When I was growing up, way out in the boonies of Clermont County, a stray animal would wander through my mother’s garden at least once a month. Which would explain why we never had less than 2 dogs and 6 cats in the house at any one time. Now that I live in the suburbs, I just don’t see stray dogs. We have a very efficient dog catcher. He points that out to me each time he returns my dog to me.
So this past week, when an unfamiliar dog wandered into my garden, I was surprised. Not only was this a stray dog, but he was a starving dog. Which was strange. Frankly, dogs just don’t starve in the suburbs. There are just too many trash cans. Upon closer inspection, we discovered he had a collar and an odd temporary tag from a realty company in North Carolina, of all places.
The dog came with me easily enough and we fed him a bowl of food right away, to try to keep him from fainting from hunger right there. As I am with all strange dogs, I was a bit wary. But within a day or so, it became obvious that this was the biggest teddy bear there ever was. My 4 year old was dragging this dog, who is nearly as tall as he is, around by the collar and the dog willingly goes.
The more the week has gone along, the more it has become apparent that this dog was once loved by someone. He may have been starved, but he had never been abused. So where does a dog starve in the suburbs but not abused? My husband and I have two theories. He came from the MetroParks or he came off a train from the nearby train yard. Either way, we are fairly certain that someone misses this dog a lot. And so the search began.
We posted ads in the Plain Dealer (free for found ads), CraigsList.com, FidoFinder.com. I started emailing every lost ad with a matching description of this dog. We took him to the vet to get him scanned for a microchip.
We even called Outer Beaches Realty to ask about the tag. It turns out they only give them to people who are staying in one of their houses with a dog. Cheryl at Outer Beaches was as concerned as I was. She pulled the entire list of clients from Ohio who had dogs and started making calls. (If you are looking to vacation in North Carolina I would highly recommend them. If they are willing to go to this length for a former renter, imagine what they will do for a current one.)
And the end result after a week of searching and answering emails? Our lost dog is still a lost dog. *sigh* Maybe we have the real life equivalent of The Incredible Journey but we have no way of finding him safely home to the people who loved him. The best we can do is find him a new home where someone new will love him as well. Right now, we have 2 people who would like the dog so there is no fear that he will not find a new home.