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Tuesday, 7 May 2013

So a Funny Thing Happened… (Involves a Large Canine)

So up there in the list of peculiar experiences recently had to be the arrival of a late night visitor on our door step. One that left us all a little baffled but heartened by the experience!

Setting the scene – mid week family dinner in honour of mother-in-law visit. Needing to be in bed early for overnight feeds I said “good night” and went off to bed. Around 10.00pm I could vaguely hear farewells at the door. I started to suspect there was something amiss when the whispers had a note of panic in them and an exchange taking place between my guests, husband and mother-in-law. I tried to resist flying down the hallway figuring if there was actual danger someone would raise the alarm (and try to get out of this “panicked mama bear” I seem to so readily adopt these days).

That lasted until I heard a “thud” then slightly louder urgent voices. So that’s when I did fly down the hall, hang a left to get to my front door, and met Exhibit A :

Chopper

Barely restrained by the least resilient of our dog leads and while sitting reaching Mr T’s thighs, this canine made quite the impression as I tried to establish whether I was in fact awake.  Mr T hurriedly filled me in as my shocked expression screamed everything from “what the…?” “is he tame?”, “where’s the baby?”. It went:

  • Found him in the driveway;
  • Guests say they saw him earlier in the evening down the road when they arrived (did he follow them? then how long had he been sitting outside?);
  • When they opened the door he walked right in and sat down in our lounge (!?!?)

Trying to work out what to do a rapid pace I said I better take some photos of him and post them up to see if anyone has listed him missing. I grabbed my phone and approached the dog cautiously and asked him if I could take a few photos. He seemed quite amenable but difficult to restrain on the lead as he was so super strong. As I came up to him to take a better shot in the light he lay down, front paws spreadeagled, and rested his large head on my foot. He seemed exhausted and begging for affection.  We checked him for injuries and agreed he was far too clean, healthy, gentle and appearing loved to have been abandoned and that there must be someone out there desperately looking for him.

Mr T bravely decided to (attempt) to walk him up and down the road to see if anyone was looking for him, not before however the dog decided to have another lie down back in the lounge again!  I quickly started posting pics and tried to locate a vet or animal facility that was willing to take him for the night. In the meantime our dogs are going nuts in the backyard wanting to know what playmate we brought home for them!  While we toyed with keeping him overnight we weren’t 100% sure of his temperament and didn’t want to find out the hard way with two much smaller dogs and an infant in the house to think of.  It was an agonising discussion and despite the mother-in-law’s entirely unhelpful suggestions, Mr T and I were very much on the same page that we would do whatever we could to keep the dog safe overnight.

I contacted the Rockdale City Council Animal rangers who were beyond unbelievably unhelpful – we got told he wasn’t injured so not a priority, they might get there tonight or not and why don’t we “leave him in the front yard in case anyone can make it”!!!  So disgusted that they were so willing to leave him to be injured I decided to ring around for any institution that could safely house him for the night.  The only willing group was the Sydney University Animal Hospital (SAVES) and despite potentially being fined by the Council for taking him in they instructed us to bring him over. 

Mr T returned bleary eyed at 1am and we assured each other that we had done the right thing and the dog would be safe. He was microchipped but they couldn’t get a read on it. So even after I fed baby and turned in for the night we collectively worried about him into the morning!

Rockdale City Council again affirmed they operate like an amateur theatre production with a generous rate revenue take by the appearance of a churlish ranger banging on my front door at 6.15am (Yes!!). I answered the door with a less than amused expression on my face having just finished breastfeeding and putting my baby down. He continued to behave like an ass and vaguely apologised for the hour. He then had the gall to whine about the inconvenience and blatantly lied about someone having come through the area the night before at midnight (our lights were on remember!). He just looked plain pissed that the dog had gone to SAVES. He clearly needed a new vocation.

After running some errands that day I had to call SAVES to find out if they had any luck at at finding the dog’s owners as we were still worried about him. They couldn’t and the poor dog had gone to Sydney Cats and Dogs Home. The lady at SAVES mentioned that again Rockdale City Council could not be bothered coming to get him until they were pressured (getting the picture?). With this playing on my mind when I got home I was over the moon excited to find a flyer in the mail box for who turned out to be “Chopper”. I made an excited phone call to the owner who was unsurprisingly relieved. After an exchange of messages to let me know Chopper was safe and was coming home we had an SMS conversation – turns out Chopper was originally rehomed after having been abandoned by owners in Woollongong. He had only recently moved in the area and got quite lost not knowing where to go. He had been missing since 3pm which explained why he was just happy to go to sleep in our living room for a while!

I don’t know how he found us or knew that we would look after him, or even how long had he waited outside our house but we’re glad that he was back in a loving home because he is one sweet (but massive!) dog!

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