We live in a 55+ gated community of 1400 homes in a semi-rural area. I am the founder and captain of the Dog Owners Group in this community. We figure that we have somewhere around 1000 pet dogs in our community but we don't know for sure since there is no pet census. Therefore we have a large active group of dog enthusiasts here. The officers of the group serve as a clearinghouse for all things dog related for our residents.
Earlier this week, a neighbor called me about 9:30pm reporting that they were just returning home and found a small stray dog at the front gate of our community. They said the little dog came right up to them and they put him in the car and he was now at home with them. They said there was a second dog, the same size and color and they appeared to be together. A second car picked up the other dog and drove away. They did not recognize the other car. My neighbors own a mini-poodle "Copper" and I asked if they could keep the stray for the night and I would take charge in the morning. They agreed and said they were so concerned about the well-being of these two little dogs because of all the coyotes that are out at night in our neighborhood.
Early the next morning, I went over to their house to assess the situation. Oh My Dog! Here was the cutest, sweetest little guy who looked just like a Havanese. He was a beautiful champagne color, tail arched over his back, beautiful almond shaped eyes, long fur the same texture as Ricky's and little short legs in front and longer legs at the rear. He was very confused and stressed and had no identification. I had brought a leash with me and I put it on him and he walked home with me. He behaved wonderfully on leash. He was very scruffy and needed a bath (he smelled very doggie), haircut, and brush out but I could see a diamond under all that mess.
Entering the house, Ricky was delighted to have a playmate. Ricky tried to engage him in play but the little guy was too confused and distracted. I was really proud of Ricky because he could sense that all was not right with our visitor and he gave him his needed space. At 15 pounds, Ricky towered over him. I estimated his weight at about 10 pounds. I decided to give him a temporary name, "Tiny." I am terrible at estimating a dog's age but he was definitely not a puppy and appeared to be a fully grown adult. He resembled a Chocolate Hav with brown nose and hazel eyes, but his gums were black. On closer inspection I could see he had been neutered.
I was amazed that he had all the same moves and mannerisms of Ricky. He was velcroed to me and was very loving and was hungry for affection. I quickly set up the ex-pen and put both he and Ricky in it. I had no idea what his potty habits were and I didn't want any accidents in the house. He didn't like that and howled to be out with me. I gave him some water which he drank and tried to feed him but he wouldn't eat. I tried everything - kibble, Honest Kitchen, healthy treats - nothing worked. Then I remembered I had some Duck Jerky that somebody had given Ricky. He liked that and ate it but I gave him just a small amount so not to upset his stomach. He finally quieted down in the pen and just laid there with a depressed look on his face.
Then I put out the word on our Internet network with his description for anyone missing a dog. I am proud that our community lit up our Internet site immediately with offers to help. I then called Animal Regulation to come by my house to scan him for a chip. A few hours later they showed up to scan him. Deep down I was hoping that they wouldn't find a chip because the three of us were already starting to bond with Tiny. Nope, his chip lit right up! The officer said this is strange. Another dog with the same description with the same chip contact number was turned in to the P.D. last night. I explained that two dogs were seen together and the other rescuer must have turned it in last night. The other thing is that the telephone number was from a town about 10 miles away. The officer explained that the owners had probably relocated to our town and never changed the information on the chip. I asked what was best for this dog. The officer said that he thought it was best for me to turn the dog over to him so that he could be reunited with his mate and it would make it easier to reunite them with their owner. I reluctantly agreed but I said if the owner couldn't be located, I wanted to be first on the list to adopt both dogs and give them foster care until a proper home could be found for them. He agreed and I quickly handed Tiny to him, walked away and didn't look back or else I would have become emotional. I knew this was best for Tiny.
I found out that night that Tiny's owners had been located and they had picked up both dogs. They would give me no other information because of confidentiality rules.
I can't get Tiny out of my mind. It will take time. I just hug Ricky closer and he looks up at me with this "why are you raining on me Popi?" look. We miss you Tiny, you be a good boy.
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IF ANYONE SUGGESTS WE SHOULD GET ANOTHER HAVANESE FOR OURSELVES, I WILL PUT THEM PERMANENTLY ON MY "IGNORE" LIST!