After about 25 feet, it stopped, but then stood in the road, looking around as if confused. I'd noticed that it had on a collar and tags, so I decided t take a risk ans see if I could find out about the poor thing. When I opened the car door, it trotted right toward me, tail wagging and head lowered in a submission position. I check the tags, and her name, Carrie, was on the tag along with the phone number. Thankfully it was a local number, so I called it from my cell phone. I left a message about the dog, but I was not sure if I should take her or not. She might be close to home. I left a message about the situation and my phone number, but I had really bad reception in that area so wasn't sure if the message was intelligible.
Carrie is a fairly good sized dog, I'd guess around 45-50 pounds. I couldn't lift her into my truck bed which is pretty high, higher than my waist. I though about putting her in the cab, but with temperamental little Ali, I wasn't sure that was wise. I decided to take them home, and come back. If Carrie was still there, I'd figure out what to do. However, she again trotted after the car. She is obviously older as most of her was dark colored, but her muzzle was whitening with age. And I though, Oh, what if that were Ali ... she might be senile, too, and not know her way home. I was very afraid of her being in the road when another, less observant or caring auto came along. So ... I got her into the front, and she sat down very nicely on the floor while Ali began barking his head off in the back seat. He quietened down soon, however, and we drove the remaining half mile home.
I put Carrie in the back yard with food and water. There is a large doghouse out there left by the previous owner, but it has a hole in the top. I found some heavy rubber material, an old air mattress and cut it to size, securing it with a couple bungee cords and put an old packing blanket inside. I got some fresh water and a cup of dog food, and show it to her. Bless her hear, she just wanted to come inside with me!
Back inside, I called her home again, and left a second message. And I set about getting settled in for the evening, considering dinner, etc. I think it wasn't more than ten minutes before her owner called, and was so thankful. Carrie is over 15 years old, and, yes, they've been thinking she might be getting a bit senile. While they are at work during the day, she usually goes to a neighbor's and spends the day with their dog. But it is in the opposite direction that I found her. She was actually quite close to her house, but apparently confused and didn't seems sure where to go.
Carrie's daddy came to get her, and it was a happy reunion. As he lifted her into his truck, he said, "Well, old girl, I guess we need to fix you a secure place to spend your days now." His eyes teared up a little, and I knew just how he felt. it is so hard to face the aging of those we love, and our four-leggers are in that category. It truly pains me to see ow Ali is deteriorating. He seems to panic if I'm out of his sight for even a minute or so these days. I'm not sure what to do with him. I can't leave him home when I go out. He is too afraid and confused. When Gail is here, I can leave him with her sometimes, but not all the time.
The sad thing is that Ali still gets around relatively well. Actually, better than relatively well. But his mental confusion causes us both to be nervous. And I'm worried about the next trip I take. I really don't know how well he will fare. But for now, I'll just keep him close, protect him from all that is possible, love him as much as I can, and hope for the best.
Then there is China Doll. She is just 6 weeks younger than Ali and because of the Cushing's disease, she is over-weight and prone to having seizures (very small ones only), she is losing sight and hearing, but that little one is the Energizer Bunny of the canine world! She seems to have boundless vigor and is excited about going places. Or staying home napping. Or eating. Or being loved. Or anything that comes her way. What a pleasure she is, and she keeps me from getting too discouraged, for sure.
I'm glad I was there for Carrie today, and I hope that Ali's life journey somehow becomes easier and that I have China to make me smile.
In spite of the occasional sad note .........
Life is (still) beautiful!!!