I had just pulled out of the grocery store’s parking lot when I noticed two small dogs standing by the side of the road. One of them was a little brown mixed breed wearing a black collar; the other, a matted little grey Shih-Tzu. At first glance, I thought they belonged to a man walking down the street, but he simply ignored both of these dogs and strolled right by them.
Suddenly, these two small canines decided to cross the road into heavy traffic. I jumped out of my truck and I called out to them. The frightened little brown dog took one look at me and raced away down an alley. The little Shih-Tzu, however, raced right into my waiting arms. I scooped him up and placed him in the passenger seat of my truck. When I got back in myself, he looked over at me as if to say: ‘OK, Let’s Go!’ And he now very contentedly snuggled up next to me as we pulled away.
This extremely friendly little street orphan was extremely matted and extremely dirty, and I immediately assumed that he was yet another abandoned pet, now forced to fend for himself. Nine out of ten dogs that we rescue from the mean city streets today are homeless throw-aways, but I always have them scanned for a micro-chip – just in case.
When we arrived at the vet’s office, I announced that I had just found another wandering street orphan, and the girl behind the desk immediately pulled out their trusty microchip scanner. A hush fell over the waiting room as she whisked it all around his matted little body, and suddenly we heard the unmistakable beep – this dog had a chip – and everyone there now applauded.
And before long, we knew this sweet little street orphan’s name – it was Russell. And the young woman on the other end of the telephone was simply overjoyed. “I can’t believe that you found him! Our Russell has been missing since January!”
And before long, she arrived at the vet’s office. She took one look at little Russell and several tears rolled down her cheek. This dog took one look at her, and his matted little tail began wagging like crazy. They had found each other again, after nine long months of separation.
She soon showed me a copy of the ‘Lost Poster’ that she had plastered all over her neighborhood, and it was hard to believe that this sweet little canine had vanished from her backyard way back on January 9th. She had assumed that he had been stolen by someone, and she had just about given up ever finding her precious little dog again.
After hearing where she lived, which was many miles from where I found him, we all agreed that someone must have stolen friendly little Russell and whisked him away from his home. But whether he escaped his kidnappers after all this time, or whether he was cruelly tossed back out on the street by them, we will never know.
I do know, however, that this is my favorite kind of rescue story. There is nothing better than reuniting a loved lost pet with its family, and this kind of story makes animal rescue work truly worthwhile.
As I was about to leave the vet’s office, the now joyous little Russell rushed up to me and kissed my face several times, thanking me for bringing him home. What more could I ask for.
Please micro-chip your own pets; this caring, inexpensive gesture can truly be a life saver. And please safeguard them at all times; we’re still searching for little lost Russell’s traveling companion.
©September 2012, Mr. Ed