For the second time in five years, my household provided temporary lodging for a lost dog until the dog’s owner could be found.
The Law of Moses does not mention dogs, but it does teach God’s people to assist a neighbor’s ox or donkey in need—even to help an enemy’s ox or donkey. I think the same principle applies to pets as to work animals. I am proud of the members of my family who, on both occasions, took the effort to remove a dog from a dangerous situation and restore it to its home.
A couple of nights ago, my daughter was driving back to her apartment after a dance class. The evening was cold, dark, and wet, with developing fog and a light mist. Her headlights showed her a small dog on the street, clearly uncomfortable and clearly unfamiliar with traffic. “That dog’s going to be run over,” she told herself, so she pulled over, got out of her car, and approached the dog. It eluded her at first, but soon she was able to pick it up and put it in her car. Then, because she was much closer to our place than to her apartment, she brought the dog to us.
It was, as I say, a small dog, smaller than our cat. It had a pointed nose and a bushy tail, making it look a little like a miniature fox. When it first came into the house it was shivering, whether from cold or fright or both, I couldn’t say. My daughter and her younger sister took turns holding the dog on their laps; clearly it was a house dog, used to people. In fact, it was well-groomed and was even wearing a little bandana.
Our neighborhood has a Facebook page, so we posted about the found dog, and my daughter added a picture of the dog. We got several shares and a couple likes, but no other responses that night. I was willing to let the dog sleep overnight in our storage shed/workshop, so my daughters got the building ready with towels for the dog to sleep on, a bowl of water, and some dog food. (Yes, my daughter went to the grocery store and bought a bag of food for the dog.) Because she heard the dog barking, my younger daughter went out to the shed and brought the dog back inside. It ended up spending the night in a cat carrier.
Early the next morning, a dog groomer in the neighborhood recognized the dog as one she has groomed. She was able to arrange a contact between the dog’s family and my household. It seems that the dog’s owners are on vacation and have a young adult watching the house and caring for their three dogs. I suspect that this dog missed its owners and decided it would explore the wide world outside until it found them and led them home. By 8:15 the dog was back at its own house. Its adventure—and our adventure—had ended.
I hope that the little dog learned that exploring the wide world is not a good idea, especially on a cold and foggy night. But it might also remember that some people out in the wide world are willing to do what it takes to protect a vulnerable animal and return it to its home. J.