First is the tale of Dutch. He arrived at BACS via someone who had found him stray at the Berkeley Marina. He is a big PBTD and looked like an "owned dog." Which means, he was well-fed, had a beautiful glossy coat, was well-mannered and was already neutered (!). My heart went out to him sitting in the kennel looking so unhappy. Once his review period was over he went for walks with volunteers in the park. The hard part was getting him back to the shelter. One time it took two of us (no one likes to drag a dog) and I ended up carrying his rear end up most of the stairs. Well, I'm happy to report that his people showed up to collect him within 10 days. Apparently he was lost in Richmond and it hadn't occured to them to look at the Berkeley shelter. Best outcome ever.
|Dutch looking happy to be out of his kennel|
And the three good samaritans who saw a starving dog eating garbage by the side of the road at Lake Chabot. They managed to coax him into the car with half a pizza (which he ate and then promptly threw it up having gobbled it up so quickly). They took him to the vet (split the vet bills) where the vet cautioned one of the women with young kids not to take him home because he was a pit bull. Argh. Charlie turned out to be a loving, gentle dog. My friends from Dusty Paws Rescue took him into their program and Charlie went home.
|Charlie by the side of the road|
|A filled out happy boy|
Also, to a fellow BACS volunteer who was driving to her yoga class recently early on a Sunday morning in Oakland when she saw a stray dog running around. She picked it up only to learn that the Oakland shelter didn't open until noon. So, she brought the dog to Berkeley to have it scanned for a chip (no luck) and then drove the dog around for 3 hours until OAS opened.
That's what dog people do.
We see dogs where others don't and we do something about it.
And now to some of my own stories.... because I've certainly found my share of lost dogs.
There was the dog I found running around on Euclid Ave. She had tags with a L.A. number. I called and left a message and then brought her home. An hour later I got a call from a sobbing woman wanting to make sure I still had her pooch. She was up visiting her sister and the dog had found a way out of the yard. She showed up half an hour later ever grateful with a bouquet of flowers for me.
The sick dog I found in Cordonices park. He was vomiting and struggling to walk. This was during the period when there were a number of dog poisonings in that area. I called the police and helped put the ailing pooch into the back of his squad car (a challenge with the slippery hard seats). Off to an unknown fate.
The large dog that showed up in front of my house without a person. I leashed him up and walked him around the neighborhood hoping he'd make his home known. No luck. I let him sleep in my car over night (my dog doesn't appreciate canine visitors) and took him to BACS in the morning. Turns out "Lucky" lives around the corner from me but apparently doesn't get out much as I had never seen him before. We had walked right by his house. Lucky was neutered (at owner's agreement) and was treated for his skin condition. It was probably a nice little adventure for him (except for the neutering part I guess). I haven't seen him since.
Or the older pug who was wandering around the street near my house. I brought her home knowing my dog is more tolerant of little dogs. Well, this little spitfire ferociously launched on my dog. So, with few options, I took her to BACS and left her with note in the night box. At 6:00 the next morning her owner showed up at my gate (alerted by a neighbor I had talked to) clearly miffed that I had taken his dog to the shelter. He lived three doors down though I had never seen the pooch because he only walked her at night because she was so reactive.
Or the little dog I noticed for the first time one morning in the yard of an apartment building in my neighborhood. I walked by later in the day and saw her running around the street having jumped over the fence. I knocked on all the apt. doors and posted multiple signs saying she was with me. No response though mysteriously the food/water bowl disappeared from the apt. yard the next morning. We named her "Elle" for lost and kept her for a few days before taking her into BACS where she was quickly adopted.
|Elle, perched on my chair|
My favorite lost/found dog story...
A number of years ago my mother was driving through a busy intersection in North Berkeley. There was a large dog with a noticeable limp running around. Worried he was about to get runover she opened her car door and the dog pulled himself in. She immediately called me and I came over and plastered the intersection area and neighborhood with found dog signs. Two days later, a woman called my mother to say she'd seen a lost dog sign in South Berkeley that fit the description of the found dog. My mother drove around South Berkeley and located the flier! She called the number and the owner showed up 1/2 hour later to reclaim his dog. Turns out "Oso" had escaped the yard when a neighbor was caring for him. He'd been gone for two weeks. The owner was so grateful and offered my parents a reward multiple times which they refused as they were so relieved to have found his devoted owner (best reward ever). It took three women but we got Oso home.
And my own lost dog story...
My girl Jelly is a homebody. The gate could be left open and she'd be sleeping on the couch when I came home. She's not going anywhere (because she has it so good!) Well, she was out with her dog walker one day in Tilden Park during a significant winter storm (bad idea really). Apparently there was a clap of thunder (she's terrified) and Jelly disappeared. The dogwalker tried to find her for an hour but no Jelly. I raced up to the park and joined the search. I called for her for over an hour (the longest hour of my life). And then, as I continued to yell her name in the parking lot I turned around and she was just... there, smiling up at me. I'm tearing up as I write this. One of the happiest moments in my life.
|Jelly looking a little miffed that I'm leaving her behind.|
Thank you to all of you who have seen a dog in need and done what you could to help and keep the dog safe. You are my heroes.