I’m sure you guys have all seen, at one point or another, a stray animal that makes your heart constrict. A cat whose fur is matted in dirt or a dog whose ribs you can see from across the street.
Well, I saw the latter today.
I was leaving work and had already started driving away when I saw this Beagle walking along the side walk. There were no people in sight who seemed to be with the dog, so I pulled over to check on her. Sure enough, she had on no collar. On top of that, she was skinny, dirty, and she was shaking – it wasn’t terribly cold, but chilly.
Thankfully, I thought I knew what I could do in such a situation. My shelter doesn’t take in strays because they get all their animals from the county animal services. So I called animal services while I sat on the sidewalk with the dog (petting her, because she started to walk away the second I stopped). But turns out animal services is closed on Mondays. Not great.
I work pretty far from school and my apartment, and I was going to be late for class if I didn’t leave right then. I was really hoping all I would have to do was call and someone would pick her up, but no such luck. But who, faced with the sight of of a bone thin stray dog, couldn’t help? So I wrapped her in a spare jacket I luckily kept in the car and drove her to the Humane Society.
Oops, they don’t take in strays either.
But they told me about a place called Affiliated Pet Emergency Services that treats strays, and that they opened at 6:00 and would take her in until Animal Services opened. So I now had two hours before I could bring her there. Clearly I was going to have to miss class, so i decided I’d just take her home with me and keep her in my bathroom until 6:00.
I spread out towels and blankets and fed her – the poor thing was starving. She had been a little shy with me up until then, passively allowing me to carry her and pet her, but now she was finally getting friendly. I probably fed her a bit more than I should have, but she kept sniffing around and giving me these imploring looks, I felt like such a villain for not just giving her the entire bag of food. I tried to explain to her that too much would make her sick, but she was unconvinced.
Michga, by the way, was very unamused by this whole incident. The unthinkable horror of me bringing another dog into her room! She pouted for a while, but she’s forgiven me.
During the two hour wait, I also gave the stray (who I took to calling Angie) a bath because oh man, did she smell awful. She did not want to hold still though, so it was a short bath, but it definitely improved her smell. I stayed with her in the bathroom almost the whole time so I could make sure she didn’t get into anything – plus I would have felt bad leaving her in there by herself.
But finally, 6:00 came and I drove her to emergency services, where they seemed very nice and took her in right away for an exam. I had to sign a couple forms and then I was on my way. I hope she ends up going to my shelter so I can see her again, and maybe be lucky enough to see her find a home!