Tuesday night I went out drinking with Bart, and when he dropped me off at midnight, he found a small dog wandering the streets near our house. We took the dog in for the night and fed him, letting him sleep in Baxter’s crate while Baxter slept with us. When morning came, we left him in the garage with some nice blankets and water while we went to work. When I came home over break, I rounded up both pooches and took them to the vet to have the mystery dog scanned for a microchip. Sure enough, there was a match!

I envisioned calling the number given to me by the vet and hearing sighs of relief that the family pooch was found alive and well. Unfortunately, I was greeted with “oh, okay, I’ll get him after work.” So the little rat terrier sat in our garage the rest of the day, and on my way home from work I called the number back to set up a time to retrieve the hound which we learned was named Flash. This time a boy answered and said he knew nothing about the lost dog, but agreed to come pick him up.

I waited quite a while for the boy to come over and eventually called back several times, each time only getting hung up on or voicemail. Finally I called from Lauren’s phone and the guy answered, which clearly meant he was screening my calls. At this point, he played dumb, said he wasn’t the dog’s owner, and hung up. But it was the same number I called earlier in the day when someone claimed the dog as their own! It wasn’t much of a mystery; the guy wanted the dog gone, probably why we found him without a collar. The address provided by the microchip said these guys lived almost 15 miles away from here too, all the more reason to believe he was driven off somewhere and left for dead.

Flash and Baxter were beginning to get along pretty well. Baxter was dominating Flash and trying to hump him and Flash just stood there smiling taking it. And then they chased each other around for a while and growled over a bone. The dog was extremely well behaved, even moreso than Baxter. When the two were fighting I yelled at them and Flash slinked away in shame to hide, while Baxter got down in his playful stance. (By the way, I can’t figure out why Baxter thinks me screaming at him means play time. Only by throwing something in his direction does he get the idea that he has misbehaved!)

Meanwhile, Lauren had done some investigating and we found out an alternate address where the owners may live, which was fairly nearby. Deciding to take one more stab at it before taking in Flash as our own, we ventured out with the dog and knocked on the door of the house. A nice woman at the residence said she recognized the dog as her son’s and agreed to take it.

So, Flash was history and Baxter was utterly heartbroken when we returned home without his new friend. Part of me would have been interested in keeping Flash, but I think we are at least comfortable having left him with a responsible adult. I have surprised myself over time as I have become so much more of a dog person; as a youngster I used to despise any sort of pet. So it was difficult to see this poor dog’s owners turn on him and make no attempt to get him back.