Sunday, January 26, 2014

Dog people see lost dogs

A couple of recent lost (and found) dog stories have inspired me to write this piece.  

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.

6 comments:

JustJulie said...

Rachel. Oh my, another dog-finder-no-matter-what! I too am one of *those* people. I have a 100% rate! I say this with NO pride, just gratitude, actually. My story is this: I had 2 german shepherds....first time dog owner (I was in my 20's at the time) and my youngest shepherd, Abby, had had lung surgery (inhaled a foxtail!) but she survived 2 surgeries, and was recovering nicely. I took both dogs to Pt. Pinole (not Isabel!) which is rather remote. I was on the upper ocean side trail, and around this blind turn came a runner, with I swear, at least 25 hound type dogs running with him! My two dogs took ONE look at what was coming at them, and turned tail and ran! I was hysterical. My dogs were obedient, off leash trained and we had never had this happen. Well, I was a screaming yelling mama, and eventually found my oldest g.s.d. Cara....but we walked for an hour only to not see my youngest. I was getting more and more heartsick. I did not know what to do, or who to talk to, it was just me there. I was walking down the trailhead trail, towards the parking lot, sobbing. The park rangers saw me, heard me, and came up to me in their work van. Loaded me and my Cara dog into the van, told me we would drive around the house neighborhood adjacent to the parking lot. I was in that van 3 hours, yelling out the open side slider door for my Abby. I prayed, asked God to return her to me...and said to Him: if I get her back I will ALWAYS FIND THE DOGS I SEE LOST, BACK TO THEIR HOMES!!! and you know what? as we were returning to Pt. Pinoles parking lot, there was Abby coming down the hill/trail to the parking lot!!! I knew then, that it would be my forever responsibility, to always find the dogs out there lost, back to home, their owner, or to a shelter. I have never ever not done this. It's been 32 years now that I have been doing this. I always will. I will never forget getting my Abby back.

Celly Gillum said...

My Clover was terrified of fireworks and so I decided to sedate him on the 4th of July and keep him inside with me all night. I took his harness off because there was no way he was going to go outside with all the fireworks and we headed off to bed. Little did I know Clover would get so disoriented and freaked out by the fireworks he ran outside when my roommate got home and then dug his way out the front fence. When I woke in the morning and realized Clover was gone I immediately started doing all the things you do to find a lost pet, to no avail. After 5 weeks had passed I had all but given up when out of blue I got a phone call from someone saying she had seen one of my posters and had Clover. So, 5 weeks later my little Clover came home, safe and happy.

Celly Gillum said...

My Clover was terrified of fireworks and so I decided to sedate him on the 4th of July and keep him inside with me all night. I took his harness off because there was no way he was going to go outside with all the fireworks and we headed off to bed. Little did I know Clover would get so disoriented and freaked out by the fireworks he ran outside when my roommate got home and then dug his way out the front fence. When I woke in the morning and realized Clover was gone I immediately started doing all the things you do to find a lost pet, to no avail. After 5 weeks had passed I had all but given up when out of blue I got a phone call from someone saying she had seen one of my posters and had Clover. So, 5 weeks later my little Clover came home, safe and happy.

Diane said...

I typically pick up 2-3 loose dogs per year.

My favorite story is the 110 lb adult male Akita (no collar, no tags) I found standing on a little traffic triangle near a freeway on-ramp doing 360 degree turns and sniffing the air. It was near a fire station and I had my own dog with me and no extra leash so I asked a couple of dog-loving firemen to help me. They started trying to get the dog while I ran 5 blocks home, put my dog in the house, got a slip leash, and ran back. When I got back the firemen were giving up. They told me they had twice frightened the dog into oncoming traffic and felt they were doing more harm than good. The encouraged me to leave him be, that he was big and potentially dangerous, and started to head back to the station. I told them I never chase a dog, however, if I could get the dog to come to me I was going to take him. I went to about 6' of the dog, clicked me tongue and called him, and he came right to me. I brushed him with the leash, no problem, slipped it on. The minute the leash was on he relaxed and was happily trotting by my side. I walked the dog all around the neighborhood but nobody recognized him. My next door neighbor, who has no pets, kindly allowed me to bed the dog down in his yard. My dog wouldn't have appreciated a big unfamiliar dog in her yard. The dog appeared less than thrilled with the accommodations and wanted to be inside the house. The next day I started posting signs and the person who lost the dog was out riding his motorcycle looking and found me. He had been driving around all night looking for the dog. It was his cousin's beloved indoor dog he was pet-sitting. He left the dog at his house (not where the dog lived) with access to the yard while he went out for a few hours. I asked him "what time did you leave the house?" He said "7 PM". I said "Great. I first found the dog around 7:10 PM". That's an Akita. I think he was trying to find his way back to his owner or babysitter after being left alone. It didn't help it was the evening of July 3 and there were firework noises.

Liama Jhons said...

Nice work you are doing on this blog. you are come up with some good ideas. i have just found this application. this will must help you out in relocating the lost one.
Find My Pet Android Version

Liama Jhons said...

fantastic work, you have done a great job. Lost and found