Illustration by Jenni Lamont
In which DD learns the ropes when it comes to animal… er, um… rescue.
I’m sure many of you will have stories to tell of some of your crazy animal rescue escapades. In fact, when we go live with this excerpt, please feel free to share your story with us – we would love to read about it.
And I, too, have a good few of these tales; two of these mad-cap missions spring to mind…
The lost-dog radar win
One weekday evening (young, in love, and washing machine-less), my then-boyfriend and I were hanging out at the local laundromat (as one does) when I noticed, to my horror, a little Schnauzer-mix dog ambling about outside all alone.
My “lost dog radar” on immediate and full alert, I mentioned to my boyfriend that the pooch might be lost. Knowing what I was like, he attempted to placate me with “I’m sure it belongs to a passer-by”. He should have known better. With my focus on the laundry spinning away in the machine gone in a flash, I kept a decidedly beadier eye on the little dog; by the time we were done with our laundry session, I’d called it over and bundled it safely up into our car along with our laundry. By now, it was pitch dark outside and no place for a cute old dog to be hanging about.
She was an old girl with a faded yellow ribbon in her hair – bless. She really was a bit like a furry ornament – she didn’t bother at all with my cats or my little dog and, after some supper, a toilet run and a little cuddle, she happily curled up on a swiftly provided continental pillow and promptly fell asleep.
This was way before microchips were even invented (yes, I am that old!) so, for the next few days, we kept her safe while I put up posters, notified the SPCA and local vets, called every pooch parlour in town in case they might recognise her, and placed ads in the local newspapers. She didn’t seem too bothered at all being in a strange place and didn’t do much apart from snore… LOUDLY! And, um, fart… a lot. But she was safe, and that made me very happy.
When I finally got the call from her owner, I was very guarded and I asked a million questions before I even agreed to let him know where she was. It turned out that he’d had builders in and they’d left the gate open, unwittingly setting her free to amble off.
He brought me a huge box of chocolates (yummo) and was visibly relieved when he saw her; the old girl couldn’t stop wagging her tail when her papa picked her up. Happiness all around!
The Maltese mistake
Next up on my rescue list… Coming home from having nipped out to the shops, I spied a sweet-looking Maltese Poodle sitting forlornly on the side of a rather busy road. All my senses kicked into “rescue mode”. I immediately and gallantly pulled up onto the payment and hurriedly invited him to hop into the car with me, which he gladly did.
I arrived home with him to a slightly bewildered (but by now learning to live with my animal rescue missions) boyfriend. This doggie stayed with us for nearly a week as I searched for his owners to no avail. On a Saturday morning I answered the phone to a lady who lived in the road that I’d “saved” him from.
Oh dear. My cheeks burned bright when it turned out that little Rexy lived right THERE. Right from where I’d picked him up. Apparently one of his favourite pastimes was to sit on the pavement and watch the world go by. I hadn’t so much rescued him as stolen him. Eep!
In fact, I actually lived that close to her that Rexy and I walked back to his home. He had a definite spring in his step (probably secretly laughing at me) and I plodded on rather shame-facedly for having nicked him. Still, on the plus side, I might have saved him from being run over, AND his owner, realising that she lived near a crazy animal person, took to closing her gate and keeping him safely in side.
So, all’s well that ended well.