Because we live at the end of a "no outlet" dirt road in the country, we seem to get more than our fair share of pet drop-offs. People, for whatever cruel, insensitive & stupid reasons, drop their unwanted dogs and cats off. The cats usually turn feral quite quickly, but not the dogs. The poor dogs. We have had to put down a few that have come up to the house because they were too far gone and suffering so badly. One had gotten so cut up in the woods somehow that her coat was coming off in patches and she was covered in maggots; she smelled so awful because she was rotting. Barely able to walk, she made it to our back yard area. Kev took one look and went & got a rifle. It was so sad, and here it is, about 15 years later and still makes me want to cry. And I can still remember the stench. She was a cocker spaniel. Poor dog.
One drop off became one of our favorite dogs ever, Einstein. He was the smartest dog I've ever met. Reilly is super smart, and so is my folks' dog, Toby. But Einstein... he was a genius. He was old when he arrived at our house, but he lived with us for years. He died 5 years ago. We miss him.
Because of all the state-owned land North of us, we get a lot of lost hunting dogs up to the house, too. I found a beagle recently, and she had a nice collar with an engraved name plate. The owner was so happy to get her back. With her had been 2 other beagles, and they were lost, too. I heard one baying off to the West of our place and called the guy. He found that one, and then he found the other one. She was where they had left their coats in the woods, which they did hoping for exactly what happened... the dog found their coats and stayed there. The guy stopped by our house after he found the 2nd dog and thanked me. When he got home after finding the 3rd dog, he called to thank me again. Then the following Saturday, one of the other dads at the basketball game came up to Kevin to tell him his buddy said "thanks"... turned out he knows the owner of the beagles, who had told him the whole story & he realized he knew us from the basketball team. Happy endings are nice.
Once a large, gray hound came up to the house. She had a real expensive collar, also with an engraved plate. I called the owner, and he came right over. He lives in a small town about 30 minutes away, but he was at our house in about 15 minutes. It was a hunting dog that he had just purchased from a breeder in Kentucky, something like a "blue tic hound" or whatever... I'm not up on my hunting dog breeds. Anyway, the dog cost him a small fortune, something like $3,000 and this was about 10 years ago. It was his first time out with her, she took off on him & he lost her. He was thrilled to get her back so quickly. He did offer to give me a reward, but I told him it wasn't even a long-distance phone call. That time was memorable to me because I couldn't believe anyone would spend that kind of money on a dog. She was a beautiful dog, but...
This past Thursday night, something on the deck caught my eye. It was a short-legged black and tan beagle. He's an old guy, with gray on his chin. And yech! does he stink. I think he got into something dead in his travels. Thus, we have dubbed him Stinky. He has a thick collar on, but it's filthy. He has at least 2 injured paws, and he has trouble decided which one to limp with. I think he was an inside dog, because he doesn't have a winter coat, and he shivers if he's outside too long. We made a bed up for him in the garage, and he seems happy. He seems to have such a sweet nature, and he also seems pretty smart. Joycie is already in love with him. She has been wanting to give him a bath, but the "found" ad starts in the paper today, and I want to see if anyone calls. If not, we'll give him a bath this afternoon. I told Kev this morning that if no one calls, then we'll probably end up keeping Stinky. Of course, his reaction was negative. But he is outnumbered, and truthfully, I think he knows it. Though he will try to send the dog to the Animal Control. Stinky is so old, no one would take him. Plus he's got a full set of balls, and for anyone to adopt him from Animal Control, they'd have to agree to get him neutered. No one will do that for an old dog. Going to Animal Control would be a death sentence for Stinky.
Anyway, he seems to be a dog that's been well taken care of, and an inside dog. My hope is that he is someone's beloved hunting dog, and that they'll see the ad in the paper and rush to call us. I'm praying for a happy ending for Stinky, and though I would keep him, I really don't want a 4th dog. The happy ending I want for Stinky would involve a reunion with his loving owner.