She ran in front of my car on my way to work in Olympia, Washington. I pulled over to see if the owner of the cute border collie mix was anywhere nearby. No one knew where she came from. She was shy at first, but I quickly coaxed her into my car. She hopped in as though it was her normal routine, wore a pink collar with no tag, and seemed healthy overall. She definitely belonged to someone.
Unsure of what to do, knowing I couldn’t take her home or to work, I stopped by my vet’s office to check for a microchip. There wasn’t a chip to be found so the vet recommended I take her to the only shelter in town. The shelter staff informed me that if she was not claimed she would be euthanized. I felt sick as I walked away from her… but surely if she belonged to someone, they would check the shelter first, right?
I checked up on her twice a day for the next 3 days. I posted her photo on Craigslist. One anonymous response claimed that this dog was allowed to wander, that she had been taken to the shelter many times, and that the owners were not interested in claiming her this time. The next day at work, a woman came in with her child and a dog. She said that she just adopted the dog and would like to have her groomed. I looked down and saw the sweet little border collie mix: Sophie. I shared some happy tears with Sophie’s new loving family and made sure she got the royal treatment on her spa day.
Everything fell into place but sometimes I still wonder… did I do the right thing? The sad truth is that we can’t save every animal. Over 19,000 dogs and cats were taken in at Chicago Animal Care and Control last year. It’s much more difficult to track individual animals here than it is in a small city in the Northwest. But don’t lose hope! There’s still a lot you can do if you come upon a stray.
Hopefully, if you do come across a lost pet, he or she turns out to be a Sophie.