Robert U. Montgomery

Taking Home Another Lost Dog

For the second time in a little more than six months, I took a lost dog home.

In the aftermath this time, the interior of my car is awash in Husky hair.

He latched onto Pippa and me this morning, about a mile from home. I had Pippa on a leash at the time because we were around houses on a paved road, with possible traffic. But he liked her and she liked him, and I could tell that they would play, given the opportunity.


Along the dam of a small lake, I turned her loose and they proved me correct. Even though she's almost 9 years old, Pippa still is the fastest dog that I've ever seen, and she had a great time teasing him. She'd dash about 40 or 50 feet, stop and turn around--- head low and butt high--- and wait for him to catch up. Then she'd flash back the other way, just as he neared. After about 10 minutes of this, he was panting heavily and they stopped for a water break.


Back at the house, the Husky wanted to come inside with us. He was wearing a collar and Rabies tag, but that was it. No local phone number or any other ID.

Finally I remembered that I had seen him before, at a house about 2 miles away. But how could I get him there?

Fortunately, he hopped eagerly into the car when I opened the door and off we went.

At the house, I could tell immediately that I had guessed right. He was happy to be home. He wanted inside. But I pounded and pounded and pounded on the door, and no one answered.

Growing tired of waiting, the dog seemed to sigh as he sat down on the step leading into the house, with his butt against the door just like a person. It was as if he was saying with his body language, "All we can do is wait. But they'll answer eventually."

And he was right. Finally someone opened the door and Pippa's new friend bounded joyously inside after his morning adventure.

(Below is the story about the first dog that I took home.)

* * * * *

Driving on a little-traveled gravel road, I saw a big yellow Lab bounding about. His frenetic behavior suggested that he was an "escapee" exploring new territory.

As I slowed, he came galloping toward my car and then actually ran alongside me.

Well . . . I couldn't just drive away and leave him. I stopped.

Before I could get the car door even halfway open, I suddenly had 100-pounds of slobbering, goofy love halfway in my lap. Now what?

At least he had a collar. I looked for tags, as I struggled to avoid both his tongue and his determined attempts to join me in the driver's seat. None. But then I saw his name, Zeus, on the collar and a phone number.

Using my serious voice to call his name, I finally managed to get his attention and moved him out onto the road again. Keeping one hand on his collar, I used the other to pull my phone out of a jacket pocket and call the number. It wasn't easy.

And no one answered. Now what? I had somewhere to be and I certainly couldn't take a stranger's dog with me. Nor did I want to leave him alone.

Suddenly I remembered seeing two yellow Labs at a house on the morning route that I walk with Pippa. I drove there with Zeus in the backseat, drooling over my shoulder and licking my ears.

No one was home. But through a glass door I saw a second yellow Lab, and, when she saw Zeus, she started bouncing with joy. Zeus responded in kind.

And the door was not locked. I opened it and Zeus streaked inside.

That's when I realized that I'd done a very good thing --- or a very bad thing.

What if Zeus didn't live here? What if I'd just let him into the house of a stranger who, by coincidence, had a female yellow Lab in heat inside?

Fortunately, my concern quickly vanished. As I backed out of the driveway, the dogs' owner pulled up. She had been looking for Zeus and was on the phone to the police when I tried to call her.

She was grateful and I was happy --- both because I hadn't screwed up and Zeus was reunited with his family.