A one-eared, six-toed dog and other random encounters
As a matter of housekeeping, I must begin this post with these additional photos of Tilly, the lost German Shepherd mix whose foster dad I ran into as he was putting up posters last weekend. As far as I know, Tilly remains at large. These photos were taken during the 12 hours that she was in her foster dad’s care before she escaped.
Also at large, in my neighborhood, is a small, gray cat named Gretta. Having noticed a hand-scrawled poster in the area earlier in the week, I actually ran into her owner Thursday afternoon as I passed through South Oak Park with Luke and Machete. The older gentleman explained that his shy, two-year-old cat always returned from her daytime excursions, but she hadn’t been seen since Sunday. “It’s like the earth just swallowed her up,” he said.
If you live near me — and you know if you do — please call the number on this poster if you think you’ve seen Gretta.
Apparently, Gretta is up to date on her shots, but she doesn’t have a collar or a microchip, and her owner said she’s timid around most people, which is unfortunate as far as her chances for recovery go. But maybe she’ll just show up again on her own… I used to be so terrified of my own cat getting lost back at our old house that I outfitted him with more tags than any of the dogs, plus a microchip. He looked pretty blingin’.
And now for the part of this post that you started reading for.
Later on Thursday night, Minnie and I had an encounter with a truly unusual wayward dog. We were having an after-dark, girls-only stroll through the neighborhood when a tall, white and brown, bully mix appeared in a yard and began ambling toward us. His posturing was friendly — who could blame him with a bombshell husky mix like Minnie around?
I wasn’t scared of the dog, however, the street was pretty dark, and there seemed to be no owners standing by. (This isn’t an unusual occurence in our neighborhood. In fact, just this week, Our Waldo Bungie featured a post about an unfriendly loose dog.)
As the dog got closer, I noticed two things: 1) he had a collar with a name tag and 2) he only had one ear. On one side of his head was a normal flap of white; on the other was just a hole.
As he wiggled around Minnie and me, I noticed, too, that each of his back dewclaws held not one but a pair of nails, each of which had curled long past the need for trimming. They didn’t seem to be curling into his skin, thank goodness, but they clearly needed attention.
Whether his ear anomaly owed to injury or birth, I have no clue. If injury, it was not recent. Murray, as the tag hanging from his Ed Hardy collar informed me, seemed to be a mellow and happy-go-lucky guy. Since several minutes had passed with no sign of his human, I squinted to make out the phone number below his name and called. The result: worse than no answer — disconnected.
At this point, my heart started to sink. While there was no way that I was about to leave a one-eared, six-toed dog alone in the street, I dreaded the thought of bringing him to our overdogged home, where kennel cough continues to circulate. Fortunately, in the midst of my perplexity, a woman appeared in the doorway of a home on the other side of the street. She wasn’t Murray’s owner, just a friendly neighbor who said she was quite certain of the dog’s owner and she was willing to watch over him until that person arrived home. Relieved, Minnie and I headed to our home.