the back door to my car and he hopped right in, curled up and layed down on the backseat and just kind of exhaled. It melted my heart and made me shudder all at the same time, thinking about what could have happened to him. This was somebody’s dog, and it was in a very dangerous area.

Instead of driving home we drove around the neighborhood to see if anyone recognized it. There were people out doing yard work, we knocked on some doors, but no luck. It was clear he was going to have to come home with us, because I wasn’t just going to leave him. But also? We were leaving for the afternoon and I felt terrible. When we got home we put a couple of postings on Craigslist that we had found a dog, made up a little bed for him outside, put water in various places in the shade and then had to head out. I felt terrible, but our yard is not too bad of a place to be if you are a little dog. At least we knew he would be safe and couldn’t get out, and would have plenty of shade and places to play.

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On the way out of town we hung up a bunch of signs in the area where we found him and crossed our fingers. We didn’t get any phone calls that afternoon though, so on the way home that night we stopped and got some dog food and then later some temporary supplies — treats, toys and a leash. Even this was a little stressful though. I don’t know what he eats. What if this is a vegan dog? Maybe is on a strict doggy-gluten-free diet. I don’t know:) You know what I’m saying though, right? I was just hoping we would get the right things, but he seemed happy to see us when we got home so we brought him inside, Garrett made him a dog bed in our room and we all crapped out.

He did pretty well that first night, only waking up once in the middle of the night and we took him outside but he seemed more interested in horsing around than going to the bathroom. Unfortunately I was not interested in horsing around in the yard at 3am, so we ended up back inside. In the morning when we all got up we got to see more of his personality. He is clearly an older dog, super mellow and affectionate and really REALLY cuddly. He wants to be at your feet or on your lap even though he is a little larger than a lap dog.

Well, everyone is snuggled in.

Sunday we took him to the local vet. There are four in our city (which seems weird to me? only four?) but only one was open this weekend — this holiday weekend was NOT a good time to find a lost dog — to see if he was micro-chipped. We had high hopes because he is well groomed, has a shiny coat, and came with a harness — but no luck. He was not chipped. :( We filled out a Found Dog report there, took him for a walk, and returned home. Again I was filled with anxiety.

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We have gotten a barrage of responses from Craigslist ranging from totally normal people (who unfortunately are looking for other dogs) to serious creepers (we’ll take it if you don’t want it) to people cussing me out assuming that I am “only posting to Craigslist and not taking the dog to a shelter and HOW DARE I???” (Hey, glad of you to assume, ASSHOLE.) So that’s been a little stressful. Also stressful: I can’t stop thinking about the fact that someone is clearly missing their dog. And that breaks my heart.

We’ve reached out to groomers, made more signs, posted updates to Craigslist and so far it’s just radio silence. We’ve even explored what the protocol and options there are with shelters, but that isn’t really like a great option just yet. The thing with shelters is this: first, it is a holiday weekend. There are 3 major ones and it appears they are closed Monday AND Tuesday. Of course we plan to file a Found Dog Report with them, but you have to physically do it, so it appears that is going to have to wait until Wednesday.

Lots of people say to drop him off at the shelters, but there is a very small window that they keep him before they will adopt him out. This is a beautiful, well trained and behaved dog, someone WILL adopt it. We googled all the shelters and read all the reviews but it appears that was as helpful to my stress-levels as googling symptoms when you don’t feel well. All the websites say if they find anything wrong with him, due to overcrowding they will euthanize, and the reviews I read really validate that fact. I can’t even think about that yet. I mean, what if his family is on vacation for the holiday? I WOULD FEEL AWFUL.

Then there are others who say we should keep him. But right now I just can’t think about keeping a dog that is not my own. Of course we would love a dog someday, Garrett and I are both Dog People for sure, but this isn’t ours. And I can’t (even jokingly) think about keeping this little guy until we really give it a good go to find his parents. My mom keeps joking with me that “This is what it’s like having a dog…do you want this responsibility?” But the thing is — this is NOT what it’s like having a dog. This is what it’s like HAVING SOMEONE ELSE’S DOG. It kind of feels like when you are on pins and needles babysitting someone else’s kid, except that you have no idea if the parents are ever coming back and that is an added layer of stress.

Hey! Stop reading and come play with me!

But also, in the meantime, this little guy is just such a sweetheart. He is a very clear communicator. When he wants attention he will come right up to you and put his paw on you and give you a nudge. When you are typing on the computer he is laying right down at your feet making sure they stay warm. He is clearly someone’s companion and someone’s friend, and we want to do everything we can to find them. In the meantime we are just waiting and watching, and giving head pats and doggy-hugs. Trying to make sure he likes his dog food and playing fetch with him in the yard. The upside is that his quality of life with us will be good while he is here, and luckily he seems to have made himself right at home.

