Stinkypup did his very best that night to convince me to let him in the bed but he remained relegated to the dog room at bedtime. I left the door open so that he could see me but I'm not sure that it wouldn't have been wiser to just close the door and let him calm himself down. Despite the cosy blankets and cushions on the floor, he took up his post on the windowsill to watch me and whine all night.
Incidentally, he doesn't actually have laser eyes, his super power is concentrated in his ability to make squeaky whiney noises non-stop for about six hours.
I dragged myself out of bed very early the next morning and took him for a walk, making sure to swing by the address on his tag again to try all the doorbells and leave a note with my contact details. With no answer I returned him to the dogroom and scootled off to work, crossing my fingers that he wouldn't whine ALL day.
There was silence when I returned later that afternoon but he was overjoyed to see that I'd returned and the whines soon resumed until I let him out. There was still no answer to my telephone calls so I decided that he was going to have to have a bath if he was planning on sticking around. We marched off to Soggy Paws to take advantage of their self-wash (as well as a bit of advice as I'm not used to grooming fluffy pups). It took an hour and a half to polish him up but Stinky was very well-behaved and happy to get some fragrant cuddles once he was dried off.
|Let's go to Soggy Paws!|
|Hey look, I'm all white and fluffy!|
I'd discovered during his bath that Stinky wasn't neutered so I didn't hold particularly high hopes of finding a microchip. However, he needed a good long walk anyway so I went ahead with the plan to walk to the vets and check for one. It's an hour and a half roundtrip and I was in agony by the time we got home, with no sign of a microchip. That boy was definitely not used to walking on a leash though it was a wonderful reminder of how far Billy and I have come with our loose-leash training.
On our return, Stinky met the downstairs neighbor and Anya the Italian greyhound, as well as my landlord, who was so taken with him that he offered to adopt the fluffy little guy if his owners didn't turn up.
An hour later I finally received a call from his owners who came straight round to pick him up. They seemed nice and were pleased enough to get him back. He did a lovely pogo dance when he saw them again. How could I possibly find a problem with that situation?
Truth be told, while I had
not yet developed the no intention of making a hyperactive herding breed male a permanent member of my family, I'd already developed a fondness for the little guy. I'd started dreaming of finding the perfect home for him and it appeared I wasn't sending him back to that special home! He's a smart little pup but completely untrained, unchallenged, a teeny bit neglected and misunderstood - apparently he ran out of the back door because he was "in heat". Erm.... yeah.
I'm also struggling a little with how judgmental I'm feeling because I know that I'm just as flawed as the next dog-owning gal (when I think of Bilbo's dog greetings or door manners, I'd have to say considerably more flawed...). That said, if Billy had escaped out the backdoor, there wouldn't be a tree within a 5 mile radius that didn't have a lost dog poster on it by the end of the day, not to mention the fact that I would have tearfully mobilized forces across the city within the hour and had a team out searching for him. If a stranger had picked him up, my cell number is on his tag and if he'd ended up at a shelter or vet's office, his microchip would have led them back to me. Nor, even on a bad day, would his appearance or his attitude towards people lead anyone to suppose he'd been running stray for more than an hour or two.
However, I promise that I bit my tongue as best I could when they called and picked him up and I do think that they're going to go and get him microchipped so if boyo goes roaming again he'll have a good chance of getting home safely. Despite the sniping above, instead of listing my complaints about Oakley's owners, here's what I learned from the situation:
- When I have the room/ money to add another pup to the mix I should NOT budge on the short hair rule. Billy sheds all over the place but it's nothing compared to the elephant-sized furballs that are still rolling around the apartment from Stinker's short visit.
- Oakley will be safe, warm, fed and probably loved. The time and energy that I would have expended trying to find him the "perfect" home will be far better spent working to help the amazing crew at One Tail find homes for the much more needy dogs that they are regularly pulling off death row.
- My landlord was only mildly disturbed by the unexpected addition of a medium-sized fluffy dog. Although I placated him in advance by assuring him that I'd sent Bilbo off to my boyfriend's house so that technically I still had just one dog in the apartment, I feel like I may be able to persuade him to let me do some short-term fostering.
- Off the top of my head I didn't feel like I could make any gentle but persuasive arguments for neutering Oakley so I didn't bring it up. I need to brush up on my facts so that I can be a good advocate without preaching.
- I need a good plan of action for dealing with off-leash dogs who charge Bilbo and I on walks!
- I still have a looooong way to go with Billy's dog manners. Though in all fairness, he had plenty of provocation in this case...
- It's pretty impossible to take a good self portrait with a wriggling pooch who is trying to both snuggle and avoid the camera at the same time.