I wasn't expecting to meet Wolfie.
She's not really a wolf, and her name isn't Wolfie. It may be Izzy, but that was just a name in a Facebook comment that may or may not have been from someone who knows her. She came into my life at 7 PM on Monday, and left it about 1 PM on Tuesday.
What happened was this: I was coming home from seeing my Dad when I saw a coyote - no, a dog - wandering up a street near my home. I stopped the car, and she stood in front of it, out of sight from me, but I knew she was there. I rolled down my window, and she came and put her paws on the window. I got out and opened the car door, and she jumped in. I figured any dog with that little fear of strange cars would be in danger on the street overnight, so I took her home. She happily followed me into the house, much to the consternation of Cayenne and Kito!
Next thing to do was to place a "found" ad on Craigslist, something I've done once before after finding a dog in the street. It was free; that wasn't the problem. The problem was getting a picture of her. This dog would not stand still for two seconds for the first few hours she was with us! She was constantly exploring, or trying to play with Cayenne and Kito - much more energetically than they were willing to do.
She was quite friendly and affectionate, which also didn't sit well with Kito...
I eventually got an acceptable photo and placed my ad:
This friendly young dog came up to my car about 7 PM Monday, 6/23. Sweet female, very dusty, hungry, no collar, tags, etc. Have her at my house a block or two from where I found her. Identify to claim. Thanks! (Sorry for the poor picture quality; she hasn't stopped moving since she got into the house!)I also wrote her up on Facebook. It was about this time that I settled on Wolfie as a temporary name.
Between her exploring (including sniffing at household poisons, so we moved them) and pestering the other dogs, there was no way she could be left unsupervised. I put her on a leash and walked her around the neighborhood, hoping she would lead me to her home, but the house she liked (near where I found her) had no doorbell and nobody answered my knock. I took her back to our house.
We put her outside a few times, but she would scratch on the laundry room door, to the point where I worried she might destroy it. So I left her on the leash and kept her by me all night. Eventually I managed to get about 90 minutes of sleep, sitting up on the couch with her leash still tightly in my possession. This dog was absolutely exhausting!
By morning I had not heard from the owner, and there was no "lost" ad for her yet on Craigslist. But I did have an email from a group called Lost Dogs Arizona. They have a Facebook page for helping to reunite dogs with their owners, helpful FAQ pages for lost dog owners and finders, and even a reward poster generator.
I took Wolfie for another walk, but got no closer to finding the right house. None of the neighbors I spoke with knew where she belonged. And that one house still had nobody answering the door.
By this time it was clear that we could not wait for the owner to find my ad or the Facebook listing. I updated the listings to indicate that I would have to take her to a shelter if her owner did not get in touch soon. Next I took Wolfie to St. Michael's while I printed out the poster. She came with me as I stapled five of them up around the neighborhood. Then I drove her to the Humane Society of Tucson.
The block the Humane Society was on had a Street Closed sign and barriers in front of it, due to sewer repair by the city. I eventually found an alternate route and took her inside, having failed to reach them on the phone. I had read online that one needs an appointment to give up a dog to them, but I figured that I could make the appointment in person.
The people there were very nice and helpful, except that they couldn't help me. The first available appointment to turn her in was not until Monday the 30th. There was a $35 ($30?) fee, and she would need her DAP (Diphtheria/Parvo) shot first. The alternative was to take her to Pima Animal Care Center, better known as "the pound." They assured me that Wolfie was a year-old purebred Husky, highly desirable and extremely unlikely to be euthanized if her owner didn't claim her. When I said she was too much dog for me to care for, I was told that huskies are too much dog for most people, being high-energy escape artists, bred to be able to run in front of a sled all day. Sometimes they go through several owners before finding one capable of hanging onto them. I also learned that Wolfie had recently been groomed, a good indication of an owner who cared. However, she still had no collar, no locator chip, and no sign of obedience training. I kept thinking about Jack London and The Call of the Wild.
So Wolfie and I went across town to PACC. We had to wait outside in the 90+ degree shade for about 40 minutes for our turn to come in, during which time a dog waiting in a car after having been hit by someone else died for lack of immediate medical attention. So sad! I turned Wolfie in, gave the PACC person info to complete the paperwork, took note of the dog's ID number, collected my collar, bandana and leash, and left.
Shortly after I got back across town, I got an email from someone directing me to a Craigslist ad that had finally been placed for the lost dog. That was definitely Wolfie's picture! I called the owner, and asked what part of town the dog had been lost from. "Uh, actually, I just got her back, here at the pound."
I told her I was the one who took her to PACC, said I was glad she had her back, and wished her a pleasant week. I don't think she said thank you. She may not have believed I was the one who helped her dog. Maybe she felt that Wolfie would have been better off left to wander home on her own. Maybe she was annoyed at the steep fee PACC charges if you let your dog go missing and it's turned in there.
But I still think I did the right thing.
Someone asked on Facebook what the dog's real name was. I had not asked. But someone posted another comment. All it said was, "Izzy."
as of Saturday, 6/28/2014, 2:30 AM MST
Karen - Posted!
Teri - Posted!
A Creative Walkabout