Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Great Idea, and the Story Behind Sam

Today marks two weeks since Cooper went missing. I have been devastated the entire time, wishing that there was something more I could do to bring him home. I've done the following:
- posted flyers all through the area and at vets and pet stores
- checked the shelters & SPCA's in Sacramento, Placer, Yolo, and Sutter counties, including looking through the lists of deceased animals that have been picked up by animal control.
- repeatedly placed "missing" ads on Craigslist for all of Northern California and the Reno area and responded to every "found" dog ad in the same areas
- placed ads in the Sacramento Bee for both online and print
- emailed rescue groups
- listed him as missing on Petfinder and Petharbor
- consulted a pet psychic. Seriously, I actually did.

I don't know what more I can do at this point. He had a collar on with his rabies tag (which has my veterinarians information on it) and a tag with his name as well as my phone numbers (cell & home) on it. Still, I've heard nothing.

Cooper is such a social butterfly - every person he sees he views as a potential friend and immediately greets them and gives them kisses.

As much as it breaks my heart, at this point I have to assume that someone took him in and have adopted him into their family and chosen to not call me. Because he is that cute and sweet and loving.

Today, I get an email from Dogster about a new product they are offering on conjunction with the American Red Cross called "Together Tag".
This sounds like an amazing product, and I have to seriously wonder why no one thought of it sooner. The brief overview of how it works:
You buy the id tag for about $25 and have your pets name & phone # printed on it.
When you get the tag, it also has an id # and a website on it. If your dog goes missing, the person who finds your pet can call your phone number on the tag and if they're unable to reach you, they can go to the website and enter the id # on the tag indicating that they've found your pet.
Once they do that, you're sent an email notification AND they have visibility of alternate contact information - other people in your area and outside of your area who can be contacted to care for your pet if you are unable to be reached. you can also indicate special care instructions in the event that you are not able to meet up with the person who has your pet in a timely fashion - perfect for the pet who has a special diet or needs medications.
Also, if your pet goes missing you go to the website, enter your pets id # and notifications are automatically sent out to rescue groups, spca's and shelters.

I will be getting this tag for my dog Sam, and any future pets I have.

Who is Sam, you ask?
Sam is my dog who is technically my sisters dog.
Huh? Confused? Yeah, its an odd situation.

In the summer of 2004, my sister Lindsay called me one day as I was leaving work and says "I found a dog and Grandma said I could keep him over there but he won't fit in Josh's (her loser boyfriend at the time) car. Could you come pick him up?"

So, I go over there and she tells me that she and the loser boyfriend had gone out to some junkyard in Rio Linda to get parts for his car. I believe that was code for "we went to our pot dealers house" and she said that as they were walking into the junkyard the man who runs the place starts yelling at them "Get your f-cking dog outta here!"
Confused, Lindsay turns around to see a giant black lab looking dog walking behind her. She said that htere was a trailer park down the road from the junkyard so she takes the dog over there and starts asking people in the park if he belongs there. Nobody recognizes him or knows who he belongs to. As she's walking through the park, one person tells her that they don't think its a good idea for her to leave the dog there because the man who runs the junkyard shoots at stray animals with a bb gun. So, Lindsay took him back to her boyfriends house with her and got permission from Grandma to keep him at our house because we have a larger yard.

When she brings Sam out from her boyfriends house, I'm expecting a typical black lab. Something around 70-80 lbs, maybe 90 lbs, right? I was SHOCKED when Sam came out. Sam is a solid 140 lbs. When he howls at a siren, it sounds like I've got Chewbacca in the back yard. Kinda like this, but much more drawn out:

We took him home, and the next day took him to our vet to see if there was a micro chip or anything. Nothing. He had a collar on, but no tags at all and no microchip or tattoo or any that could identify him. The vet examined him and sure enough, the man at the junkyard has been shooting at him with a bb gun. We had to have a dozen pellets removed from him.

We posted flyers, placed ads online & in the paper and at the shelters to try to find his owners because he had obviously come from a home where he was well cared for. He was trained, knew all verbal commands, very well behaved. However, we never got any responses. Instead, we got a 140 lb dog that my sister decided to name Sam... and then never cared for. While she continues to refer to Sam as "her" dog, I'm the one who cares for him, plays with him, grooms & bathes him, feeds him, and everything else. Sam really is my dog, I'm just better off to not say that around my sister.

When we got Sam, our vet estimated that he was about 5 years old which means he's now going on 10. The whole time we've had Sam he's always had a little buddy to run around with. At first, it was Maddie.
After Maddie died last year, he started to show his age. Instead of running and jumping and playing, he started moving a little slower and started having trouble getting up when he had been lying down.
When I first brought Cooper home, he was a little apprehensive at first to have this energetic spaz of a puppy running around, but within just a couple of days Sam was back to his youthful self. He was running and jumping and playing again, not showing his age at all. Now that Cooper is gone, he's once again starting to show his age. He's slowing down and seems to have a little trouble getting up again.
The part that really breaks my heart is when he's outside by himself I can hear him crying on our patio.
So, for now. I'm babying him more than usual. I'm trying to give him as much love and companionship as I possibly can.

1 comment:

Tanya Kristine said...

I'm sorry about Cooper. You just have to hope he's with a loving family that's too ignorant to try to find his home. I lost my first dog once for 7 days...worst 7 days of my life. s'why i never had kids