Monday, May 23, 2011

Lost and Found

I had an interesting sequence of events take place during the course of the past week (May 13-17). It began when I was walking Mini on my usual route on the evening of Friday the 13th. Lots of other people also like to walk their dogs on that same walking path, and if you go out at similar times every day, you're likely to see a lot of the same people on a regular basis.

One of the other regulars saw me with Mini and asked a question that puzzled me. "Was it your dog that ran out in the street?" I didn't know what he meant, but I answered that no, thank God, Mini had never run into the street.

It wasn't until I reached the far point of our walk and started on the return trip, that I started to get an idea of what he meant. I noticed several posters on the way back reading "FOUND 5/12/11 -- blond/beige Chihuahua. Call [phone number]". Aha, I thought. Mini fits that description. He must have seen that and thought it was her.

Still on my way back, I encountered the daughter of the man who'd asked me the question, and she asked the same thing. Then she explained that a stray Chihuahua had been chased into Broad Street by a larger dog, and unfortunately had been injured by a car. :-( The person who rescued the dog and took it to the vet had also put up the posters.

Well, DOUBLY Thank God, Mini is not the dog mentioned in the posters. But of course, I felt sad for the poor tiny foundling dog, not only separated from its family but injured into the bargain. I hoped the FOUND posters would be effective in reuniting the dog with its family.

Fast-forward to Monday the 16th. Mini and I were on our normal walk, when I noticed a new poster at the point where I turn around to come back home. "LOST - CASH REWARD - 5/12/11 - 6 year old female Golden Chihuahua", with a photograph and a phone number. It doesn't take a Sherlock Holmes to realize that the same date, same breed and description, and same neighborhood means it's probably the same dog. I took a cell phone picture of the LOST poster. Then on my way home, I located and took a cell phone picture of a FOUND poster.

Then I did my best to get the two poster-makers in touch with one another. You'd think that would be a simple process, but human nature makes everything more convoluted than it needs to be.

First, I phoned Mr. Lost Poster to give him the data on the FOUND poster. He became confused and thought *I* had his dog. "No, I don't have your dog, sir, but the person who found her put up a poster on H____ Street and here is the information on it. [read the info]. If you have a number where I can send a picture message from my cell phone, I'll send you the picture I took of the FOUND poster." Which I did. He called me back. "That's not a picture of my dog. That's just a poster." I don't HAVE the dog. The person who made the poster has the dog. Call the number on the poster to talk to them."

So that's how that convo ended. Then I called the number from the Found poster. I got voice mail. I left a message that I'd found a lost poster, etc., etc. For good measure, I took a chance and sent that number a picture message of the LOST poster, and promptly got a text message in return asking who I was. I explained how I'd seen both posters while walking my own dog, realized they were both probably referring to the same lost Chihuahua, and was doing my best to get both people in contact with one another. The Found Poster person texted back that the dog in question was at the vet's in bad shape :-( , there was a big vet bill, and that three other people had already tried to call and claim the dog as theirs.

I texted Found Poster Person that I was sorry to hear that, and that they should try to contact the person who made the Lost poster, as that individual actually had included a picture of the dog on the poster so they were probably legit. They wrote back that they would do that.

I thought that would be it. Nope. The next day, I got a call from Morris Animal Refuge about the dog I'd found. I explained that I hadn't found the actual dog, only two posters, and related everything that'd happened. Seems that Found Poster Person hadn't returned the calls of Mr. Lost Poster, and so Mr. Lost Poster contacted the animal refuge, giving them my phone number along with whatever other info he told them. So I gave the requisite phone numbers to the person from Morris, and they said they would work to get the two people in contact with one another. Then I asked them to keep me updated, as I feel invested in seeing that the little lost dog gets reunited with her family.

Whew. I sure hope the right people get in touch with one another and everything works out. Poor little doggie. I'd feel for her even if I *didn't* have a dog that pretty much matches her description. But I have a major soft spot for Chihuahuas now, so I want this to work out even more.

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