Last night about 10:30 PM, a dog started barking rather persistently outside our back yard. We went out and saw her running back and forth and jumping against the fence, barking and semi-growling. We went over to the fence and she started to calm down a little.
She had a collar and tags, but no leash. After we got her settled down a little, we took a closer look at her tags. She had two tags for rabies shots (yay) and one tag with the name and phone number of her vet, but nothing with her name or the phone number of her owners.
I called the phone number for the vet, but they were closed as expected. Their message gave me the option to transfer to another animal hospital, but that place didn’t have a way to match the numbers on the rabies shot tags to the owner.
Our neighbor has a dog, so she brought out some dog food and we got her some water. She scarfed down the food pretty quickly and drank some of the water.
We figured that someone was probably out looking for her, so we didn’t want to put her in the garage or in our yard. After a few minutes, it was clear that she had no respect for the street (she didn’t stay out of it) so we decided to put her on a long leash and attached it to the outside of the fence (it was a warm night). And with her on the outside, her owners could get her easily if they came by looking for her.
She seemed very comfortable on the leash and happily trotted around back there for a while, so we went on to bed.
Then around 12:45 AM or so, the barking started again.
I waited it out for about 10 minutes, then thought it was probably disturbing the neighbors so I went down to say ‘hi’ and petted her a bit. I think what got her going again were the sprinklers coming on. She wasn’t wet, but the grass was and she probably wasn’t very happy about lying down in wet grass. By the time I’d gotten back to bed, she started barking again.
I didn’t want her to be barking all night, keeping us and the neighbors awake, so I went back out to take her for a walk. When she saw me coming back, she got really excited and ran to jump up on me to say hello. Not being a dog owner, I didn’t have the reflexes to cover up, so one of her paws landed, um, in a rather sensitive area.
This is one strong dog with a lot of energy. It was about 1:00 AM when we went for a walk and she was running about, sniffing everything and straining on the leash (though she would come back if I jerked on the leash, and generally did a good job avoiding trees and other things to get wrapped around).
A half hour later I was regretting wearing flip flops for this excursion. Sprinklers were on all over the neighborhood and my feet were getting plenty wet. We got back to the fence and I attached the leash to it again. The grass was still quite wet, but we’d put out a piece of cardboard for her and I hoped she’d be ready to sleep on that.
By the time I’d gotten back inside, the barking and some whimpering had started up again. It was around this time that it occurred to me that this dog was probably used to sleeping inside, not outside. We’d initially nixed the idea of putting her in the garage for several reasons: we wanted her owners to be able to get her if they came by, and she was going a little crazy out there in the yard and we weren’t sure if she’d be unhappy and perhaps destructive in the garage. It was a little around 2:10 AM when I decided to put her in the garage.
I brought her into the garage, shortened and attached her leash in the corner, and put some rags down on the floor for her to lie down on. I went inside to get her some water and she seemed very comfortable being in the garage – no barking or complaining.
I went back upstairs and climbed into bed around 2:40 AM.
This morning, I came downstairs (still feeling very sleepy) and opened to te door to the garage to find a happy and excited looking dog wagging her tail at me, ready to play. There was no damage to the garage and she apparently is well house-trained, no accidents.
I called the vet’s office when they opened and gave them the rabies shot #s.
"Is it a Sharpei?"
"I dunno, it looks like a lab."
"Hold on, I’m calling her owner."
A few minutes later, I was on the phone with the dog’s owner. He came and picked her up, said a quick ‘thanks’ and that was it.
All this, and I still don’t know the dog’s name.