Christmas Day the wife and I made our way to my brother in-law's place to feed his dogs while him and his fiance are out of town. The wife stopped the car a short distance from his home and noticed a guy with his car parked in the middle of the street trying to communicate with a basset hound sitting by himself in an alley.
My wife's a dog lover of the highest order and immediately exited the vehicle to attend to the dog. After a bit of conversation with the other guy they concluded the canine was lost and she agreed to attend to matters. She picked up the hound and carried him to the car and had him sit on my lap. We found a dog tag with a phone number, but sadly when we called it it appeared to be disconnected.
I tended to my brother in law's pooches and Kelly made some fliers with the words "Found Dog" and our phone number and posted them in various areas of the neighborhood. It was then apparent that we'd be taking care of the droopy dog until an owner can be found.
I was annoyed at this prospect as dogs can be high maintenance. My wife though has a huge heart and was doing the right thing, so I swallowed most of my disdain and decided it would be in everyone's best interests that we give care to the stray.
The next day my wife went to work as I took the task of making the home a nice one for Taters, the dog's name listed on his tag. He was an incredibly sweet little pooch as he cuddled and laid his head in my lap as I watched television and played video games. I quickly grew attached to the basset hound as we bonded.
Later that evening we attempted to find Taters' owner as we walked him around the neighborhood we found him in, but to no avail. It seemed as if the dog would be under our care a bit longer than once thought. I welcomed this and feared it at the same time. The wife and I are trying for a baby and the idea of a home with three dogs and a wee one was less than stellar. Still I surprised myself at how paternal I was with Taters and grew seemingly close to him in such a short time. I knew letting him go would be somewhat difficult.
After we both went home in defeat we received a call from a lady who asked if we had a basset hound. Sure enough it was the owner and she was excited that her dog was found. Apparently Taters was a recent Christmas gift from her fiance and she brought him to a sibling's home in the area and sadly misplaced him. My wife gave her directions and she made her way to our home.
Taters jumped on the couch and sat in my lap as we awaited his owner's arrival. It hit me more than I thought it would, but I was glad to see he was going to a nice home where he'll be well cared for. Maybe even one with a big grassy meadow and a babbling brook....
I'll miss the short time I had with Taters. Still the wife and him instilled in me the goodness of the Holiday season. Her love for animals ensured a family a very merry Christmas. If only all of us could follow that example.
"The average dog is a nicer person than the average person." - Andy Rooney