I go to the Lorain County Dog Pound website. Since that is my local shelter I figured I would see what was there that needed help and what I had room for. As I was scrolling down the endless list of dogs this cute little JRT face popped up. OMG THAT IS MY DOG! I know it is.
I couldn't remember her name right away but I knew it was her. I went to my pictures of all my placed rescue dogs and started looking in the 2008 file, nope not there so I looked at the 2009 file. YEP there she was, Minnie a JRT I placed in 2009. I quickly went to my data base to look up the owner. We will call her Sarah. I emailed Sarah right away:
Hi Sarah -
Do you have Minnie? I am only asking b/c there is a dog at my local shelter that LOOKS JUST LIKE HER! Just making sure she is ok.
Now keep in mind my dog pound is closed on Monday's and according to the website she is going up for adoption on Tuesday morning. It also stated that she was picked up as a stray about 20 minutes west of my house. Sarah lives 15 minutes East of my house. She was picked up on the Tuesday before. So the poor baby had been there a week.
I immediately called my dog warden on his cell phone. I told him, you have my dog. I adopted that dog out in 2009. I KNOW that is her. He was on vacation but said that the dog would not go up for adoption on Tuesday or be euthanized. That I just needed to come pick her up on Tuesday morning. Ok, perfect!
I then received an email back from Sarah.
It's not Minnie, but she must be cute!
I didn't believe her. I don't know why I didn't believe her but I didn't. I thought I won't believe her until I have the dog in my possession and I can know it isn't Minnie.
I emailed her back:
OH MY! IT LOOKS JUST LIKE HER! Well I am going to get her tomorrow.
Since I had to work on Tuesday and the pound doesn't open till 10am. I had my mom go get her for me.
On Tuesday morning I received this email from Sarah:
I became curious about the dog you saw at the shelter. I must admit Minnie has actually been living with an older gentleman,a street away from me. He was a customer where I work, which is several hundred feet from both of our homes.
.Until I started school I saw them regularly and she stays with me when he takes trips and I would walk her when the light were on in his house when I walked Rudy in the evenings. The last I saw them was about a month ago, he said he was going to Boston in Sept. to his daughters wedding but didn't need me to keep Minnie because he was taking her with him. Just spoke to him on the phone. He said he didn't want to tell me but Minnie was hit by a car in front of his house 2 wks ago! Didn't want to believe this, looked up pet finders and saw a dog that looks just like Minnie in cage #29. Not sure what to believe. Amy, I know I should have talked to you first but it seemed like the perfect solution, and we were all very happy to be able to have her in our lives. He was lonely and had lots of time to spend with her. I felt so bad leaving her in her cage for hours. I made him promise if he couldn't keep her for any reason I needed to know and that I would contact you.
I hope it is Minnie that you pick up today. Broke my heart when he told me she died. I can only imagine he was too embarrassed to tell me he could no longer take care of her.
This was my response:
Now let me add a little more uncertainty to this story. I am at work, so I can't verify for sure if this is Minnie or not. I had a HUGE feeling it was but I couldn't confirm until I got home. AND Sarah has another dog she adopted from me in 2007.
I finished out my day at work and went home. YEP! That is my dog! That is my Minnie.
I emailed Sarah and asked her to call me. We talked on the phone for about 20 minutes. She stated that Minnie went to go live with the old man in the winter of 2010. My question is how long has she NOT been with the old man? Apparently the old man is in Boston for his daughters wedding and Sarah will not have the chance to speak with him again until he gets back. I really want to know how long she has been missing, why the old man said she was hit by a car and how she made it 45 minutes away from where the old man / Sarah lives..
She was clean, well taken care of but how the heck was she picked up as a stray IN ANOTHER COUNTY and almost to the next county over from that?
Sarah said she made the old man promise he would tell her if he could no longer are for Minnie and I stopped her and said "Sarah you promised me and signed a legally binding contract and yet you didn't follow through on your promise or tell me the truth so why would you expect him to?"
When I got home yesterday all I wanted to do was huge poor Minnie and wish she could talk to me. Tell me where she has been and for how long and how did she get there. I wanted to cry because I had failed her.
I took her out of a shelter and adopted her out to someone I thought I could trust and I check in at least once a year to make sure everyone is doing ok and I always remind people if you need anything or you need to return the dog I am here for you / for the dog and will take back the dog if that is really what is in the best interest of everyone.
I don't understand how this could have happened. Then I start playing all the what if's through my head.
What if I wouldn't have checked the website on Monday. Where would she be now?
What if the county over picked her up instead of my county b/c she was right on the boarder?
What if someone found her and kept her?
What if she really was hit by a car?
What if I emailed or called Sarah and said "how are the dogs" she replied back Minnie was hit by a car and is dead and MONTHS later I see a dog that looks just like her in the shelter. But I am full and can't take that dog in but don't even think it is Minnie b/c well I was told she is dead?
What if she was picked up by a dog pound, killed for space and thrown in a dumpster like they do with the bodies?
Did I really save her or just give her the worse 2.5 years of her life?
What is going through her mind right now?
Does she know she is safe now?
Does she trust me?
Will I fail her again?