Saturday, January 07, 2006

When is a dog lost?

I made a friend when I went out to get the mail this afternoon. Meandering around the neighbors’ yard was a Black Labrador, who looked up at me as I crossed the road and checked my mailbox. From inside the neighbors’ house came the customary yipping of the two nasty miniature Dobermans who live there, evil little creatures that not even PETA could love. The Labrador smiled (really, he did) and followed me across the road to my driveway where we chatted for a moment. Middle-aged and well-fed, he had a collar but no tags, a scar on his snout but no visible injuries. He sat at my feet and thumped his tail on the asphalt. I rubbed his chest and he stared into my eyes. If he had been gaunt, or otherwise in obvious need, I would have sprung into action. But it isn’t uncommon for country folk to let their dogs wander (despite a county ordinance that forbids it) and this chubby pup just didn’t seem lost to me. So I went to my front door—he followed me, as if he might have thought I’d invited him for a drink, or a treat—but when I said no, he slinked off the porch. I wondered if Bhikku, napping inside, would smell this stranger on my hand.

The paper had reports of several missing dogs, but none in this vicinity, and no Black Labs. I’ll check again tomorrow and if there is an ad in the paper I’ll at least be able to provide Blackie’s whereabouts as of about 3pm on Saturday.

Although Blackie wasn’t in the paper, there was an ad offering a Yellow Lab, three years old, for free, to a nice home, preferably one without small children. (Hmm, what’s that about, do you suppose?) I’ve been thinking of getting a dog for my dog for some time now, so I tore out the ad. I haven’t called yet. But I might.

Update on Sunday 1/8: Blackie came by again today and brought with him his step-puppie Bernard (as in Saint), an adorable (large) ball of fluff with no collar. Bhikku and I were in the yard prepatory to our daily woods walk and he was delighted with the visitors until Bernard stuck his head through the fence and was more or less in our space. Bhikku growled in kind of a watch-it-buster way. They were strolling with a woman who said they belonged to the people who live behind her and often tagged along with her when she went walking. So, no, Blackie wasn't lost.

4 comments:

Katie said...

Awww.. Labs are so sweet!

Cate said...

Wonderful story. You had me glued. I'm glad that he wasn't lost. And I could picture the smile!

Are the miniature dobermans really miniature pinschers or is there another breed? I have a miniature pinscher. My dad jokes that she is a cat--the cats always look insulted.

Clifford Garstang said...

Cate, until you asked the question, I didn't know that I was using the wrong name for the breed, although apparently I'm not alone. The dogs are in fact miniature pinschers; and if someone could make them shut up for a minute they might be cute (no offense).

Katie, Labs are definitely sweet; mine is incredible, which is why he tempts me to get a second one.

Cate said...

No offense taken. I agree that the constant yipping impacts their cuteness!