Monday, July 18, 2011

Lost and Found

Here is a copy of the thread of comments on a Facebook post that we posted on Sunday. I deleted everyone's names so that anonymity for those who cherish it would be preserved.

This is the sweet old girl who inspired the comments and the love. Winter Moon is home, and we are sincerely richer for having had the pleasure of her company for the day on Sunday.

Woke up this morning to find this VERY old dog sleeping right on our doorstep. She's arthritic and practically deaf. Yes, we let her in and she's sleeping on the kitchen floor. Not sure what to do next. HELP!
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Put up signs around the neighborhood. . . . she didn't wander far, I'm sure. Poor, old thing -- she sure picked the right house, didn't she?

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Not sure about what's next, but what was first was very, very cool. Lucky dog to have gone to the right house.

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She looks sad. She was very lucky to find you!
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How sad!!! She looks so old!!!

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I would drive around and ask your neighbors if they are missing their dog.

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other than being old, does she look well-nourished and cared for? Could she be part of the visiting nuns?

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Roger: been to the neighbors. put a pic on craig's list lost/found. she is very well behaved. likes affection. we wonder if someone abandoned her.

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What a kind, sad looking face. I hope she just wandered out of someone's yard in the neighbourhood. I would hate to think that someone abandoned her.

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When I look at this dog, I am reminded about how wise these old dogs dogs can be - they really know so much.
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Robin: She seems healthy enough. Doesn't seem malnourished or anything. We checked with the neighbors, so far no one is missing a dog. We're going to put a sign up at the bottom of the hill by the highway.
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the SPCA has a program where they match senior dogs with senior citizens. This is always a route you could take. She would be very adoptable--maybe you could foster her until she had a permanent home?

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off to the store to buy a bag of dog food? Cheese is always a fine treat, cubed.

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Robin: We just got back from the market with a bag of adult formula kibble and a can of wet food for later. She didn't even stir when we came in the house. She's so old. Maybe Bonsai will meet her and love her, and then we could keep her. Oy.

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just feed a little wet food under the kibble, for inducement. or as a treat. i wouldn't go overboard with the wet until you know more about how she does with feeding.

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agree she is a lucky dog to have found you! dawn will have thoughts. does the spca or similar offer free/low-cost vet exams? she will probably appreciate a blankie or rug to sleep on. i don't know how you feel about this, but the enclosed area is the perfect kind of outdoors for an old dog.

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Robin: She's hanging out in the cool, shady entry room to the sauna. Makes me think she probably had a doghouse. Bonsai is hiding under the sauna at the moment. They came within inches of each other before Bonsai bolted out the door. He doesn't understand why this dog does not chase him or bark at him. In fact, she's not interested in him at all.

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Robin: She ate all the kibble we put out for her. It occurred to us that she's much too old and feeble to have gotten here on her own. We think someone may have abandoned her.

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You all should put up signs and stuff because I'm sure it's someones dog...

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When I visited friends in Red Bluff awhile back, I just had my older dog, Sabrina. They have two rather neurotic cats and we wondered what would happen. Sabrina ignored them and acted as though they were invisible, even when they were rig...ht in front of her. The cats acted kind of kooky for the first few hours, racing past her as if she was going to make a grab for one of them. After awhile, they got bored and settled down. Bonsai will probably ignore the dog after awhile.See More

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looks about 12 or 13... any personality or is she distressed or sick? If she ate... maybe feeling lost from her owner? You can also call the local police and let them know you found a stray.... could be related to something they might know about.

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aw I wonder who she is and why she came to you...
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I like the way it never occurred to Tara that maybe she was already paired up with senior citizens.

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If you don't want anything bad to happen to her, if no owner appears, etc... I would do some checking first into what the animal shelter or whoever it is in charge of such things, would plan to do with her. Unfortunately, with a very old ...dog, I suspect most would just put her down. I and others have had some less than satisfactory outcomes when turning in abandoned animals - making me a lot less inclined to do so now.
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Robin: Thank you all so much for your thoughtful and encouraging comments.

Bev, your Red Bluff story is just what we needed to read. We're hopeful that it will unfold the same way here between Bonsai and the unnamed old one! We have already pretty... much decided that if her owners cannot be found and Bonsai reaches even an uneasy truce with her, we'll keep her for the rest of her days.

I've made a few fliers to hang on the mailboxes and a post at the corner of the highway and the road to our house.

Al, you made me laugh out loud.

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A beautiful old soul has found you, that's for sure. Old dogs are one of my favorite things - though it's a bittersweet love, that's for sure.
I've had old dogs with dementia so she may have just wandered too far and forgotten her way home.... It sounds like you've done everything you can do to try to locate her family - shelters, the local police or sheriff's dept., craigslist, and perhaps if there's a local market or gathering place with a bulletin board that the community relies upon... Like others have said, it's doubtful she's wandered far unless she was abandoned - I always hate to think it, but it's always a sad possibility.
Thank you for saying you are willing to become her family - she's beautiful and she's obviously lived a long life - like all dogs (and all of us for that matter) she deserves a peaceful and loving end.

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congrats Robin and Roger!!

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lots of clean cool water, a soft bed for old bones and a visit to the vet in a week if no one has claimed her!

