December 27, 2005

Our Christmas Good Deed

Our Christmas Eve was eventful, perhaps too much so. We were running late, which is so usual everyone who knows us just assumes we will be. We had made it about three blocks when the missus spotted a dog. Not ours of course, the slightly uncontrollable Jeffery was safe in his crate at home, and the gentle, absurdly goofy Matchbox was nestled behind the driver’s seat in the cab of our truck. He always visits my parent’s house. He lived about a year with Mom and her dog Sabrina, and it’s like going home to him.

No, this was a lost dog. It was a lovely German shorthair pointer who had that Lost Dog Look. Crouched down, constantly looking back and forth as if scanning for the right house, the poor thing practically shouted, “I shouldn’t BE here!”

Ensie and I can’t resist attempting to save every lost dog we see, so we’re certainly not going to pass one up on Christmas. She stopped the truck and we found not only the pointer, but also an enormous companion dog with it. This was a mix; I’m thinking lab, maybe some Akita and perhaps some rhinoceros. This dog was less nervous than the pointer, but clearly disoriented. We tracked down the lab/akita/rhino. His name was Rusty and he was obviously an older dog. With the help of a friendly neighbor we caught the other, her name was Maggie.

Both dogs were collared, with names and county registrations. I called the number on the tags and this is, basically verbatim, the conversation that ensued.

Dog Owner Dude: Hello

Frinklin: Hi, my name is Frinklin and I think I’ve found your lost dogs.

DOD: Oh yeah, Maggie and Rusty always get out when I’m about to leave.

Frinklin: Well, we’re at the corner of This Street and That Street; you want to come get them?

DOD: No, I’m actually in Lakewood right now doing Christmas stuff. I won’t be able to get them for a while.

Frinklin: Uhhhhhhhhh…. Okay.

Ensie: (mouthing) What’s going on?

Frinklin: (Exaggerated shrug)

DOD: Can you keep them until I come home?

Frinklin: Well… No, we can’t, we’re actually off to Christmas Eve dinner at my folks.

DOD: Can you take them back to my house? I just leave it unlocked.

Frinklin: Maybe, where do you live?

DOD: Oh, I live on the corner of Pine and Some Other Street Way the Hell Away.

Frinklin: Okay, I know where that is.

DOD: Thanks. Let me know if you have any problems.

I was so irritated at this point I didn’t know what to say. And who leaves the house unlocked? Doesn’t this doofus know we live in the crime capitol of the universe here? Ensie and I didn’t have much choice. We weren’t going to leave then wandering the street, and we couldn’t store them at our house. Jeffery doesn’t much care for visitors. We had the truck, we had the dogs: What the hell?

Now how do we get them in the truck? Since Maggie was young (and unaltered, Goddammit) we figured she could jump. And she could. She just didn’t too. At this point she was so nervous she was trembling. The only keeping her going was that she was in close proximity to Rusty. The Neighbor-Lady, whom we foolishly never found a name for, suggested that if Rusty would jump into the back of the truck, Maggie would surely follow. Ensie did her best. “Jump, Rusty, Jump up!”

Rusty looked at Ensie, looked at me, looked at the Neighbor-Lady, looked at the truck-bed. His tail started to wag and he sort of leaned a bit so his head was resting on the open tailgate. His front feet got about a half-inch off the ground. He bonked his head against the tailgate. He really, really wanted to jump up, but he was old and heavy and he just couldn’t make it. He looked at me as apologetically as a dog/rhino can. We both knew what was coming. Luckily I know the proper way to pick up enormous, muddy dogs. Oh he was muddy. It rained an entire week leading up to Christmas.

I gave him my palm to sniff. He ended up licking it. I kneeled down next to him, wrapped my arms around his upper chest and legs and lifted (with my knees, Thank you).

Ooof…this is one goddamn heavy dog. We think Jeffery is a big kid, and at 75 pounds, he is. Rusty was about two Jefferys. He was quiet and complacent though and I lifted him into the truck without much trouble. Neighbor-Lady was proven right, as Maggie scrambled right up behind him. It wasn’t much trouble to find the house and since Maggie nearly ran me over trying to get in, it was obviously the right one.

So, this was our good deed for the Holidays. It made me wonder though. This is the third time Ensie and I have stopped, dropped everything we’re doing in order to help a lost dog. This is also the third time the lost-dog owner has pretty much not give a damn about said lost dog. The first one took about 12 hours to even respond, and then showed and never thanked us. The second one bitched about how the dog gets out all the time. And this guy can’t be bothered to come get them. If my dogs got away, and luckily they haven’t for some time, I would be beside myself until I found them. I know Ensie would be the same way.

So my question is this: Are we the norm? Or are the people we’ve dealt with the norm and we’re just overprotective?

Posted by Frinklin at December 27, 2005 09:35 PM | TrackBack

Hi -

We found your blog searching for a dog owner. We found a German shorthair Dec. 30 and have been trying to find his family. Anyway, I think you (and I) are a distinct minority. Lots of owners don't deserve a dog but we don't do it for them - it's for the dogs.

I like your site. But then, I like the Redskins.


Posted by: Lawson at January 7, 2006 11:13 AM
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