The happy wanderer

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, June 12, 2014

It has been a long time since I thought of Stevie in a meaningful way.  Stevie (now Asha) was the yellow lab that was running around Tryon for months.  After far too many scrapes and more misses, she was finally caught up but not before she won the hearts of a whole town.  Today Asha happily resides with Lani (bulldog) and the rest of her four-legged brood.  Asha finally chose Lani to give up the trust to, and in my book, couldn’t have made a better choice.
A few weeks ago I received a call about Jeff, a 2 year-old yellow lab that had leapt a four foot fence and frightened a lady who called the police. Jeff wanted attention and wasn’t a threat to the lady in any way, still it cost his owners $600 for the “loose dog not in control law.” It’s a good law; I only wish the police would use a little more discretion before handing out fines. I know of cases where the law should of been more stringent but nothing was done.  Oh well, I guess I’m only looking at things from my side of the fence.
The call I received was from George and Paulette, the owners of the car wash on Rte. 14 across from Landrum Vet.  George has been supporting Lennie’s kids for years and I wanted to help in anyway I could.
I visited with Paulette at their house the next morning and met Jeff for the very first time.  When I saw him, for some reason, Stevie the Tryon dog popped into my mind and the twinkle in his eye told me there was a little bit of Marley in him too.  He lives and gets along with their two other dogs and my time with him was delightful.
Jeff had been seen on and off wandering the area for some time now.  When he came on George and Paulette’s property they took him in, cleaned him up and fed him.  They then contacted the owner who said they could keep him if they wanted him.  That was nearly a month ago and Jeff has been loved and cared for, ever since.
He was checked out at the vet and fattened up a bit because his ribs were showing.
All in all Jeff was in a loving home and all was going smoothly until he made that ill-advised leap of the fence.  The police told them that the next find would be $1000 and though they loved Jeff dearly, they decided the burden was too much since Paulette had recently lost her job. They tried an owner turn in at FHS but they are slammed full and thus I received the call.
“Do you love him?” I asked Paulette. “Very much so,” she replied, “this decision is devastating George, but we’re trapped between a rock and a hard place.”  “First of all,” I explained, “Jeff has been wandering too long and he thinks everywhere he’s been is part of his territory, it is how loose and unsupervised dogs get in trouble.”  “What can we do?” Paulette asked.
I called Jeff over and began to rub his ears as we spoke, “The fact that he’s come here and stayed so long is a good sign, he has chosen you to give his trust. I could take him off your hands, have him neutered and checked out.  I then would pay for his boarding until I can find him a loving home that perhaps has a fenced in yard and a few other animals for play and companionship.” “What are you saying Lennie?” “You talk to George and if he agrees, I’ll fix it so you can keep Jeff.
First and foremost, get him to Landrum vet and have him fixed, I’ll set the appointment.  Ask for a mild sedative for his separation anxiety, it won’t hurt him and he’ll learn fast.  Put up a nice long dog run or put in an electric fence when you’re not here. I’ll pay all vet expenses and help with anything else you may need.”
The next day I saw George at the car wash, Jeff was already at Landrum vet scheduled to be neutered and such.
“The post for a dog run is being put in and I have an electric fence, I’m going to do both,” George said.  “Good for you,” I replied smiling, “Jeff lucked out when he choose you two.”  “You know he chewed my bed post?” George said smiling.  I laughed out loud, “You know you’re in for a heck of an adventure and if I were you, I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
Thanks for listening.

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