Sunday, October 10, 2010

So Long, Sweet Paco

Well, that didn't take long. We had planned to walk the neighborhood after church looking for Paco's owner, but the man showed up around 11:00. Though Paco had no collar, he did have a radio frequency chip implanted, and the man just followed the signal to our house, where he found Ethan walking him on the borrowed leash.

We hastened to explain that we'd been on the way to look for his home, but the man eyed us rather suspiciously, as if we'd been plotting to keep his dog.

"We fed him and gave him water," Bill said. "He seemed to enjoy playing with our dog this morning."

"Our dog is big!" Allyson chimed in. "She tried to bite him."

"No she didn't," I assured the man, whose eyes widened in alarm. "They were just playing."

He extended his hand to me and Bill. "Thank you for taking care of him. My wife will be so happy."

"What's his name?" I asked, not mentioning that Ethan had already named him.

He grinned. "Poppy!" (Not so far off from Paco, don't you think?)

"Tell the puppy goodbye," Bill said to Allyson, who leaned against his side, sheltered in the crook of his arm.

"Bye, puppy!" she said in a quavering voice. She broke into sobs after the truck pulled away, her little shoulders heaving. She should have listened to her father: "Don't get attached!"

It hurts my heart to see her sobbing, but honestly this was such a relief. Bill and I passed a pretty difficult night. At bedtime we put Paco/Poppy in the garage in the collapsible carrier that we'd put Lola in on her first night. (She rolled it around like a hamster ball, but Poppy looked lost in it.)

There Really is a Dog in There, Trust Me

Ethan gave him a tiny serving of canned dog food, a free sample we haven't given to Lola for fear that she'll disdain her (cheaper) dry food. That little dog devoured the food and licked the bowl clean! Apparently the reason he hadn't eaten before was that Lola's dry food wasn't good enough for him.

Have you ever wondered how long a little dog can yap and yap? I'll tell you. For hours. Hours. Around 11:00, we tried transferring Poppy to the back porch. We locked Lola in her run again and set up the carrier at the back door. That made her yaps a little fainter, but it stressed Bill since we knew the neighbors would be bothered. The rigid set of his shoulders and the tightness of his jaw as we sat watching Seinfeld reruns gave away his frustration.

"Are you mad at me?" I asked meekly.

"Not mad exactly, but frustrated. You guys just don't think things through."

"I'll walk him around myself in the morning," I promised. "It's just one night."

We tried to sleep, but every time we dozed off, Poppy resumed his lament. Interspersed with his high pitched yipes were Lola's deeper barks. I also heard little scritch-scratches at the back door, and I hoped Bill wasn't hearing that too.

Around 1:00, we heard a woman outside, calling frantically for someone or something. Bill thundered down the stairs, and I stumbled down behind him. Could this be the Chihuahua's owner? No, it was the neighbor behind us. Their tiny white Pomeranian mix had gotten away around midnight, and she'd been hoping the yapping in our backyard might be coming from her dog. We wished her good luck and good night.

At that point, Bill let Lola and Poppy out of their enclosures and watched them for a few minutes. They seemed to be best buddies, and now both of them were quiet. Maybe Poppy had just been lonely.

I fell into an uneasy sleep around 1:30 or 2:00, with visions of Lola eating the poor dog, but when I woke up this morning they were both standing at the back door begging to come in.


Please, Please?

I think Lola was a little sad to see him go, but I wasn't so much. Why? Maybe it was the little surprise he left us in the dog carrier (which Bill cleaned up, by the way).

Still, I have to admit it was a pretty exciting 18 hours. It was especially cool getting to return him safely to his owner. Thank you for your prayers and good wishes!

7 comments:

Crystal Mary said...

Hello sweet Sarah, A dog is part of the family, our little boy is the ruler of the roost..we love him to bits. Coming back to live in Australia from the U.S. we were caravaning around Oz, there was no way we needed a dog at that time. But he had other idea's One stare and we were gone..so a little orphan got himself a home and two heart... He talks to us now, or tries to.. God bless CML

Sarah said...

Thanks for visiting, Crystal Mary. I can relate to the feeling of falling for a dog's stare. Little Paco has such soulful eyes. If it would have been up to me (and the kids), we would have kept him. But I know his family is so glad to have him back.

Victor S E Moubarak said...

Hi,

Glad to hear the dog found his owner. The tracking device you mention sounds interesting. We have a similar system in the UK. The dog/cat is implanted with a chip under the skin. If found the police or any vet can "read" a registration number on the chip. Then they check a central computer for the owner. No tracking though ...

God bless.

Sarah said...

Victor, the kind of system you mention is the only one I've ever heard of. Maybe we misunderstood the man because he did have a heavy accent. He definitely mentioned the dog having a chip, but maybe we just thought he was able to follow the signal.

Maybe it was really God who led him to his dog. I know I was praying that we'd find the owner.

Mindy said...

Aw I'm glad he's back with his family. Dogs sure do have a way with stealing your heart very fast. I remember dropping Chloe off at the pound after having her for only one day (and knowing I couldn't keep her) as well, I cried as soon as I left, went back the next day to get her and the rest is history.

Crunchy Diva said...

Very happy to hear that Paco got returned to his owners. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Sarah said...

Mindy: I didn't know that about you and Chloe. What a sweet love story!

Crunchy Diva: You're welcome, and thanks for reading.

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