I was Fortunate enough to save the life of a dog. One that had gotten away from his owners, I don't know how, but he just happened to be in my path, and I recognized that he needed help.
One saturday morning, I leashed up Claire to do our 2 mile walk. Tucker was supposed to come with us, but being we had a foster puppy to play with, he was too busy. So Claire and I started off on our routine. There are three routes we take, I almost went one way, and decided at last moment to change and go the another way. As I rounded a corner I saw this big black dog on the other side of the street just kinda wandering and sniffing, I didn't think much of it, there were people around and I guess I thought he was one of theirs. But he continued in the same direction we were headed, and I kept my eye on him, no one had called to him, as they went on about their own business. About halfway up the street, this big dog, crossed into the middle of the very busy street, cars whizzed by him, maybe slowing a little, and one or two actually weaved around in order not to hit him. I knew he was in trouble. But in all honesty I was a little afraid, one never knows what an unleashed dog will do around a leashed one. I did call him, and after avoiding yet another car, he came to our side of the street, but went onto someone's lawn and sniffed around. I stood there, watching him, and called to him to see if he would come over. But Claire did her "back off growl" and he only got close enough to take a sniff then wander onto another lawn. I walked on a little, but I was worried, I could tell he was lost. So I called to him again, patting my leg, yelling "come on big fellah!" and he indeed followed me, at a bit of a distance, but he did follow. My goal at that point was to get him to a safer street, with less cars. I was also desperate to see someone with a Cell phone, in case I could get him to stay with me, I would read his tag and call his owners. After some coaxing, and a simple command of "sit!" he did, and I was able to see that he only had a rabies tag on his collar. This saddened me. My next thought was to get him to follow me home, and get him to a Vet or shelter, hopefully he'd been chipped, and we could contact his owners that way.
We made it home, I got him leashed up in our front yard, my children gave him a biscuit and water, and my husband tried unsuccessfully to reach the SJ Animal Shelter or HSSV. I took a few photos just in case, if we needed to keep him, I would post the photo where ever we could. You see, this big dog, was so sweet, totally obedient and happy (albeit scared). He was in good shape, I could tell his owners loved him and they were probably in a panic. I know I would have been!
So, then we put him in our SUV and took him to the Folks at Banfield Vet Hospital, to see if they could read a chip with the wand. He did not have a chip. The rabies tag was well worn and mostly unreadable. But the nice woman who helped me, recognized the clinic where the tag came from, and she had the phone number on file. Oh Yes! She wrote the ID number down and went inside to call the clinic. I am happy to say that , the dog's owners had called the clinic to alert them of their missing dog, Max. I was so happy, so relieved, and just joyful that Max was going home safely. We left him in the good hands of the Hospital and went home. For the rest of the day, my children asked me, "What do you think Max is doing right now?" I'd say "he's getting hugged by his mommy and daddy".
I would never venture to lecture anyone on dog ownership, especially a loved dog such as Max, but I will say, please, ID tags are important. Just a name and reachable phone number will do. A chip is a good thing, no matter how people think, it does work, I know personally, it brings your dog home with a short, simple phone call. If you are worried about the price, the Humane Society offers specials through out the year, we got our dog Tucker chipped for $10, and It hurt the Vet Tech more than it hurt Tucker. Max got away, most likely unexpectedly, a lot of dogs do, and so many owners have the right to be frightened because of all the danger their dog could be in. A ID tag or chip can make a person just a tad, just a tad, less worried.
So Max, where ever you are, my family and I are happy you are home safe and sound with your family. I am glad it was me who, maybe because of fate, chose to walk in the same path where you were.