>My husband and I have four dogs. We had five until a couple months ago when we had to put our beloved Bloodhound, Morena, to sleep. We also have two cats. That is a good number. The dogs are fairly large, a Dalmation, an Australian Cattle Dog, a Terrier mutt, and a yellow mutt. The cats have their own room (basically we put a gate in front of the door so the dogs don’t bother them).
My husband is the Dog Rescuer. He is well known in our neighborhood, because if he finds a stray dog, he will take the time to track down the owner, sometimes giving a lecture on the importance of dog tags. He will take the dog to our local vet to see if it has been chipped. He will make posters and hang them around the neighborhood. He will never pass by a loose dog. Never.
So, it wasn’t much of a surprise when he came into the house yesterday after his run and said “Come outside and see what I’ve got.” What he had was a beautiful Golden Retriever/Lab Mix, female. He had her tied up in the front yard, with water and shade. She had a collar, but no tags.
I had to head off to work, so I left the hubby, making signs, waiting for the vet to open. I talked to him once during the day, but no news. She was not chipped, and he hadn’t heard from anyone yet. He did tell me, “she’s in the house.” That is kind of a milestone, because my pack of dogs can be very possessive to outsiders. Of course, she weighs about 50 lbs more than any of my dogs, and she had such a sweet, non-aggressive personality that she was able to just fit right in.
By the time I got home from work, she had become part of the family. She greeted me at the door, grabbed a toy and hopped up on the couch to play with it. If my husband was a child, I know the first words out of his mouth would have been, “Can we keep her? Please?”
And because in some ways, the hubby and I are very much alike, (and I love Golden Retrievers), I probably would have said yes. At that time, he had a call into animal control, who did have a report of a missing dog, but we hadn’t heard back for sure. I had to leave to take our Cattle Dog to a vet appointment, I could hear the words in the air, “please, please, please?”
I was gone about a half hour, and when I returned she was gone. Her owner had picked her up (her name was Jade). Even though she’d been there for only a few hours, the house felt emptier. I’m not sure if my dogs felt they’d lost a new friend, or that the competition had left (or had no feelings on the subject–they are dogs after all).
I do know that I felt sad. That for a little while, I had been the kid thinking, “Can we keep her?” This time, the answer was no.