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I have no additional advice, so I'll send some more cyber-hugs. ♥

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So glad that you decided to keep her if her family can't be found or abandoned her. The poor baby needs a caring home for the rest of her days. She has found the right one!

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I was thinking (sorry, can't get that beautiful face out of my mind) - you mentioned that she might have had a dog house because she liked your entry room. She's in an unknown place and often, dogs will naturally seek a sheltered place whe...re they can feel secure - a dog house, under a table, a small room, between a coffee table and a couch... When looking for place for her to bed down for the night, I'd keep that in mind as well as the fact that those old bones will want warmth and a bit of extra padding. And like Dawn said, a vet visit sometime this next week!

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robin, take a pic to the nearest vets to see if they recognize her. she may have been left with someone nearby while parents are on vacation and got out and glot lost. vets offices are often good at helping in these situations and they ca...n post a pic in their offices. such a sweet face. she may even have an ID chip (call vet to find out if they can check). i think Bonsai is going to see pretty quickly that this dog will be a nice pillow to nap with...

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Lots of vets post "lost pet" and "found pet" flyers, too. or at least, ours does.

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Robin: Flyers posted at the mailbox and the highway. Found ad placed in both the print and online local newspaper, a well as the local radio station that reads Lost and Found ads a few times a day.

OH WAIT-- THE PHONE JUST RANG. A WOMAN SAID, "ARE... YOU THE PEOPLE WHO FOUND THE DOG? IS SHE STILL THERE" When I answered, "yes" the woman started to cry. She just came to the house and picked up her dog, named Winter Moon. Old and deaf and very much loved. Missing since last night, when she sneaked out off the back porch while everyone was cleaning up after dinner. So, ends a very good day. We all cried.

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and Bonzai?

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Well, that was quite a saga! You could just copy and paste this thread into a blog post.

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So glad the owner found you and her.

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Something tells me Bonsai just exhaled deeply! : )
Here is a map of how far into the woods old Winter Moon traveled to our doorstep. It's at least a mile as the crow flies. She wandered off after dinner Saturday night while her people were clearing the dinner dishes from the porch. Such an old girl with a little bit of travel still in her blood.

What a Sunday!

17 comments:

  1. What a sweet old dog and a sweet story. Thanks for this today. Winter Moon.

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  2. Even old Bodhisattva's need Bodhisattva's sometimes.

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  3. glad her owners found you, and she could go home! she definitely went to exactly the right place. and now you have a new canine friend.

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  4. Wow, what a story! Isn't it lovely how many people were concerned about her!

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  5. I loved reading the recounting of it, blow by blow, on FB. She had a nice little adventure and now she can go home and settle down. I worried so much about her crossing your nearby highway -- good to know she came from the other direction.

    And no, it never occurred to me that she had already found her 'senior' couple at Chez RoRo. Just don't think of you guys that way!!

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  6. Doing the 70's Steve Martin happy feet dance!
    What a great post and a beautiful dog.

    I loved watching the tale evolve through the comments.

    And I love that you two would have made her a home if there had been no owner.

    And, I love her name, "Winter Moon". How Californian ... are they hippies too?

    :)

    You will not believe this, but I SWEAR it's true.
    My word verification for this comment is "doging".

    How cool is that?

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  7. What a marvelous post robin with a really neat ending. No wonder she was so pooped. That was quite a trek. How nice that you got to share her for a day. I too love that name.

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  8. You know how it is . . . You're feeling pretty good and head off for a walk and by the time you realize you don't have it in you to get back home, all you can do is find a nice couple nearby and sleep on their floor all day. Having owned labs in the past, this story does NOT surprise me. Labs like to wander and old labs will head off and forget that they shouldn't wander far. Glad it had a happy ending!

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  9. Her eyesight is probably awful in the dark and she wandered lost. I'm glad she settled on *your* doorstep instead of at the house of someone who would have dumped her at the pound.

    The four days my Raf was missing in the summer of 2006 were the worst four days of my life. If you have loved a dog and then had him go missing, you have NO idea how intense an experience it is.

    And now he is old and just spent four days at the vet recovering from old dog vestibular syndrome--something they assure me he will recover fully from. So hard to watch them slipping away by inches. But they truly do live in each moment and get a thousand times more enjoyment while they're here than the average ingrate human because of that. Where Raf's health is concerned, I try to keep that lesson in mind, and fail repeatedly.

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  10. I *meant* "If you have NEVER loved a dog and then had him go missing, you have NO idea how intense an experience it is."

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  11. I think that old dog knew where to find you and just wanted to come say hello!
    My sister had a rescue dog that they had with them for about 7 years -old, deaf, toothless -and the nicest, sweetest disposition in the world. She was found wandering around Idaho, rescued and sent to Vancouver (!) and spent her last years in Ottawa.
    Old dogs can teach people new tricks!

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  12. Amazing and wonderful story! There are so many lost pets here, not always getting the happy resolutions.

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  13. PS Dearest Bums, should you ever find me on your front step, all I need is a cool bowl of water, and stretch of tile to take a nap before I wander off.......:)

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  14. What a great outcome. We have dogs dropped off nearby all the time, and of course no one ever claims them.

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  15. Very interesting topic here in your site. Keep on posting this kind of topics. Very useful indeed.

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