A few days ago Bill & I had just had breakfast and we heard a different noise outside. Just outside our gate a dog was snuffling around, trying to figure out how to get to the other side. He figured it out and happily introduced himself.
I was happy to see that he was wearing a collar .... good... he belongs to someone and they'll be looking for him.
Upon closer inspection I see that there are no tags on his collar... no identification at all. He's just a pup... a big, friendly, half-grown dog who must have wandered away from home.... probably chased a rabbit or something and got lost.
But the thing is, we're located over a mile from the closest house. About the only traffic on this road is trucks... lots and lots of big trucks! Oil rigs, tankers, sand trucks, chemicals! All driving much faster than the 55 mph limit. A dog wouldn't stand a chance out there.
We give Dog a pan of water... There is a house about a quarter of a mile down from us, but it doesn't appear to have anyone living there. I get in the car and drive the mile or so up the road to the ranch on the corner. The gate is shut and locked... but there's a sign with a phone number to call in emergency. Back home I call that number... it's the caretaker of that ranch. He'll check to see if a dog of this description belongs there.
From the conversation I don't expect to hear from him again. But about an hour later a truck pulls up to our gate... and it's Carlos, the caretaker. I'm overjoyed... just sure that Dog is going back home. But Carlos has only come to tell us that the dog doesn't belong to his ranch. He tells us that there are some men working on the land that adjoins our site and he'll stop and see if the dog is theirs.
The day goes on... we never do hear back from either Carlo or the men.
Our security company boss stops by in the afternoon. The dog is happy to see him. I ask Rick what he'd suggest we do. He only says "Don't feed him". He comments that he's a Mexican dog.... of course I have to ask why he'd say that and he answers because he hasn't been neutered. I'm in no position to make any judgment here, but I thought maybe Dog was just too young. Rick has no other ideas about our predicament. But we both know that an oilfield gate is no place for a dog.
Dog is a happy guy... he watches our every move, probably hoping for a hand-out. He takes naps in the shade under our motorhome. I pick a tick off him. He comes over and lays down by our feet if we're sitting outside. A pylon fell off a passing truck and I go out in the road and pick it up. I put it alongside our entrance thinking someone will stop and pick it up. Dog wakes from a nap and sees that pylon. The hair stands up on his back and he starts growling and posturing. This cracks me and Bill up... now we have a big scary watchdog to protect us.
We don't feed him... I feel guilty when we have lunch... and even guiltier when we have dinner in the evening. I ease my conscience some by the fact that we don't have any meat in the rig since we eat mostly vegetables. I don't think he'd like a salad. Dog isn't giving any indication that he'll be heading out.
I peek out several times during the night... he's curled up asleep on our mat.
The next morning he welcomes me with happy looks and greetings. I know he hasn't eaten in the last 24 hours, but know that I don't want to encourage him to stay. Bill goes to the post office to pick up our mail. He comes back with a phone number - the postal lady gave him the City Hall number to call.
He also comes back with a bag of McDonald's sausage, egg and cheese biscuits. Dog has breakfast.
I get on the phone... I call City Hall. Now... Asherton is a very small town, and we're located about 5 miles out of the city limits. I suppose it's incorporated... doesn't matter... they tell me they can't do anything about a dog outside of the city limits, also, they don't have an animal control office. They give me the number of the County office. I call that number... well, they tell me they don't have an animal control center. I ask if maybe Carrizo Springs can help... well, no... yes, they are in the county... but there is no animal control office. Okay... what do I do? They suggest I call the sheriff office. It goes like this.. Well, ma'am... we don't have an animal control office in this county. I'll give you the number of the
. I explain that I've already gone down that
path... After we determine that I've
pretty much exhausted my options (which there weren't any) I ask what I should
do. Asherton City Hall
He says I should take the dog into town and drop him off. (Yes, this is exactly what he said... I asked him to repeat it)
My first thought is ... he's such a nice dog... so lovable and sweet. I look at the size of his feet and know he's still got a lot of growing to do. I think of our lifestyle... WHAT am I THINKING! We can't have a dog. We leave the country for months at a time... when we're volunteering at a refuge we're away from our rig for hours. Our rig is 27' long... no slide outs... and on and on and on. No, keeping him just isn't an option. We have no way of finding his owner... we are literally miles from anywhere.
So... we load him in the car. He doesn't want to get in, but some peanut butter crackers are incentive enough. I drive him into town... wondering where to dump him. Yeah... dump him.... I feel like a heel... like a real low-class person. I think about the folks living on these streets and what the chances are that they'll take in a stray dog. Maybe they know someone who has lost their dog. I think about this dog... young, happy and carefree... about to get left in an unknown place to fend for himself. I am not happy... not with myself, not with the city of
Asherton, not with the
county... not with the dog's owner (who
I have no idea if they're even looking for him)... in fact, I am just gritting my teeth and want
to get this over with.
I stop in a neighborhood that looks promising... there are about a half dozen dogs playing in a yard. None are tied up... it looks like a pretty laid-back neighborhood. I stop the car - thinking Dog will come bounding out and happily run over to meet those dogs.
I have to drag him out of the back seat.... he sees the dogs and is terrified. He cowers down and makes himself look small. They all come running over to greet him... no growls, no barks... all happy-like. I am such a coward... I get in my car and drive away. I feel like a criminal and hope nobody got my license plate number. I look in the rear-view mirror... Dog is surrounded by his new friends... they're all doing the sniffing and smelling thing.
I drive away... broken hearted. I say a little prayer that he'll be safe and find a home.
That's All For Today...