Monday, July 23, 2007

You Don't Know Jack (Well, maybe you do)

So I just finished up a grueling seven-day work week, one that involved shooting Harry Potter until 1 a.m. and starting again at 9 a.m. the next morning to photograph environmental volunteers removing parasitic vines from a state park. Yesterday, I was driving back to the office after shooting a house fire when I saw a little dog almost get creamed by an SUV on a blind curve. I was honking and waving my arms from inside my car, then hopped out and stopped traffic in both directions.

He was a pretty cute little thing, some sort of pug-inspired mixed breed. I called the phone number on his tags, which had been disconnected. His ID said his name was Jack. I knocked on a few doors. None of the neighbors recognized him, but one lady gave me a spare leash. As we were running out of clues and I was on a tight spot news deadline, I took him back to the office with me.

In the time it took me to cut together a 60-second movie of the fire scene and transmit ten photos, he chewed through the leash not once but TWICE after I tied the severed ends back together. When he pulled out of his collar without my noticing despite the fact that the retied leash was hooked around my wrist, I started to have a sneaking suspicion about how and why Jack was running amok in traffic.

His rabies tag said he had been inoculated at the nearby chapter of the SPCA, which on a Sunday night, was already closed. Jack came home with me for a sleepover. He and Bella did alright actually. They scurried through every room in the house, and she proceeded to assert her Alpha status in each and every one.

Bella; Wanna see the people bed? It's reallyreallyreally cool!
Jack: Yeahyeahyeahyeah!

(He was a hyperactive little thing).

Bella: Okay, but you can't get on it, okay? I can, though. I'm allowed. You aren't a'pposed to! I'm a lot taller now!
Jack: Whimper?
Bella: Wanna see *my* bed?
Jack: Yeah, yeah!
Bella: No, only *I* can sit in it. Well, me and the cat, but not you.
Me: (warningly) Bella... He's here one night. Can you share?
Jack: Cat? Cat! CAT!!!
Me: Oh, Jesus.

**********

Bella: Wanna play humans?
Jack: Okay!
Bella: Okay, now I'm the girl human, which means I get to tell you what to do and make you wear the leash and stuff. You can be the cat, okay?
Jack: That's not humans, that's- Um, what does the cat do?
Bella: He walks around screaming and staring at nothing all day.
Fred: (peeking around door, tail three times as wide as usual) Hey!
Bella: Jack pee-peed! He pee-peed and not outside in the business place!
Me: You know what? Time for separate walks and bed!

**********

In the morning, I took him to the same shelter where he had his rabies shots, knowing they could find his owners from the paperwork. There was a shelter employee and a guy from Animal Control taking care of forms behind the desk. They looked up and simultaneously said:

"JACK!"

Me: "You know this little guy?"
Animal Control Guy: "Dude, I just dropped you off at home again yesterday."
M: Really? I found him running along-
Us Simultaneously Again: B****town Road.
Me: Yeah!
Shelter Employee: Let me guess, in Pony Stoint?
Me: Yup. He almost had a close encounter with an SUV at the intersection with W@yne Avenue.
ACG: Yeah, he lives less than half a mile from there.
Me: Well, I called the number on his collar. It's disconnected, and I did knock on a few doors, but no one knew him.
SE: (petting Jack) Don't worry, you're not in trouble.
ACG: I'm just curious. When did you find him?
Me: Around 5/5:30 p.m. or so?
ACG: I dropped him off at 10 a.m.
Me: Do his people need, like, a fence or something?
ACG: He's pretty sneaky, actually.
Me: Yeah, I noticed that.

Weird little mutt. :)

If anything else, it's a good reminder to double-check your animal companions' ID tags. We realized about a month after we got rid of the landline that none of the old cell numbers nor the house # on Bella's tags were accurate anymore. Doh!

4 comments:

Cara said...

That is such a great story! I'd also like to add for anyone reading that if your dog or cat is microchipped, then make sure your info is updated. If your cat or dog is not chipped, then consider getting them microchipped. We get a ton of dogs and cats and the shelter with mauled collars who *had* tags, but the tags have fallen off by the time they get there so there's nothing else we can do to contact the owner if they're not chipped. Your local vet or shelter can microchip for you for a nominal fee, and then you need to send in the registration info to avidmicrochip.com. You can also update info at the same website if your cat/dog is already chipped, so long as you have the chip number. If you don't have the number, your vet can scan the chip for you and give you the number. OK, now I'll stop being Chatty Cara on the bloggy.

gwen said...

Aw... that's such an Angie story. If I'm ever lost and the number on my tags is disconnected, I hope you find me.

hefk said...

I have such respect for animal people. I don't mean beings of indeterminate species...I mean people who just understand and love animals and bring lost ones home to meet their other animals, and take care of all of them with attentiveness and instintual understanding. You, Ang, and my neighbor, Nancye, fit this description. I just clutch my kid closer and say, "thank you for taking him, I really can't take him into our house at the moment." (not ready for pet right now...someday, but not now)
Rock on, animal person, Bang.

Carl said...

But why does Jack wander? Maybe the little vagabond is trying to break free of an oppressive home life. People keep snatching him up and hauling him back to his prison.