After one of the thunderstorms we had early last week, one of the many gas well workers in our area stopped at our house wondering if the German Shepherd he found wandering around a nearby well pad belonged at our farm.
The dog, a young male, was extremely friendly, so even though he wasn’t ours, we couldn’t stand the thought of him being hurt from continued wandering, so we agreed to bring him to our barn and coordinate a family-location effort.
It was an effort to contain him, because Todd, our border collie who generally shies away from everyone and everything, decided he hated this dog on.
Todd kept doing the thing that looks like dancing where he jumped forward and backward with an occasional sidestep that means, “This is my home and you’re not welcome.”
I took pictures of the shepherd – a lovely black and silver with tan fringes – once we had him corralled.
He was quite excited from his adventure and failed to sit still for a portrait, so once I had a clear headshot, I accepted the rest of the rather blurry photos and headed for the house.
I posted a “Found” advertisement on Facebook, accompanied by the blurry photos, and asked if anyone knew his family. I immediately began getting feedback about whom he might belong to, and people shared his photos asking everyone they knew.
My husband and I called everyone that was suggested to us, but all of their dogs were accounted for. For two days, we kept asking and calling to no avail.
The next day, we locked our dogs up for an hour to try to exercise the German Shepherd a little better.
He was so excited to be outside that he began jumping up and down everywhere. Not a fan of the leash, he was much happier to run in circles in our yard.
I was afraid my husband, a dog person, would want to keep him if we couldn’t find his owner.
And who would I be to tell him no – remember my kittens (who by the way, have migrated upstairs at night and terrorize our feet every time we move)?
Finally, I started calling shelters.
Because the dog was obviously well groomed, it was possible the owners reported him missing. Sure enough, there was a report, a phone number and a glimmer of hope.
I called the number and held my breath.
The girl I spoke to was excited to tell me the dog was hers and she would be over for him shortly. (She posted a “Lost” advertisement on Facebook, but clearly we have no mutual friends.)
They arrived, and the dog was reunited with his family. And we went back to our simpler life, with only six cats, three dogs, three pigs, three rabbits, 28 chickens and 21 cows to take care of.
Laura Zoeller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.