So I opened my front door last Sunday, and there’s this huge, polar bear-looking dog right there walking up my front porch smiling at me, and he just goes on into my door like he’s home.
We already have two dogs; one is a Louisiana leopard dog and the other is a dachshund-corgi mix; both rescue dogs. The catahoula was an adorable young puppy on her last day at the pound before they were gonna put her down. So we took Sugar home. The dorgi was on his way to the pound when we intercepted. He is blonde with one brown and one silver eye. So we call him Bowie.
We identified today’s new intruder as a Great Pyrenees, based largely on the fact that it’s polydactyl. If you count dew claws, this dog has 22 toes, with six toes on each of the hind paws.
Anyway, this big white floof saunters in like he’s supposed to be there and wags his tail smiling at our other dogs. For whatever reason, neither of our much smaller resident pooches felt inclined to attack the massive polar bear that had just barged in.
We can’t call the owners. There’s no tag because there’s no collar. But he’s clean and friendly and reasonably well behaved. He didn’t attack the cat or eat the parrot, even though Max’s cage was open at that time. So the dog isn’t aggressive at all, but we can’t have something like that wandering the streets. Because it’s so big and foolishly fearless that it would terrify someone; Assuming he didn’t get hit by a car. It was Sunday. Everything was closed. So as he was already in, we just kept him in, and he stayed the night.
We wouldn’t take him to the pound. I won’t ever do that! But I did call the pound to tell them that we have someone’s Pyrenees, should the owners be looking for him. We also posted his image on NextDoor.com and lostmydoggi.com, and I put up a sign at the nearest busy intersection saying “Found Dog”.
Coincidentally, closer down our street, someone else had put up a sign saying “lost dog”, offering a $100 reward.
But we hadn’t seen that poster yet, because we went the other way, taking the dog to the vet. We found out that no one had called about the dog nor answered our links online either. But he was micro-chipped. So the vet scanned the chip and called the owner. Minutes later, a young woman with a nose-ring was there to take her dog back.
I told her we would have called the number on the tag if the dog had a collar, but she said that she lived with her parents, and they refused to get a collar even though the dog had gotten out a few times already. There was no point in pressing the issue any further. So we just let her take Jax back home with her.
Jax? We were already wondering what to call the dog if we couldn’t find the owner. I suggested Po’Bear. Other suggestions included Lupin, Avalanche, Yeti and Echo Blizzard.
Regardless, the owner had her Jax back and we were happy about that. Until a couple hours later, when we saw a subsequent post on NextDoor.com.
“FOLKS!!! This is NOT a happy ending! The “owners” dumped him at the Garland shelter TODAY!!”
We thought, “That can’t be right”, but then we checked this listing from the Garland Texas Animal shelter:
He really was dumped in the pound right after the owner took him back! Whoever got the dog from us and offered $100 for its return (but didn’t pay it) immediately dumped it at the pound!? Why would anyone do that?
My guess is that the girl’s parents didn’t want the dog and let it out of the yard on purpose. That’s why it didn’t have a collar. They didn’t want anyone to bring it back. They just didn’t expect anyone to use the microchip to return it. It was the daughter who wanted the dog, and the dog obviously liked her too, but (I’m guessing) her parents wouldn’t allow her to keep it.
By then I was furious. We didn’t find this out until a couple minutes after the pound had closed. How frustrating is that! So Jax had to stay the night there. But as soon as they opened the next day, we went in to adopt him ourselves.
The animal shelter said the dog catcher had picked up Jax seven previous times before the owner brought him an eighth time to surrender him. Then for whatever reason, the Animal Shelter decided to wave their normally required quarantine of 48 hours; Maybe because he had already spent the night in our house, I don’t know. I was just happy to get him out of there. We changed the notification on the microchip, and we changed his name too.
He is Falcor now, after the luck dragon in The NeverEnding Story, and I think he is adapting to the new environment very well!
One final note about this is that, as I walked through the shelter, I noticed dozens of sad and lonely pit bulls, more than twice as many as all other breeds combined, waiting out their five days before they’ll be put down. Pit bulls tend to get passed by because people are afraid of the stereotypical stories they’ve heard about them.
I had a pit once, a beautiful brindle who was rescued from a dog-fighting ring. She was so happy with us, and obviously grateful to escape that situation to find a new home. Go see for yourself what that feels like. Go rescue a dog.