Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Saga of the White Dog

This is in some ways a cautionary tale, though I don’t know that any of us could have done anything else. It’s also a story without an ending, and that gives me hope.

In my neighborhood, Berkeley Place, neighbors not only look out for each other, we look out for everyone’s pets. See a loose dog? Probably Fido escaped from his yard and his owners don’t realize it. Put it on the Berkeley Buzz, our email? Did your dog or cat get out? Put it on the Buzz—chances are someone will either return your pet or report that they have it secured for you to pick up.

The white dog first appeared on the Buzz a couple of weeks ago, spotted in the eastern part of the neighborhood, minding her own business.  Next day, different location. And the next. There’d be a day without a sighting and the small network following her would get anxious. Then she’d appear in the wee early hours following an early-morning walker.

She was wily, coolly rejecting all friendly approaches. One neighbor said he couldn’t even get close enough to use a catch rope.

Everybody had a theory about her. It seemed to me she was moving purposefully, whereas most stray wander aimlessly from tree to bush. Generally, strays don’t hang around the same neighborhood day after day, though we did have one dog it took a month to catch. The white dog stayed, and speculation began that she had hidden a litter of puppies nearby. In the picture above, it looks to me like she’s recently nurse.

Once she was spotted diving into low bushes in front of a house. After she emerged someone searched the bushes. No sign of puppies.

Neighbor John Holmes was active in the effort to capture the dog, and he reported one day that he was trying to coax her to him when a woman he didn’t recognize drove by and assured him she had Animal Control on the line at that moment. Not what John or any of us wanted to hear—if she did have puppies and was taken to the pound, disaster would occur. Besides, John said if she was feral, they would just put her down. There was no need to involve Animal Control unless she was a menace to people or other animals, and she clearly was not.  When he called Animal Control, they would neither deny nor confirm that they had her. There were no more sightings.

Yesterday a neighbor known for her active rescue work reported Animal Control had only one dog that fit her description, and she was sure it was “our” white dog. Today the dog would have gone off her three-day hold as a stray. Robin has promised to try to keep track of that happens next—adoptable list, “desperate” list, sick list. Her Berkeley fans will stand by “our” white dog.

You think I could call her Lucy?

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