It had rained all day when I received a phone call in the early afternoon. A male voice asking if I still had anything to do with the Humane Society? Loaded question – Why? “No, we don’t have a Humane Society anymore… What is the problem?” is all could stumble.
Well, l thought… you were involved… there is this little dog outside crying since this morning. Nobody seems to be home…” came his answer.
By now I had my focus about animals back. “Why don’t you go to the house and investigate? ” I suggested. “Has he got shelter? A doghouse? An owner has to provide food, water, and shelter according to the law!”
“No, he has nothing, I don’t know about food, but water… with this rain …” he chuckled. Our exchange to investigate went nowhere. ‘Coward’ I thought. Finally I asked about the place of the ‘abandoned dog’ – “A couple of houses down,” came his reply.
Wonderful. Where for goodness sake? Left? Right? Across the street? By now he had identified himself and gave me the address and still he would not budge. ‘Double coward!!’
I had to let it sink in for a moment and then memories about animals in distress I had rescued came back: Hope the dog – shot and left for dead; two puppies I found in the snowbank half frozen; Tequila, the illegal pit bull with her puppies; McGee, the neglected English Sheepdog – chained up for good, padlock and all; Diesel, punished with rocks for barking… too many names to mention. Not to mention too many cats who starved, mistreated, neglected did I save, took care of, and found homes? Twice I have even gone to court on behalf of these animals – both times the outcome did not favour their welfare. (All true stories collected in my booklets My Life in the Shadow of the Goose).
Yes, we had a Humane Society but in the end, lack of volunteers and ‘LIABILITY’ the magic word that kills so many good intentions was the end of that.
But back to the dog, crying in the rain. My curiosity took over and it would not hurt to see the poor creature; maybe things are not as bad as-they seem? I took my dog leash, a towel, and drove by that house. A vehicle was parked in front (a good sign – I thought), but I could not see or hear a dog. Only when I saw a type of plastic covered clothesline attached to the bottom of the steps, leading up to a deck on the house did I see IT – a small, curly-haired, soaked to the bone, crying, shivering armful of cuteness.
The little guy must have looked for shelter under and over the garden furniture on the deck and got so tangled up that he was on the end of his line, and almost strangled to death. I knocked on the adjacent window, unhooked the clasp and took this sweet little thing in my arms. I was ready to take him home to give him shelter and comfort until I found out anything about the owner.
As I turned, I noticed behind the screen door that the main door was ajar. I used my best and hardest knock and a lady answered eventually. It is hard to describe her expression: shock, surprise, relief, all of the above as she stretched her arms out to take the little wet guy in her arms. I explained in short the reason for my presence whereupon she thanked me profusely, and explained, being busy in the basement, the boys were supposed to watch… and so on.
Lighthearted about the happy ending, I went home wondering about this caller – why is it so difficult for some to help but instead involve somebody else? He could have gone over and friendly asked why the dog was in distress on a rainy awful day? On the other hand, it was good he called me, because this little thing was on the end of his rope and the outcome had all the makings of a tragic end.