My old school friend came home from the theatre late last Wednesday evening to find a German Shepherd cowering and trembling in her car port. Nearing midnight she couldn't find any dog rescue centre or the local dog warden available to help. So she enticed the frightened animal to leave it's shelter and lead it indoors for the night. Having 2 German Shepherds herself we later marvelled on how this dog seemed to sense that 'this place' was a safe haven. We wondered whether her own bitches gave off a 'Well Come Inn German Shepherd' smell. She left messages for the local dog wardens, and various dog shelters as she assumed that the anxious owners would be frantically searching and desperate for the good news.
The next morning and the dog warden arrived with a magic wand to find the dog was micro chipped. He promptly left a message for the owners. It was a bitch and her name was Romany from Guildford. She was briefly checked over as she had a limp. Apart from having sore front pads - "as if she had clawed her way out" the dog warden declared her fit if subdued. Once she was able to meet with the 2 resident bitches she gained confidence but remained quiet and reserved. No contact from the owners during Thursday and the family being so enamoured of Romany started pondering on whether they would be able to keep her if she had been a victim of 'dog dumping'. Apparently the law states that if a dog is a victim of dog napping then the finder is not allowed by law to keep the animal - so no 'finders keepers' rule there. By Friday they were in love and beginning to hope that she was indeed an unwanted, unloved victim of the recession.
Eventually, late on Friday, the dog warden phoned to say the owners had made contact. They didn't realise she had been 'lost'. They had boarded her for a week with a dog trainer in their area for obedience training. At the end of the time the trainer said she needed further input and requested she remain a further week. It wasn't until the Thursday, hours after she had been found frightened in Warlingham, that they received a message fthat she had run away in Guildford while on a recall training session.
They immediately drove over to collect her. Romany was a rescued dog and had been with them for nearly a year. It was clear she was much loved and she was a transformed happy dog when they arrived. Her wagging tail proved it to be a happy ending.
Once all the misunderstandings were clearly sorted out re who did what and when; it quickly became apparent that the trainer had hidden the fact Romany was lost. Telephone calls and the dog wardens log etc were proof that Romany was discovered more than 24 hours before she was reported as 'missing'. It is believed that she was hired out as an overnight guard dog close to the area in which she was found. But perhaps not wishing to be a working dog she had made her escape. It's fortunate that she found herself in a safe place in which to hole up when lost and frightened in a strange area.
All's Well That Ends Well' but I hope that trainer is prosecuted . . . I think if I ever thought I'd need to place my dog in such a place I would insist on the frequent, unannounced visiting rights.