Now Emily pretty much lives on top of a mountain. There is fairly good distance between houses... And neither she, nor David had ever seen this dog before. Emily and I decided to put Harriet in the car and start going around to a few of the neighbor's houses to see if anyone recognized her. But unfortunately no one did. Harriet was pretty dirty when we found her, and both of her eyes were badly infected, so we guessed there was a possibility she had been lost for a while.
After about half an hour Emily, Harriet, and I headed back to the house to go pick up David, Axle, and Dolly. We had to get everyone out of the house becuase there was going to be an open house that afternoon. (Did I mention that Emily's house is for sale? I had to hide all of my luggage when we left the house, just in case the Realtor stopped by with potential buyers!)
Once all of us (3 humans, and now 3 dogs) were all loaded up in David's Kia Soul, we had no choice but the run Harriet down to the local vet's office. We thought that she may have a microchip, or one of the vets might recognize her. When we got to the the vet's office, they seemed to be closed, but the front lobby was open.
Emily and I took Harriet into the office to see if anyone was in. Luckily there were two vets there looking after the animals. We explained Harriet's situation and they checked her for a chip, but she didn't have one... But they did agree to keep her until Monday, and then call the phone number on her rabies tag to see if they could find her owners information.
We left our contact information with the vets, and asked them to call us if they were able to find Harriet's owners. We still have not heard from the vet's office... but I really hope they were able to track down her family. The moral of the story is that it is so important to microchip your pets, or at the very least put ID tags on their collars.
If Harriet had a ID tag with her phone number, she could have been returned home within a matter of minutes. Same with a microchip. It makes me so sad thinking about the possiablilty that she was not reunited with her family, and had to be taken to an animal shelter.
I suppose we had the option of just letter her go, and hoping she found her way home. But the houses there are about a half mile apart. And they are on a mountain surrounded by forest. There are coyotes, wild cats, rivers, huge steep rock faces, and who knows what else, and Harriet had to be at least 10 years old.
There was no way we would have felt good about just letter her fend for herself... At least by taking her to the animal clinic she has a chance of safely being reunited with her family. And we knew she would have somewhere safe and warm to spend the night. She would be given fresh water, food, and there is no chance of being her eaten by a coyote there.
We really felt bad that we couldn't have kept her until we found her family either. But with an open house that day, and already having two large dogs with us, there was just no way we could. Axle and Dolly are big, young, sometimes rowdy dogs. And Harriet was a smaller, older, and more subdued dog. She would have been miserable being constantly pestered by them.
But hopefully we did the right thing and Harriet is happily sleeping on the couch in her home with her family. Its always sad to find a lost dog, but we tried to do everything we knew to help her get home. Harriet is a very sweet dog, and I really hope that she was reunited with her family. I know Harriet did not belong to us, but I can't help but feel a little responsible for her. And even though we only spent a few hours together, I really care about her well being. Hopefully Harriet's story had a happy ending.
This unintentionally turned into an entire post by itself, so check back soon for part 4 of our STL trip!