I went on my semi-weekly "long" run this morning. Sure, it's only about five miles, but it's what I can do. At my turnaround point, I turned around, looked down, and there was a strange dog. I looked around for a possible owner but no one was nearby. I started running and she started following me. Preston and Ursus just let her come along with no problem whatsoever. To which I was surprised, knowing how jealous Ursus can get. I ran a bit and no one was there. I stopped a few times when I thought I heard someone calling, but it was nothing. Finally, I realized that she really must be lost. I looked at her tags (they were copious, thank goodness!). Her name was Kimba. She was a beautiful border collie mix. I attempted to call the owner's number but, as is always the case, there was no service in Macdonald Forest. (To which I always wonder why Paul gets so bent out of shape if I forget my phone, what good does it do? But that's another story.) I kept wondering which way she had come from. There are many different ways to enter the forest and I didn't know if her people would be waiting at the place where I was parked or not. I continued on and asked everyone I passed if they had run into anyone who had lost a dog. The answer was always no. This made me REALLY think that the owner must be waiting in another parking lot. I continued to dial the number, but nothing would go through. I had already figured out that I would not be able to put the dog in my car with Ursus because he has a tendency to get rather territorial in the car. I really hoped that her owner would be there. Of course, there was no one. I put her on a leash to make sure that she didn't run off. I turned around and right on the information kiosk was a poster of this very dog. I took the poster down and put Preston and Ursus in the car. I rolled down the windows as much as I could without giving them an easy jump out (just what I would need, ANOTHER lost dog). I started down Oak Creek road, looking at my phone to see if I could get service from any spot. At one point, I got two bars so I called again. It dropped. Paul had told me that text messages go through more readily, so I sent him a message to come and pick up the dogs so I didn't have to worry about them in the car. I ended up at the door of an acquaintance (Jen) we've had from running into her nearly every morning on our mutual dog outings. Jen had a regular phone since there was no real coverage where she lived. She called the number and a man answered and said immediately that he'd be there in a few minutes. Meanwhile, I'm worried about my dogs in the car and Jen's worried about her dog in the house who just lost his alpha-sister and was also chewing a bone. She said she'd take care of the dog. I ran back and got back to my own dogs in the car. On the way back, it turned out that Paul had gotten my message and he was already there talking to Jen with Kimba in his car.
Kimba really had the sweetest face and composure. I was quite impressed. She also seemed to limp a little bit, which I thought odd for what looked like a young dog.
Finally, a van with a large man and his daughter drove up. They got out of the car and Kimba immediately began a happy, whining chorus.
As it turned out, this dog who looked just fine and wasn't even as covered with burrs as my own dogs had been missing for four days!!!! It was obvious that the man and daughter were over-joyed to see Kimba again. I can't imagine what they must have gone through. Preston has only been missing for five hours at the most and that is worrisome enough.
So, I think I have paid back at least some of the karma to all those people who have found Preston and called to say "uh, I think I have your dog."