A client at the vet hospital, someone who devoutly cared for her own animals, finds a teacup poodle in the middle of the street, so dehydrated and hypothermic it was unable to do more than twitch in an effort to avoid oncoming cars. She scooped him up and brought him in, willing to pay for any treatment necessary. Comatose, the hospital did what they could to warm him and inject fluids.
This was a Friday night, and the Good Samaritan could not take the dog home due to schedule and other reasons. The hospital could not kennel or provide further services without an owner for liability reasons (welcome to American, the land of the lawsuit). Seeing her distraught, and knowing the dog was not a stray by its grooming (and that it could not have been out long), my wife stepped in and brought him home. She said it was easier to ask forgiveness than permission, and besides, I did not answer her call earlier.
Of course, I wouldn’t have refused anyway. The little guy was in need, and well-worn. We would plan to find it’s owner(s), but Merry warned me not to be surprised if he didn’t make it through the night. Those tiny little eyes, shocked and shivering … even if he HAD been abandoned — which we highly doubted — we decided we would set it all right for him if we could.
I cuddled him often for warmth, and tucked him in my sweater for hours during the day. He liked being crated even when the door wasn’t closed, and downstairs we used the tiny one for our guinea pig. Yes, he was that small, 3 pounds, smaller than our smallest cats. He was kinda silly-looking with his tongue hanging out, but was so endearing. My wife made fun of how un-masculine I looked holding him, while I insisted us guys were just having “miniature cuddling man-time”. That didn’t help the situation.
After a day or so, we got “Cashew” (real name “Minx”, but we didn’t know his name and my wife thought she looked like a tiny nut) to finally drink but fed him with a dropper of high-caloric liquid pet food since he just wouldn’t eat. After a few days, he started walking about more, found his own cat-bed to claim, and was eating and drinking fussily but consistently. He was even greeting people at the door. But when he looked at us, we knew that he belonged to someone else.
Mer had posted that we found a poodle anywhere she could online, but was appalled at how few places were helpful, even having paid services that would be just as random in results. (Meantime, unknown to us, the owner’s printer had broken and was unable to make posters for a few days.) Then it hit me — the dog had identifying features, such as lack of teeth and a healed mark on it’s back. If it had a veterinarian, they would recognize the dog and be able to contact the owner. So my wife emailed all the local vets, none of which responded. Then yesterday, she decided to call. The first one blew her off and said “we don’t do that”; the second immediately recognized the dog from a flyer that was just posted in their lobby.
It took mere seconds to get the phone call from the grateful owner. Later that evening, the wife and kids stopped over. Cashew … I mean Minx … had a wonderful family after all. And apparently the husband also carries him around in his sweater!
It was a blessing for them AND us to know the little guy and be able to help, and they were ever so grateful. The wife said she even planned to include this story in a book she’s writing. Who knows, maybe they all can visit for a summer get-together or something now and then. I know I’d like that.
In the meantime, I think it’s about time someone set up a system for found pets and notifications to vet clinics. And that someone may as well be me. I can arrange the technology and possibly could get a corporate sponsor to cover the cost of hiring a programmer. And Minx, with his story, would be the mascot.