A few weeks back, we had the pleasure of spending the day with a sweet little puppy name “Rudy”. Here’s how this precious pup changed a boring Monday into an adventure.
On this particular Monday morning I was working at my home office and still in my pajamas at about 9:00 or so. I was in the garage (can’t remember why) when a car pulled into the driveway. A lady got out and a small dog jumped out of the dog with her. She asked if I recognized the dog. I didn’t. She explained that she doesn’t live in the neighborhood, but was driving by and saw the dog walking on the side of a busy nearby road. She pulled over and he jumped right into her car. She was driving around the neighborhood hoping to find someone looking for him. She seemed to be in a hurry and was hinting that she could not spend too much time looking for his owner. Sadly, I also was thinking that I had things to do and didn’t want to get too involved.
I pointed out a house down the street where a woman lives that has helped lost dogs in the neighborhood before, indicating that perhaps she could help her out. I went back inside and about 5 minutes later the car pulled into my driveway again. Long story short, I took over as lead detective of Operation Rudy.
Of course at the time I did not know that his name was Rudy. To me he was “Peanut”. I don’t think Peanut ever met a stranger. He instantly was wagging his tail, jumping up on me a giving kisses. He had me at “hello”.
Somehow, my dogs had not noticed our new house guest. They were in the back yard oblivious. I was a bit nervous as to how the other dogs would react. So I brought a bowl of water out to the garage for Peanut and let Toni, Otis, and Penny into the house and then put Peanut in the back yard. I brought him some food, which he ignored. While Peanut happily sniffed around the backyard I looked up the phone number for our humane society. I was hoping I could bring him by to see if he had a microchip. They didn’t open until 10:00. So I called my vet’s office. The receptionist said I could bring him by and they can check for a chip.
I went out in the back yard, picked up Peanut and brought our dogs out for an introduction. After a few sniffs, one growl, and Peanut rolling over in submission, our pack welcomed him in. We hung out for a bit with everyone getting to know each other before Peanut and I took a car ride to the vet. When we got their they were pretty busy. So Peanut and I hung out and chatted with a few people. Everyone heard our story and were giving me their suggestions on how to find his home, and one offered to take him if I couldn’t. Once they slowed down, the receptionist came over with the scanner and did find a microchip! I was so happy that we were going to find his family.
She gave me a phone number and a id number. The phone number went to an automated line and after a series of inputs I entered the ID number. I went through the automated routine 3 times, each time I was notified that it was an invalid number. The lady scanned him again with the same result. I tried to get out of the automated trap and speak to a person with no luck. The vet was getting busy again and I decided to go make a visit to the Humane Society and see if they could help us.
The HS also scanned Peanut, but gave me a different phone number to call. This time I got to speak to a very helpful lady. I gave her the ID number and she took all my contact info. She was able to find the name, phone, and address of the vet that originally gave Peanut the microchip the following year, but she said that the microchip had not been registered since then. I took down the vet’s information and gave them a call. The phone rang and rang and rang with no answer. I looked up the address in my phone and saw that it was several miles away on the opposite side of town. I tried to get a different number with no luck. So, Peanut and I went on a road trip.
By this time, Peanut and I had become very good friends. He had the sweetest personality and was just small enough to sit right next to me on the car counsel and look out the window. Occasionally he’d look over at me, wag his tail and give me a quick lick on the cheek. He was certainly enjoying his adventure.
Thanks to my phones GPS we found the vet’s office – boarded windows and all! The parking lot was empty and office was closed down. We walked around to the front door and I knocked on the door although I have no idea why – there was obviously no one around. I noticed a different number written on a window and entered it into my phone. This time I got to a voicemail message indicating that the office was closed due to medical reasons and to leave a message that would be checked often. I left a message summarizing my situation and figured I wouldn’t hear back from anyone.
So, Peanut and I got back in the car and headed home. He was starting to look a bit tired from his busy day and I let him curl up in my lap for the drive home and he quickly fell asleep.
Back at the house Peanut and the rest of the gang had a great time playing in the back yard. While they were chasing tennis balls, I got on the computer and started to make some flyers to post around the neighborhood. I put together several flyers some with his photo and some with just my phone number. A few of our neighbors were home and working in their yards so I walked down the street with my flyer and asked of any of them recognized him. They didn’t. I let the dogs back in the house and I got in my car to drive the neighborhood and put up the flyers. By now it was later in the afternoon and I began thinking that if we did not find his owners, that Peanut would be a perfect dog for my Mom and Dad. I even visualized the dogs all getting together and playing for years to come.
Then my phone rang. It was the vet’s office calling me back. They explained that they had to close the office temporarily because sadly their head veterinarian had recently suffered a stroke. She was thankful I had called and asked me more details about the dog. I gave her the ID number from the microchip and she was able to verify they had given him the microchip and that his name was “Rudy”! She gave me a phone number to a lady that they work with who does adoptions and uses their office for her dogs. I left a message on her phone and then spent some time playing with the dogs.
Not too long later I got a call back from the lady the vet had me call. I explained the situation and described the dog and she instantly knew who I was talking about! She explained that Rudy had been adopted and we discovered that my house was several miles away from Rudy’s home. She asked if I was able to hold on to him while she tried to contact his family. Apparently, Rudy’s family had gone out of town for the day and had brought Rudy and their other dog to a family members house to watch them while they were away. Rudy must have escaped from their backyard (the other dog was larger and couldn’t get under the fence).
The lady said she could come by and pick Rudy up around 5:00. I was so happy that we had found his family, but also a bit sad that he was leaving. Jeff came home an hour or so before Rudy got picked up and was able to meet him. When Rudy was picked up he recognized her right away and started to fall asleep in her arms. We chatted for a while and then said goodbye. Our day with Rudy had come to an end. I drove around the neighborhood and took down the flyers and headed back home to three tired dogs.
It has been several weeks since then, but I still think about him every once in a while. It is amazing to me how a tiny little dog can bring so much joy and smiles to our faces with just a wag of a tail and lick on the cheek. It also make me quite sad to think about all the dogs that get lost everyday and don’t make their way back home. I’m glad I took the time to help Rudy find his way back home that day. It is also a reminder to me that we need to get our dogs micro chipped.