#ootd plus one.

But I can’t help but wonder if he is missing his own house. And surely, someone out there is missing him. Fingers crossed for us, internet?

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32 comments to The Dog Saga

  • San
    September 4, 2012 at 9:21 am

    I saw your updates on Instagram. He’s just the cutest dog! I really hope you find his owner/family. In the meantime, enjoy his wonderful company :)

  • Beth
    September 4, 2012 at 9:36 am

    If we lost of little puppy, Alfred, I so hope that he would end up finding a temporary home with people like you and Garrett. You are doing exactly what I would hope someone who found him would do. Fingers crossed that his parents find him. I’m sure they are worried and missing him but will be very happy when they realize he’s been cared for so well. You guys are awesome for taking him in like this!

  • Carol
    September 4, 2012 at 9:52 am

    What a sweet face! I would be frantic if we lost our dog and could only wish someone as nice as you picked her up. He seems to have settled right in with you though and from the photos is enjoying his temporary home. Sending good vibes that his owners contact you soon so it’s all settled.

    • Holly
      September 4, 2012 at 1:40 pm

      That’s what I keep telling myself — that hopefully when all is said and done his owners will be happy to know that he was cared for while away from them. :)

  • sizzle
    September 4, 2012 at 10:22 am

    I would have done the same thing. I’ve pulled over multiple times to rescue a lost pup. I just imagine that if I were the pup’s owner I’d want someone to look out for my dog if s/he got lost or was in harms way. I really hope the owners see your signs! If he had a harness it’s so odd he wouldn’t have tags. He’s super lucky he gets to be with you guys while you find his people.

  • Michelle
    September 4, 2012 at 10:24 am

    What a great dog! I totally get your anxiety about this; I can’t stand when things are so unsettled. Fingers crossed for good news. Until then, enjoy the heck out of having a dog around!

    • Holly
      September 4, 2012 at 1:39 pm

      It definitely is a little anxiety inducing, but I tell ya — his little face just makes it all worth it. He is such a cute guy to have around. We’ll probably just keep looking and keep him comfy!

  • Meg
    September 4, 2012 at 10:38 am

    So glad he found you and that you’re doing such a good job to find his family. You’re good people! And he sounds like a sweetheart. Praying it all works out the way it’s meant to!

  • Elizabeth
    September 4, 2012 at 11:01 am

    That is crazy Holly! I forwarded this to my next door neighbor who works at the SPCA and told her to ask around and keep an eye out for people looking for this dog around there.

  • Michele
    September 4, 2012 at 11:41 am

    YOU ROCK!!!! I think is was a huge doggy plan, he saw you comin’ and thought oh boy VACATION at the AWESOME house! I am sure what ever is supposed to happen will happen so just take a deep breath and let it be. You have done everything anyone could have possibly done…again, you rock!

    • Holly
      September 4, 2012 at 1:37 pm

      True story…who knows why it all happened. I’ve never picked up any stray animals before and I really felt so compelled with this little guy, so hopefully it will help things! Deep breaths! I just hate all the uncertainty, not to mention having a dog is completely new to us. We both had dogs growing up, but never when we were like…THE ADULTS of the household, you know? :)

  • K
    September 4, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    He has just the sweetest face. Where did he come from? And aren’t they looking for him? :(

  • Lauren
    September 4, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Oh my God, my dog got out of his collar once(long story, he got scared and actually ran home lol) so this kind of situation is my biggest fear! What an amazing temporary home you set up for this little guy, I hope his people find him :(

    If no one comes for him, I would recommend looking for a no-kill shelter or a private rescue group. The rescue groups have foster homes on staff so if this goes on too long for you they should be able to take him.

    • Holly
      September 4, 2012 at 1:35 pm

      I had never thought of a private rescue group, but that is a great suggestion if we decide we can’t handle him or his family never calls. Thanks so much for the suggestion!

  • Serror
    September 4, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Don’t listen to those folks telling you what you are doing is wrong. Crazy Craigslist! I think you are doing all the right stuff, just keep putting those flyers up, and letting shelters and vets and groomers and pet stores and anywhere else you can think of know about the pup.

    Honestly, if there is any chance of the dog being put down, or adopted out quickly the shelters aren’t the way to go. Think of yourself like a foster family for the dog, rather than a group home/orphanage situation. It is probably much less traumatizing for the dog to stay with you two, than in a kennel/shelter.

    Our local Humane Society has a no kill policy, and there are other shelters out there that do as well, but I know California has an issue with too many shelter dogs right now.

