Dogs, the Good in Bad Situations and New Friends
I apologize for my unexpected absence from the blog on Tuesday. It has been the “Week of the Dog” around here.
Dakota, our Doxie/Beagle mix is having terrible problems with her allergies again. This past spring, she dug her eyes so badly that she actually created what the vet called a “divot” on her cornea. It took us several weeks for us to get that to heal so she wouldn’t lose her eyesight.
This past weekend, she began digging everywhere (except her eyes, which now required two medications, twice daily). By Monday, she had scratched herself raw and by the time the vet could see her on Monday afternoon, she was bleeding from her ears, her neck….you get the idea. She was miserable, we were miserable and it was a mess.
Fast forward to this morning and she seems to be healing, the allergy meds and antibiotics to clear the bacterial infection from scratching are starting to take effect and she is acting more herself.
The vet has no idea what suddenly caused this outbreak, but suspects it was a diet change more than a month ago. We switched from one high quality food to one I felt was even better. While they all seem to enjoy the new food, Dakota’s sensitive allergy system didn’t, so back to the old food for her.
Now, Abbi has severely cut her paw and she will not allow me to put anything on it (she immediately licks it off), so I foresee another trip to the vet in our future.
We hate it when our dogs are ill or in pain and cannot tell us what is wrong.
What’s worse is when they are lost and we cannot find them.
Last Friday, Dale called me around noon, so frantic I could barely understand what he was talking about. I caught ‘radio’ and ‘dogs,’ but not much else.
He had been listening to the local “Trading Post” radio show, an hour in which people call in and place things (aside from real estate, running vehicles or firearms) for sale or trade. People with lost or found pets call in too.
“A lady called in and said her two Jack Russell Terriers were missing from our mountain and I saw those dogs this morning!” Dale said.
Like any good mechanic, he was up to his elbows in grease at the time and couldn’t get to a pen and paper. He wanted me to call the station and get her number, call her and tell her he saw a woman in a red car going back to pick them up, but he didn’t know if they actually went with her.
“Tell her they were fine as of 5:30 this morning,” he said.
I found the woman’s number from the receptionist at the radio station and called. She answered the phone anxiously. I relayed Dale’s story. “The woman is behind him quite a few mornings, so she must work in town,” I told her. “I would get some signs up at the corner on Cheek Mountain before the end of the day.” I also advised her to call both of the local papers and get ads in the “lost” classified section.
She thanked me and we hung up. Of course, I thought of the times I had dogs go missing. Ana in 1994, when my mother in law was dog sitting and last year, Emma. Neither incident ended well for us.
I just hoped this woman didn’t receive any cruel crank pot calls like we did with Ana. This woman was offering $500 each for the return of her dogs and I knew she might get some weirdoes responding to her plea on the radio.
About 15 minutes after we hung up, she called me back. “I really hate bothering you, but if your husband sees this woman again, will you have him try to stop her and give her my number?” The woman was beyond anxious now and her voice was breaking, I could tell she was on the verge of tears.
I told her it was no bother, of course I would. But I felt certain that after seeing that kind of a reward posted, the woman in the red car would be in touch on her own.
On Saturday morning, I was still thinking of the two dogs and the woman. The sign was still up on Cheek Mountain. I was looking around for any sign of the dogs and nearly crashed my car again.
I vowed that if the sign remained when I came home, I would call the woman back and offer to help her go door to door. Losing a pet is one of the worst feelings I’ve ever experienced and what makes it even worse is knowing that no one else really cares for your pets as much as you do.
A neighbor might take you out on the boat to scour the shoreline for an hour, as ours did in our search for Emma, or ‘keep their eyes open,’ but no one else, but an actual friend, would walk the woods with you and put in real time in a search.
Long after our neighbors forgot about the missing posters and our friends thought we should be “over” Emma’s disappearance, Dale and I still searched, gridding our woods in a lonely effort. Of course, we knew she was no longer alive, but we just wanted to bring her body home.
As a fellow Dog Mom, I knew what this woman was going through.
But, the signs were down by the time I came home from town on Saturday. I knew one way or another, her dogs had found their way home. I hoped it was a happy ending for all.
On Sunday, the woman called and thanked me for the information on the red car, which did lead to the return of one of her dogs. The other dog had bolted from the woman in the red car and found her own way home.
I told her I wished I could have helped her search on Friday and told her I was going to call to offer my help on Saturday. I also told her I wish Dale could have picked the dogs up first. We wouldn’t have, in any way, accepted the reward, as the woman in the red car had.
The woman with the two Jack Russells and I talked on the phone for about a half hour and we seemed to hit it off. They live not far from us. She invited me to her place for coffee and to meet her and her dogs, as well as her assorted other animals. I told her I would take her up on her offer soon.
“I’m glad we met, although I’m sorry you went through what you did worrying about your dogs,” I told her.
“Something good can be found in almost any situation,” she replied. “You never know when you’re going to meet a friend.”
Sounds more and more like my kind of people.
Has a difficult situation ever led you to a new friendship or other good things?