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Keeping A Dog And Barking Themselves

, , , , , | Friendly | November 1, 2019

(While coming home from work, I have a friendly dog literally follow me home from my bus stop. I don’t know what to do with him and he seems like he is relieved to have found me, so I assume he must have run away from his home and is now cold, hungry, and tired and wants me to help him. I bring him home and allow him into my house where he quickly makes friends with the cat and my youngest sister. He doesn’t have a collar on or any form of identification to indicate where he might have come from, so we decide to keep him until we can find his way home. He looks happy and well cared for, so I assume he must belong to someone, and he has to live nearby since dogs usually don’t wander that far from home when they get out. I post his photo on a Facebook group dedicated to helping people find lost pets in our area, contact local animal shelters to let them know we have him just in case someone calls them looking for him, and I’m in the process of making fliers to put up around the neighborhood in an attempt to locate his owner when this happens. He’s running out in our fenced-in yard where I can see him from the window when I get a knock on the door and find a woman standing on my porch.)

Me: “Can I help you?”

Woman: “Yes, you can help me! You can help by giving me back my dog that you stole from me!”

Me: “I beg your pardon?”

Woman: “I got a phone call from one of my friends that she saw my dog at this house! That dog running around your backyard with your collar on belongs to me!”

(We’ve bought him a collar so that we can leash him if we need to, but we haven’t put any tags on him since he isn’t ours.)

Me: “Oh! You’re the dog’s owner! I was actually trying to find you so we could give him back! He didn’t have a collar on and he wasn’t microchipped, so we didn’t know where he came from.”

Woman: “I’ll bet you were! I’ll bet you were trying to find me when you took him from my yard, too!”

Me: “Miss, that dog followed me home when I was walking home from the bus stop after dark. If someone took him out of your yard, it was not me.”

Woman: “You have five seconds to give me that dog before I call the police! He’s a purebred and I paid good money for him!”

(I almost laugh at this because the dog is clearly not a purebred and looks like a labrador mix.)

Me: “As I was trying to tell you, I’ve been trying to locate you for the past week. If he’s yours then you can have him back.”

(She continues to berate me and call me a thief even while I’m leading her to the backyard to get her dog. The dog seems to really belong to her because he grows excited and jumps all over her when he sees her. When I leash him and hand it to her, she snatches it so hard from my hand that I get a friction burn.)

Woman: “The nerve of you, thinking you can just go into someone’s yard and take their dog!”

(I thought that was the end of it until a few minutes later when the police arrived in front of my house and interrogated me about a “stolen purebred show dog” that I had apparently illegally acquired. I explained the situation to them and even showed them the Facebook post, as well as the fliers I was making and never got to put around the neighborhood. They seemed satisfied and left. I guess the moral of the story is that if you find a stray dog, you should just leave it there because trying to help it get back home would be stealing.)

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