Funny Boy thing said today about a lying cowardly character on tv: "He's not manly enough to be a weasel. He's a marmoset."
And now for our apparently regular programme: More stuff about Chase.
Turns out, after talking with the Humane Society, that we're within our rights to claim the dog after 30 days because she's never been licensed, microchipped, or otherwise officially owned by the so-called owner. In order to do so we must microchip her, register the microchip, and license her. Easy peasy.
It comes down to this. We've reasonably tried to contact the owner, we have witnesses (our neighbors) who'd be willing to testify she's been in our possession this whole time, she's been to the vet the previous time she was lost by this same owner so there's a physical record there ... We can easily prove abandonment, not just once but twice. Sobering, isn't it? Think you 'own' your dog or cat? If your pet has been missing for over 30 days, and there's nothing to prove your ownership if you locate that animal, you may be out of luck. So, seriously, microchip your animals and license them. Today. And don't rely on the goodwill of neighbors to basically babysit your animal for free while you're on vacation or working out of the state/country/whatever. Show some basic effort to compensate them for food and care, even if it's a token thing like a card with a heart drawn on it. Otherwise, if it happens again as it did in this case, the people who are once again stuck with 'your' unlicensed, un-microchipped dog may not be inclined to give it back. And they won't be required to.
When we lost Brian, he'd been missing for weeks (I think it was three) before the extremely awesome people down the hill from us saw a sign posted at the vet. They kindly contacted us. At that point they'd fed him, sheltered him, loved him ... and they gave him back to us without even a thought to keeping him. (Well, the boys were really disappointed and whined a bit ...) I gave the family a huge gift basket filled with about $100 worth of stuff as a thank you, and still felt that it was inadequate thanks to Mary and her boys. Thanks (again) guys for the return of our dog, and for taking such awesome care of him.
You can bet that if Brian ran off again, not only would we check there first, but we'd do it within 24 hours. And if they called us, we'd answer within 24 hours.
The first time we had Chase/Decker, the owner showed up after over a month, and I never even got a card or a follow-up thank you call. Not cool, considering the dog would have wound up in the shelter, or shot, or runover and the owners would have never known about it, never mind gotten their dog back. And now Chase has been with us for almost a month again and we've been calling the owner ... with no answer. At all. No visit either. No one has given us any sign that they're looking for this animal. Does he even know his dog is gone? If he's away, who is taking care of the dog, and why aren't they frantically looking for her? If they don't care, then exactly how good of care is this dog receiving while the owner is away? Because the responsibility must ultimately fall on the owner. If the caretaker is supposed to take the blame for the first lack of care, then that caretaker shouldn't be taking care of the dog a second time.
Oops, that came out kinda ranty. Nonetheless, I'm not feeling very inclined to honor his 'ownership' at this point, should he show up again, which I'm beginning to doubt he will. Maybe it wasn't even his dog in the first place. Maybe he mistook her for his dog. After all, 'Decker' is not really a girly name (but I guess Chase isn't all that feminine either ...) Maybe he's embarrassed to have taken this strange dog home to his kids (who'd seen her when they passed our place on the bus--that's how he found her in the first place) and then they said 'But daa-aad, this isn't our dog! Our dog was a boy and didn't pee himself when we petted him!' I'd hate to think he'd just turn her loose again in that circumstance, instead of bringing her home to us.
I dunno. It's not an easy thing for me to claim her, despite my bold words. I assume that dog owners love their pets and I wouldn't want to separate a beloved pet from her owner just because of some rule of thumb (it's not a statute as far as I know) and the fact that the owner can't prove ownership (which, btw, we could have with Brian and all our pets because they're all microchipped--I'm thankful to say.) But I'm leaning that direction because I'm just not seeing the love here. I'm seeing a big, fat, nothing. There could be love, unseen love, that will manifest sometime soon. It just seems less and less likely as the days wear on.
In the meantime Chase is healthy and happy. That's the important thing, at least to those of us who care about her. She's an awesome dog. She could be an incredible dog, with love and much-needed socializing and training. I bought her a collar and leash the first time round. I have to admit I get a little thrill thinking that hey, maybe we'll get to use them as her forever owners sometime soon.
What do you guys think? Does the owner, who told my DH that he works out of town quite a bit, need more time? What would you do?