Rita and I have a pet dog. Her name is Jackie. She’s a little tan and white Jack Russell x Shiatsu with a curly tail and a two back knee joints that have had reconstruction surgery.
There’s nothing I wouldn’t do to make that little precious hair factory safe and cared for. If anything were to happen to her my heart would break. Maybe forever.
It’s not surprising, therefore, that when I see a little dog roaming the streets, looking like it’s lost, my heart goes out to the owner. If it were Jackie I’d be frantic trying to find her.
And that’s exactly what happened tonight. As I rounded the corner near the Victoria Park train station I spotted a dog on the footpath. He was obviously lost.
I looked around for someone who looked like the owner and, not seeing one, I pulled the car over and jumped out. I tried a whistle, I knelt down and called, I tried everything but this little pup was on a mission to find his way home.
Off he trotted up Rutland Avenue towards the now demolished Red Castle Hotel. Cars came past and I waved to them to keep them away from the little pup who’d now taken to running along the road. Some thought I was just a bad dog owner who’d let his dog off the leash and they let me know. Others didn’t slow down at all. And as the little fella got closer to the Red Castle I began to sense the danger of him making his way out onto Great Eastern Highway. I hoofed it and cut him off just before the footbridge. Thankfully he turned around.
Now he was heading back the way he’d come, back down along Rutland Ave. At times he’d look back and I’d kneel down and call to him. But soon his little legs were off again, trotting along the middle of the road, searching for something familiar, searching for home.
Then he got to the Howick Street footbridge. He decided to take the option. Across the footbridge we headed into Burswood. If he was lost before now he was really lost. I tried to get him to do a U-turn and head back across the footbridge but he was in no mood for backtracking. He was off, trotting down the Kitchener Ave hill towards Great Eastern Highway.
Once again I sensed the danger. Once again I got in front of the little fella. Once again I had to deal with the cars. One didn’t slow down, despite me standing in the middle of the road waving my arms to warn them about the precious little pedestrian.
But then something changed. A four wheel drive came past. Once again I waved. The car slowed as it went passed. Then it stopped. The reversing lights came on and soon the big white Toyota turned around. For a while the car faced the dog and I with its lights shining making the pup’s eyes light up. A few moments later the car edged forward and parked in a spare driveway. Out jumped a tall man dressed in high vis work gear. He was wearing steel capped boots and gloves.
We were in luck. Soon he was helping me corral the little canine. But then I saw the headlights of another oncoming car. Would this be the moment that would finally undo all my work? Luckily the car stopped, right in front of the little fella. He was now in the spotlight. Out jumped three ladies, one wielding a blanket prepared to capture the little dog like a wild horse. Soon he was dodging and weaving between humans but he was no match. He ran straight into my hands. I grabbed him by the collar.
Of course he made a half hearted attempt at growling and biting. I would too! But he soon settled down enough for us to find a name and phone number on his collar. His name was Dave and from the number on his collar he was a long way from home.
By this time the battery on my phone had gone flat but one of the three ladies offered their phone so we could call the owner. The call went unanswered. I left a message and I decided to take Dave the dog home.
By this time I was a long way from where I’d parked my car but Geoff the dude in the high vis work wear offered Dave and I a lift home in his four wheel drive. For Dave, the drive home was mint. He relaxed as he sat on my lap and watched the world go by. He loves a good ride in a car!
Finally, we arrived home. I shook Geoff’s gloved hand and took Dave inside. Of course Jackie and Dave had to get to know one another by sniffing each others…
Anyhow, about half an hour later Dave’s owner called. Carol was so happy. As it turns out someone who lived about a block away from our place was looking after Dave while they were away. Dave had managed to do a Houdini and then I came along.
Soon Dave the dog’s much-relieved dog-sitters were on our doorstep to collect their precious little friend. They’d been out doing what I’d do – knocking on doors, calling out for Dave and frantically trying to find the little fella. Now he was safe. They were happy, Dave was happy, Carol the owner was happy and so was I.
A short while later I got a text from Carol asking if she could drop off a bottle of wine to say thanks. I said no. All the thanks I needed was to see the look on the girls face as they came and collected Dave, to see Dave relax as he trotted around our house, to hear the relief in Carol’s voice and to meet a kindred spirit in Geoff who dropped what he was doing to help Dave find his way home.
I hope Dave the dog has a great life because he just made my day a little bit special.