Sunday, March 14, 2010

We're going to the Dogs

Have I mentioned that my daughter works for a vet?  Have I also mentioned that I am a push-over?  As a result of this winning combination of circumstances, we've acquired another dog.  Yes, I said another.  This is our third, and the first two were acquired in much the same way, but that's another post.

This is Casey's story.  Casey is a black lab mixed with perhaps collie, perhaps something else. 

She was brought into the vet's office 2 weeks ago by a good samaritan who found her wandering the streets with a big gash on her leg. 

She was frightened, but friendly.  She was micro-chipped, but the phone number on the chip no longer belonged to her owner. 

Maybe I'm terribly naive, but I had the notion that all veterinarians were like James Herriot, the loving country vet who wrote about his adventures caring for pets and their owners in the Yorkshire countryside. 

Truth be told, they don't all truly care about the well-being of animals or about uniting lost pets with their owners. 

Their office staff are instructed to mirror these principles of dollars over decency. 

I say this because there was an address and a name attached to Casey's microchip, but when the phone number wasn't good, the staff did not spend anymore time on finding Casey's owner. 

They also could not treat her injury because there was no one to pay the bill.  Casey would be sent to the local animal shelter and because she was injured, she would be put down.  Casey is 10 months old.

So, I get the call from my daughter.  I'm compelled to explain that she is a kennel-worker there, which is the lowest of the veterinarian office heirarchy.  She cleans poo and feeds and walks dogs, so has nil say in any goings on there.  She isn't allowed to access files or computers so she did what kids do when they need help.  She called mom. 

Honestly, my daughter wanted Casey more than she wanted to find the owner.  Casey had grown on her.  She had an injured leg, was quarantined from the other dogs because she was a stray, but was still happy and playful every time my daughter went to feed or walk her. 

When life gives you kennel, make kennelaide.  The vet was getting impatient though, since dog food costs money, and a decision had to be made about Casey quickly.  I told them to fix her leg and we would take her.  Thank goodness for employee discounts, or the bill would have been over $500.00.

I still couldn't help thinking about the owner.  If they had taken the time to microchip the dog, surely they would want her back. 

Then I realized that, thanks to the internet, there are other ways to track a person down besides a phone number.  I had my daughter give me the name and address of the person listed on the microchip and did a little detective work. 

I looked up the address in county records and found that it was still owned by the person listed on the chip.  I googled the name.  It was a hyphenated last name, so I had to play around with it.  Bingo. 

The owner had a Facebook page.  And she had over 300 friends.  I have like, 30.  Beeeatch.  I sent her what probably sounded like a rambling message from a psycho about how her dog was found, but was  injured and if she wanted it back she needed to act quickly, yada, yada, and gave my number and the name and number of the vet's office.

24 hours went by and she didn't call.  Meanwhile, the vet had stiched Casey's leg and she was recovering fine.  My daughter was ecstatic because it looked like we could take Casey home. 

Then the owner called the vet. 

Here is where it gets a little fuzzy, because, apparantly, the person I had messaged through facebook had given the dog to someone else, so it was the someone else that called the vet. 

The someone else had gone out of town and left her dogs with her sister, and all of the dogs (not sure how many) had gotten out of the sister's yard and were lost.  Can you imagine coming home from vacation and all of your pets are gone?? 

The good news was the owner seemed happy her dog was found and agreed to come and get Casey, and pay the bill.  

She never showed up.  She called the office on a Tuesday, and by Friday, still hadn't come to claim Casey.  The vet's staff called numerous times (because now there was a bill that needed to be paid) but no one came.

So last Saturday, we brought Casey home.  Hubby was resistant to the idea at first.  He liked reminding me of that as I was cleaning up doggie poo (big doggie poo, I might add) from the living room floor the first couple days she was with us.

But Casey settled right in.  The third night, she slept in my daughter's room and at 6 in the morning they both bounded into our bedroom and my daughter announced excitedly that Casey had whined when she had to go outside to pee so the potty training was going well.

Me:  (in my high pitched annoying voice reserved for puppies and babys) Good girl Casey, good girl!  Did you go potty outside? Potty outside?  Good girl!! 
Hubby:  Is this how it's going to be every morning?
Me: (still in my high pitched annoying voice reserved for puppies and babys)  Honey, Casey went potty outside, she went potty outside, honey!!
Hubby:  Why are you talking to me like that?
Me:  (still with the voice)  Cause she went potty outside, honey!  Casey's a good girl!
(Casey now is very excited and jumps up on her hind legs, putting her big front paws up on the bed, and nuzzles me to be petted)
Hubby:  You don't get excited when I go potty.

Hubby doesn't like to admit it, but Casey has grown on him too.  She's sweet and gentle and loving and seems to think she's the size of our little lap dogs.  She's quite happy in her new home and we are happy to have her.  I think we were meant to have her.  Every once in a while she comes over to me, jumps up with her paws around me and gives me a canine hug.  I think it's her way of saying thank you.


Janet said...

Awwww! She looks very sweet. Sounds like it was meant to be, and bless you for doing everything you could for her, including TRYING to find her owners. I never will understand people who do not take responsibility for their animals like that person apparently didn't.

aladdinsane12 said...

oh, what a sweetheart! she's adorable!

and what a sad story- what kind of a person loses their pet and then decides they don't want it back when it's been found??

you did a great thing, though, acting on behalf of those lazy vets! :) and now you have a cute new member of the family!

Unknown said...

She looks gorgeous. How lovely are you guys? You wanna cat? Free to good home.I'll buy his plane ticket.

Susie said...

awwww...what a sweet puppy!

How rotten of those people to just blow her off (most likely because of the medical bill) and how awesome are you guys to open your home to her!

Anonymous said...

She is so cute! I bet the owner was scared of owing the bill and just decided to let it go. How awful. With pets comes a lot of responsibility and most people don't realize that until after they get them home. Good for you for offering Casey a loving home. Canine hugs touch our hearts. Have a wonderful day!

Fred J said...

Aussie-Lori: Forget it! Your cat is from Australia! We wouldn't be able to understand anything it says!

As far as Casey goes - yeah she's grown on me. I didn't have a choice. Wifey wanted her, and if you knew my wife you'd know she asks too little for me to ever tell her no. Also, here's my theory: what happens to us in the Afterlife is going to greatly hinge on how we treated our dogs. It's super-simple super-secret trick question in the test of Life. You heard it here first!

Fred J said...

P.S. I get excited when I go potty.