    But I would be so grateful that you took care of my dog if something similar were to happen. I AM grateful to you two for taking this poor dog in to your home in such a situation, even though it is not my dog. Thank you!

    • Holly
      September 4, 2012 at 1:34 pm

      Yeah, I think that is probably what we are going to do. We looked at some pictures on the websites at the shelters and I’m not even kidding you Garrett said “These dogs look like prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. We have to keep this little guy here.” So we will probably do that since surely their owners are in our neighborhood somewhere!

  • amber
    September 4, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    You should call him Falcor. :)

  • Kate
    September 4, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    He’s so lucky that you found him! I am just in love with him form seeing his sweet face — I know his owners must be missing him. I hope you guys are able to make a connection with them soon. If you don’t find them, though….well, I’m just saying he’d be a really cute addition to your family :)

  • Abby
    September 4, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    My dog, Sherman, was someone else’s dog. I picked him up on a rainy day and did everything I could to alert any potential owners, but he was obviously abused and turned out to have heartworms, so I didn’t take him to the pound as I was afraid he’d be euthanized. After a month I had gotten so used to him… he just stayed. Now I’ve had him for 6 years.

  • bethanyrx
    September 4, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    This brings tears to my eyes… our pups have run away (more than once! little buggers), and while they are chipped, tagged, and collared to the hilt, the only part we can’t control is if/when/who finds them. The last time they escaped, Grace had just had surgery on her ACL, we had just moved into our new house, and they were gone for 36 HOURS. I was beside myself the entire time, and we did EVERYTHING we could do to try and find them/get the word out that they were missing.

    It turns out they had made their way to the closest body of water–a “creek” with quite a bit of sewage runoff, mm mmmm, yummy–and had gotten stuck on a concrete ledge. Auggie (the big one) could have gotten down, but Grace couldn’t have (because she’s smaller, and the leg), so he stayed with her the entire time. Some of our neighbors happened to be driving over a bridge and thought they saw them, called Eric, and I think I broke the sound barrier trying to get there as fast as possible, bawling so hard I could barely see the road.

    Long story short, it WAS them, they were okay (just SUPER tired and thirsty)… and now they wear GPS dog collars.

    You’re the best, Hols. I wish that everyone who found a dog was as dedicated to finding its owner as you guys!

    • Holly
      September 5, 2012 at 5:00 am

      Aw, thanks Bethany! I know just how that feels and why we will keep looking. He’s too well behaved not to come from someone who loves him.

  • Holly
    September 5, 2012 at 6:45 am

    Hi Holly! I’m not sure where you live, but check on Facebook for Lost and Found Dog – (your area). I think this can be helpful. My love for dogs runs deep and I appreciate you going above and beyond for this little guy. He is quite precious! Good luck and if you need any help spreading the word, let me know!

  • Rhi
    September 5, 2012 at 6:51 am

    Oh, what a handsome fellow! Fingers crossed his owners come forward. He’s probably so confused. I’m glad that he has a safe and loving place to stay in the meantime.

  • AndreAnna
    September 5, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Mike says I am the Lost Dog Magnet. I have found at least 5 and gotten them all back to their homes.

    Although one stuck with me because when his owner came to pick him up, he cowered and tried to run back to our house. I still get all choked up thinking about that and how I should have kicked the guy in the shins and kept his dog.

    You’re good people and you’ll find his home. And if this guy was meant to be yours, he will be.

    I also petition you name him Huxley, the end.

    • Holly
      September 5, 2012 at 10:29 am

      Huxley is a delightful name! Right now he is totally answering to Honey Boo Boo Dog. But my mom calls him Albie. Poor pup is going to have an identity crisis. :)

      My worst fear is that we will find his owners and not like them. Fingers crossed that doesn’t happen. UUUUUUUUUUGH.

  • kell
    September 5, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    If you haven’t already, post on PetFinder.com.

    We acquired our dog, Tess, through a very similar situation. I was convinced, based upon the dog’s demeanor and collar, that SOMEONE was missing her. Once we found the owner (four days and two blizzards later), she didn’t ask about the dog’s condition, say thank you, nothing. Oh, and she couldn’t come and get the dog for two more days. I hung up the phone and told my husband “She’s not going back. We don’t have to keep her, but she’s not going back.” When the owner (much to my surprise) called back on Saturday my husband asked if she would be willing to let us keep her. The response? “I was just going to give her away anyway.”

    It may be someone is missing that dog. It may also be that you are exactly who the dog was missing. Good luck, you’re doing the right thing!

  • Friday Chit Chat
    September 7, 2012 at 7:53 am

    […] doing a little dog research — So here’s the update with Honey Boo Boo Dog (his current name, for now.) About a week has gone by with no word from the potential owners. I […]

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