Don't get me wrong. I love Molly. Adore her, really. But if you aren't already in her club, membership of which is determined by Molly and Molly alone, then she can be a collosal jerk. Luckily I'm in the club, but she's not always interested in granting membership to my friends. Or the neighbours. Or the pizza guy. Or pretty much anyone she doesn't already know.
When we got to the crop on Friday afternoon, there she was. Big, gorgeous, sniffing around, and scratching at the door to get in. Naturally, everyone thought she was a neighbourhood dog, but you have to understand that this neighbourhood is, essentially, in the bush (that's “forest” or “woods” for any non-Canadians), and so the pool of potential awesome-dog owners is relatively limited.
***Editor's note – the English Lesson Edition: Please notice that these are potential “owners of awesome dogs”, and not “awesome owners of dogs”, as indicated by the hyphenated phrase. This is called a “compound modifier” which connects two words which describe the third. (Consider the case of the “red wine glass” versus the “red-wine glass”. Without the hyphen, we don't know if it's the wine or the glass which is red.) This is essential in a case such as this, as you will soon come to realise that these owners may, in fact, be very un-awesome.
Friday evening, one of the organizers got quite a fright when she opened the door and two huge eyes were staring back at her. By the time a left a couple of hourse later, she was still there, and even seemed to be trying to get me to follow her into the bush as I walked to my car. I assumed she wanted to play, so I told her to go home (in my friendliest dog-talking voice, I assure you!) and headed on my tired-and-merry way.
By Saturday, she was still hanging around, and we were starting to worry. Turns out she was hungry, as evidenced by the speed with which she scarfed down an apple she was offered on Saturday afternoon. This prompted a canvasing of the woodsy neighbourhood, which turned out to be futile.
So, what do we do now with a very huge, very hungry, and very lost dog? Well, one of the ladies called her mom who brought out a bag of dogfood, someone put out a bowl of water, someone else named her Maggie, and at the end of the night, I decided to take her home.
As I walked out of the building, I said, “Maggie, let's go home,” and I swear to you, she trotted off and stopped right in front of my car. Like she knew.
You should have seen Cliff's face when I picked him and his friend up with a giant dog in the back seat. He'd had a little to drink, and I didn't tell him she was coming. The reaction was a pleasant one, but it was something to the effect of, “Holy *$^%, Cliff, there's a monster dog in your backseat!”
Sunday morning, I took her to Petland, because the poor thing needed a collar and leash if she was going to be staying for any length of time. They helped me to fit her, and checked her for a microchip, to no avail. The Petland people, like us, couldn't believe that such a beautiful, obedient, and well-cared for dog could actually be a stray.
And yet, it seems like she is. We've exhausted every avenue, including knocking on doors, advertising on Kijiji and on the radio, contacting the SPCA, local animal shelter, and both city and county animal control, and sending a mass email to co-workers. We're going to try an ad in the paper, but otherwise, all we can do is wait and enjoy her company while we have her.
I spent most of this week with some students in the city at a competition, but I understand that Maggie's was living it up at home, taking car rides and going to the dog park, which are two of her favourite activities. I was so excited to get home and get in on the fun.
She and Cliff have really bonded, and honestly, it's been so good for Molly to have her around. Molly's had to figure out that she's not the king of the castle, as she once believed, and she's actually become more obedient in the last week. Yesterday, we were able to take the two of them for a walk without any incidents at all, and to be honest, I teared up right there in the park. I love Molly to pieces, but her behaviour has been so troubling in the past that I was overwhelmed at how good they were together.
It really feels like we were meant to find Maggie.
So, to sum up, she knows commands, is obedient, is very gentle, and doesn't try to eat the pizza guy. She really is the best freaking dog ever.
So, here are some questions for you.
a) What's your hunch – was she abandoned, or did she run away?
b) Farm dog or house dog?
c) How long is long enough to hang on to a stray dog before she's “yours” to make a suggestion about?
Thank you for reading such a long post about Maggie. My hope is that someone might either recognize her or have some good advice about the care of stray dogs. Please rest assured that we will not take her to a “kill” shelter. At this point, all signs point to keeping her if her owners don't turn up...but we think we need wait at least another week.
I can't wait for this week to be over. :)