Tonight when J. came home from a late-night foray to Starbuck's, he found a young male pit bull sitting very nicely on our doorstep, as though politely waiting for him to get home. It had been raining and we had had a massive thunderclap earlier, so we suspected that the dog had done the dog thing and gotten loose when the thunder scared him. Luckily he had both collar AND two tags, so armed with a rope, pen and notepad, we attempted to sit him still long enough to get a look at his tags.
This was easier said than done, since he was SO very happy to have found friendly, awake people at 10PM. He demonstrated this by continuously leaping up to try and lick our faces, despite being tied to the front rail.
My, but pits are STRONG! I genuinely feared for my wrought iron porch railing.
To add to the fun he was wet and muddy, and his name tag was so worn as to be very nearly unreadable. His animal control tag was legible, but was zero help that late at night.
**Note to all dog & cat owners--read your animal's tag aloud as if you have NO IDEA what it's name or address is. If you can't read it, neither can the Good Samaritan that is trying to return your animal to you.
Everytime we got him still long enough to allllmmmost read the tag, up he'd leap again to slobber all over one or both of us or even worse, thump that oh-so-solid head into your breadbasket. He just couldn't help himself, he was SO grateful. We learned eventually that his name was 'Sam', and that he at least DID know the command 'Sit!' when combined with a healthy shove downwards on his fanny. Down he would sit, just long enough to sucker you in so you'd lean down and get your face down next to those tags.
Again eventually J. had taken numerous knock-ya-down-and-lick-ya-silly episodes and I had been suckered in for a couple of jump-up-and-place-his-paws-on-my-shoulde
It took 20 minutes of bellowing "Sit!" and pleas for him to be still, combined with wrestling and huffing and rolling around on the porch before we finally got his info. I can only imagine what the neighbors thought was going on. Turns out Sam had only wandered over a few streets.
The number on his tag was a cell phone. His owner was driving around looking for Sam, and was smart enough to have his cell with him. Once we read his tags, Sam was picked up within 5 minutes. The owner confirmed that Sam had freaked out in the thunder and jumped a fence that his owner had no idea he could clear.
We did tell the guy that Sam needed new, LEGIBLE tags, waved goodbye and then went indoors to get hot showers and Bactine. The next day we compared sore arms from doggie wrestling. Thank goodness N. was already asleep at that time of night and didn't insist on getting involved.
Fun begins at home!