I got a little bit distracted from writing my post for today, by an unexpected guest who followed Cooper and me home from our walk this morning.
So there Coop and I were, minding our own business, when this cutie patootie came strolling around the corner, headed right for us. Now unfortunately, there is no shortage of stray dogs in my neighborhood. There is also a fair share of folks who let their dogs roam free. So as with anytime I’m approached by an unleashed dog, my guard went up – I didn’t know what I’d be dealing with.
Here are the things I immediately noticed, in this order: 1) Dog is not wearing a collar. Crap, how am I going to grab him if things start going badly? 2) He’s intact – that is to say, he still has his dangly bits. Double crap, dogs who are not neutered can be very unpredictable. 3) He’s a pit bull, and sooo cute! Triple crap, now I’m going to have to help this dog!
First things first – are we going to have a problem here? I did my best to ignore Dog and keep Cooper focused on me, as continued along our route. I became increasingly aware that Dog was behind us, following at a distance, keeping pace with us. Cooper did amazing – he’s such a great leash walker, and faced with this distraction he stuck right by my side, only glancing towards our newly acquired third wheel once Dog quickened his pace and got right up next to us. I allowed a little sniffing because – well, what other choice did I have, really? I thought it better they figure each other out than try to get in between them, before I even knew what Dog’s intentions were. I did my very best to send calm energy down the leash to Cooper.
After a quick sniff it was clear that all Dog wanted to do was play. I relaxed a little. Still, this was not an ideal situation. I’ve got a foster dog on a leash, and an unaltered dog who I don’t know without a collar acting very interested in us. I made up my mind that the only thing I could do at this point would be to head for home. If I could make it to the house and get Cooper inside, then I could figure out what to do about Dog.
Let me tell you, that walk home was l-o-n-g. Longer than that route had ever been before. I had horrible thoughts flashing through my mind – I was so afraid that Dog would spook Cooper and Coop would spin out of his collar and away from me. Or worse, that Cooper would look at Dog funny and Dog would attack us both. I pictured yet another unleashed dog approaching us – what the heck would I do then??
But none of those things happened. Dog just pranced along side of us, wagging his tail the whole way home. We made it home without incident, and as I took Cooper up the porch steps to put him inside, Dog followed along like he wanted to go inside too! Silly Dog, this isn’t your house!
I put Cooper inside and grabbed a leash and collar, thinking for sure Dog would have run off by the time I got back outside. Nope! He was sitting at the bottom of the steps just waiting for me, panting happily. He allowed me to clip the collar and leash on him without so much as flinching. It was then that I got a good look at him – Skinny. Filthy dirty. And absolutely adorable.
I took him into the backyard and brought him out a big bowl of food and some fresh clean water. He enjoyed both a great deal. I started sending out e-mails to every rescue I could think of, and posting him all over Facebook, and getting him an ad up on Petfinder. I mean, with Oscar and Cooper, Foster House is at capacity. And as I’ve mentioned before, our local animal control facility has a less-than-friendly attitude towards any dogs resembling pit bulls. I knew what his fate would be if I took him there – that option was clearly off the table. For now, he’s safe in my backyard, but that’s no place for this guy. He deserved a warm bed and someone to love all over him!
A friend of mine saw his photo and proclaimed that he has “a sweet little Muppet face,” so I am calling him Fozzie for now. I’ll keep everyone posted on this saga, so stay tuned to our Facebook page for updates on this guy. And of course, if you know of anyone who could help me find a place for this awesome dude, let me know!
**UPDATE** Less than 12 hours after Fozzie followed us home, we discovered that he does in fact have People of his own! His name is Chino, and his family was frantic with worry, missing their lovely boy. He was reunited with them before that evening was over, and you should have seen the reunion – it was beautiful. I do love a happy ending!