Saturday night at about 10:30 p.m., this sweet dog showed up on our porch. She was shivering and her paw was bleeding. She walked right in when I opened the door. At first I was a bit taken aback, and tried to shoo her out the door, but luckily I have very compassionate children (and the mother of one of Parker's friends) who wouldn't let me.
Graci immediately named her Lizzi and was in love. She begged and begged to take care of it. We got her cleaned up and fed her some chicken (the only thing I could think of... I'm not a dog person.) She scarved it down and seemed much happier afterward.
Later on that evening, a couple of the kids took a peek at her and decided she was a boy. So she was renamed Shiver (because of all her shivering, of course.) We put her in a box with some blankets and Graci slept next to her.
Jeremy was away on a weekend with his brothers, and I couldn't get ahold of him, so I sent a text "Um...we have a dog," and then went to bed. He was quite confused until we were finally able to talk later the next day.
The next day I tried to locate her owner. I thought that surely it was someone right in our neighborhood. I made some calls and even announced it in church, but nobody knew anything. The kids begged to keep her, and I was wary to call animal control because I didn't know what would end up happening to her. We borrowed dog food from a neighbor (Shiver didn't like it) and tried our best to take care of her. She was SHOWERED with attention, if you know what I mean. Poor dog. She hobbled around the house trying to escape Sophi's constant desire to smother her. We joked that with her "special need" she knew just which house wouldn't turn her away and she fit right in. (:
This morning after the kids went to school, I looked closer at Shiver and decided "he" was a she. Back to calling her Lizzi. (Let's see how much we can confuse the dog.) I took her to a lady in the neighborhood who grooms dogs and asked her to look at her paw (the one that was bleeding.) I didn't want to pay to have her seen at the vet when I didn't even know if it was serious. While I was there, the animal control truck pulled up to the park right in back of her house. Crazy "coincidence." I decided to take a chance and see if they had a scanner, in case Lizzi had a chip. I drove up to the truck and approached the lady and told her how we had found this dog, and wanted to possibly keep her if she didn't have an owner looking for her. She asked what kind it was and I told her it was possibly a yorkie chihuahua mix. Her face brightened and she said, "I know the owner, and she is frantic!"
I was hesitant to just hand over the dog, because my kids were so attached and would want to know exactly what happened and where the dog lived, so I asked if I could follow her to the owner's house. When we arrived, the owner was outside waiting for us (the dispatcher had called her), crying with relief and excitement. She hugged me and with tears streaming down her face kept proclaiming, "It's a miracle!"
We found out that "Lizzi" is actually Patti. (Yes, they spell it without an "e" just like all of my girls-- they got a kick out of that.) She is a 12-year-old dog, and had special, significant meaning to the couple who owned her. They really loved her. They had gone through some terrible tragedies in the past few weeks (including her 33-year-old brother passing away) and had left Patti with a dog sitter to go to St. George. The dog sitter apparently lost Patti, and was devastated. She called the owners, who left their trip early to come home and try to find Patti. They had spent hours combing the streets with flashlights last night, trying desperately to find her. They were mostly looking for a corpse, as it has been VERY cold at nights, and they didn't think she could have survived. We were all shocked at how far she had traveled to get to our home (a couple of miles).
The owner invited me in and showed me the laminated posters she had just made to post around the neighborhood. I took one home to show the kids. She invited me to come back on Saturday with the kids so they could meet the owners and say goodbye to Patti.
When I returned home, Sophi asked where the dog was and immediately burst into tears when I told her she had gone home. After school, when I picked the kids up and told them the story, Xander did the same. He was so, so sad. The rest of the kids were old enough to understand that this was a very happy ending, even though they were sad to lose Lizzi/Shiver/Lizzi/Patti. (:
Of course, you all know the REAL ending to the story. Our kids are now desperately begging for a dog. They have wanted one before, but never this much. I feel like I have my hands full (go figure) but I don't know that they are going to back down so easily now. (: I must say, if we were to have a dog, Patti would have been perfect. She didn't make a sound and was as sweet as could be.
So what do you think? Is a dog too much work?? Could we handle one with all we have going??? What is the most patient dog breed out there? (: