I am wondering something. Yesterday as my practically husband and I were driving home, we saw a basset mix running loose in the street. Back and forth she ran, across a fairly busy intersection. At first, I thought she may have belonged to the owner of the Aussie walking a little ways ahead. But it didn’t add up. Why would one of her dogs be on a leash and the other not? The PH turned the truck around so we could investigate the matter further.
Sure enough, it was clear the basset wasn’t attached to anyone. Once I got out of the truck, I crouched down, hoping she would come close enough for me to see her collar. All I had in my pocket was kibble – enough to entice Shiva, food motivated dog extraordinaire – but not enough to bring this little dog closer. I need to start carrying chicken at all times for situations like these. I could tell she had a tag with her name but that’s all I could see.
After a few sniffs, the basset mix took off down the sidewalk. I didn’t want to chase after her so I tried to get her attention again to get her to chase me but she was a dog on a mission. It seems she lived in one of the houses further down the street. She ran up to the door and started baling. I couldn’t see from where I stood but when the PH went to check, she had clearly been let inside. That was a relief. All I cared about was preventing her from being hit by a car.
But it brought to mind several questions about the right course of action to take in these situations. I have encountered loose dogs many times before, usually on a walk with Shiva. Most of the time all they have are their license tags, no name or number to call. I have been lucky in that some friendly neighbours have helped me return the dogs home very quickly. But not always. Since I typically have my cell phone with me when I leave the house, it is an easy thing to make a quick phone call. But what do you do when there is no phone number and you are blocks and blocks away from home?
Have you run into loose dogs in your neighbourhoods? Is there a standard procedure? Should I just leave them and hope their owner finds them eventually? What would you do if one came up to you while you are walking your dog? I am sorely in need of some advice.