Saturday, April 7, 2012

Looking for a good home (long and wordy again, sorry!) 10

We're 3 miles from home after a medium-serious drive of 4 hours coming back from Tahoe when we see a lollygagging, happy, alone Golden Retriever standing alone on a corner of a busy street in downtown Orinda.  There's N*O*O*N*E nearby.  He has a collar but not a leash.  I quickly pull over, the roady is very, very busy and we lost two cats to it a couple years ago.  Brian hops out and hooks the dog.  No tags.  We hem and haw a bit over what to do, looking around all the while for a search party.  No one emerges, we pile the dog into our car and head home.

I imagine the scenario where the dog escapes from the yard unexpectedly and is wandering about, maybe the family is out, maybe they're not paying attention.  But they're missing him or soon will be and will soon mount an all-force effort to relocate him and bring him home.

The dog is old, with a greying face and a big lump on his back.  On the sage advice of dog owner and all-around-good-guy Uncle Jim, we looked for a vet to take him to. Being Sat, all the vet's offices are closed by now, but I find one emergency clinic, call them and they say to bring him in.  I do.

He's thirsty but otherwise happy and friendly, as all Goldens are.  He's got no microchip.  They take him in, telling me he'll get picked up by animal control and taken to the closest shelter.  After a waiting period, he'll be put up for adoption.

The receptionist says he looks *just* like a dog that was there yesterday, brought in by a family who said they'd take care of him, but then might have changed their heart and dumped him by the side of the road.  My heart sank that this sweet, elderly dog would ever find his people again.  And it sinks even lower that this dog might have been abandoned by a family no longer able to take care of his needs.  Likely having cancer or another virus, his care taking needs have certainly changed since he was a puppy 10 years ago.  And maybe the family'd ability to take care of him has changed too.

I leave, thinking we've done the best we can, saving the dog from the treacherous road, and B and I consider maybe taking in the geriatric dog to give him his last year or two surrounded by adoring little girls. I feel a responsibility for the animal, having plucked him off the road and trying to get hime to safety.  However, introducing an older dog with health conditions.... am I ready to teach the girls such an immediate lesson in loss? Can I just leave the sweet pooch to his fate?

(P.S. this is a backdated post, so if you're on pins and needles check in on 4/10.)


Darren said...

I am on pins and needles. 4/10 is 58 minutes away. I'll check back then.

Amber said...

Um... it is 4/10 and I too am on pins and needles!