I was talking to my best friend when I pulled in the driveway and saw ears and a tail. It was dark and the front of the truck blocked the body, but I was pretty sure, but not positive, it was a medium to large dog. We are a bit off the road and away from the neighbors, so this is unusual. I quickly told Julia that there was a dog and I needed to go. She knows me well and said good luck and bye.
Whiskey was in the truck with me, so I borrowed his leash, left him in the truck and went to see where the stray dog was.
She had been on the porch, but tried to run when I approached. I looped the leash around her neck and moved up to pet her. Within a minute, I had caught her and calmed her down. As soon as the leash was on, she headed to the porch and the door.
She was about fifty pounds, overweight, short tan hair with grey on her muzzle of a short nosed breed. I had her on the leash, so I opened the door and went in. Matt instantly assumed that I had brought another dog home and asked her name. I said I thought she looked like a “Candy”. At this point, Matt was thinking that this dog was staying and I was naming it after a friend’s dog so that I might be able to talk them into it. Our luck with finding owners is not good.
She had a few grease lines on her side, but didn’t have any pain when I palpated her. I don’t know if she had waited out a thunderstorm under a vehicle or had actually been hit by a car. She seems okay and very happy to be in a house.
I don’t go out of my way to pick up stray dogs in Kentucky. Seems lots of folks let them run loose. I like to help animals or I would not have chosen this profession, but I do not like the folks that go in yards and steal animals.
This dog was obviously lost. She did not bother Crash or the cats, so I took the leash back out to get Whiskey. I made Matt call the neighbors to see if they knew where she belonged. Kiser said that she had been to about every door, but nobody could catch her. Matt seemed proud that the dog came up to me and not anyone else. It’s almost like she was waiting for me.
She laid first by the cats and then by the table, but did not join the other dogs in the watching-what-you-eat game. Matt suggested taking her back to Guardian, but I was tired and just took her upstairs. She slept on some blankets beside the foot of the bed.
In the morning, I split the leash between Whiskey and her. At the office, I put Whiskey in his cage and Candy in an empty cage nearby. On the way to get coffee, I asked Lindsay to check her for a microchip.
“Doctor, that dog has a microchip. What do I do?”
Unfortunately, many people do not keep up with their registration, so I was quite pleased later to hear Lindsay say “I got a hold of the owner and she will be in to pick up Bailey, right after she takes her daughter to the movies.”
It seems that Bailey has some storm phobia. She had chewed through her wire cage the week before and at run off two days before.
Lindsay was able to talk to the owner about anxiety and phobias. After a formal exam, we were able to get her some medication for anxiety and better information on crates and crate training.
Dogs are not humans. If you leave a human in a small box, they feel trapped or claustrophobic. Dogs love to be in a small dark hidey place. If you look for a dog out in the wild, you would look in a den or under a fallen tree. Somewhere that they could see and protect themselves. Humans want to see danger far away. Dogs want to fight from only one direction. Therefore a plastic crate is much more calming to a dog than a wire cage. Wire cages can be stressful to dogs.
Bailey’s adventure had lasted two days and my house is over a mile as the crow flies from Bailey’s home. Bailey played can’t-catch-me for several hours the day that I got her. Her up to date registration on her microchip allowed her to quickly get home after I caught her. Still
I am certain that Bailey’s family was terrified for her. I know I would have been.
Later I texted my friend. “The dog was caught. Spent the night in my bedroom. GAMC in the a.m. Microchip scanned. Owners called. Meds for anxiety dispensed.”
She replied, “What a great ending, and the subject for your article.”
Yes, it was.