Adventures In Dog Sitting Part Dos

The day Alvin ran away was a miserable one. I can’t adequately describe how horrible I felt. I had just ruined the lives of a family I cared for. They would never see their beloved pet again. I wasn’t sure they’d ever forgive me! Not long after my sister-in-law called her sister I got a phone call from Alvin’s mom. Despite the tragedy of losing her dog,  she was so unbelievably calm and understanding about the whole thing. I explained what steps had been taken and that I was praying someone would find him and call.

We re-washed our clothes and took them to dry at the laundromat. We went grocery shopping. We continued with our day as any other. We never stopped thinking about Alvin. I went to bed praying for this little dog.

I woke up early Monday morning to make sure the twins were up for school and got out the door on time. I noticed it had rained during the night and my heart sank. While they were preparing for their day they talked about how bad they felt about the day before. So bad in fact that they thought they heard Alvin barking around midnight. I got hopeful that he was still in the neighborhood somewhere. Maybe someone would call today.

I opened the door for them as I was saying goodbye and waiting for us on the other side was this black curly wet ball of DOG! He had found us! I don’t know how, but Alvin had returned on his own! The boys HAD heard him the night before. I was so overjoyed I woke B and E up to witness this miracle. I think B just growled at me, but E was as happy as I was. I dried Alvin off and gave him food and water. I took a picture to send to his mom and realized it was 4 am where she was. Oh well. I sent it anyway. The relief was evident in her response back.  The prodigal dog had returned!

Alvin stayed with us another week and a half. I can confidently say he never ran away again. Well…there was one this one time he started to one day and no one chased him. I guess without the challenge he wasn’t interested. My niece came to visit me the following weekend and Alvin was super excited to see a person he knew. See how happy he is?

Alvin part 2

By the time his family returned to pick him up we’d all fallen into a comfortable routine. He and B even mended their relationship and I caught them playing together several times. In fact Alvin started following B around the house.

Lest you think this is the end, there is another part to this tale.

As I mentioned last week, B and I got in our cars to search for the Alvin. My son J went with him and G and E came with me. We stopped and asked everyone we saw if they’d seen a little black poodle. Even our neighbor drove around a while looking for Alvin before he took his kids to the park. It wasn’t until a few days later our neighbor told us something very interesting.

Apparently, while he was at the park, a cop drove in and asked the parents there (including our neighbor) to be careful because they had received a call from concerned parents that a man with glasses in a black car had tried to abduct their child by asking about a lost dog (which is the oldest trick in the book). And he already had one kid with him! After the cop left, another woman commented that she had seen a crazy blonde man running down the street barefoot yelling at the top of his lungs. Our neighbor later discovered a community watch email about the possible pedophile incident.

B and our neighbor couldn’t stop laughing about the situation, while I couldn’t stop fuming! I couldn’t believe the stupidity and judgemental-ness of people and their jump-to-conclusions small-minded thinking! (I’m starting to get mad all over). BUT now in extreme hind-sight I can see the humor. Really, I can. To prove it I’ll share another cute photo of Alvin, this time with B. Pictures really do say 1000 words!

Alvin and Billy




The Adventures In Dog Sitting

There’s been a lot of conversation in my household lately regarding the addition of a four-legged family member. It’s a converstation I am not entirely opposed to. There are of course the usual concerns of pet health care costs and the responsibility of feeding another mouth, not to mention doodoo duty (I can’t believe I just typed those words) and multiple walks a day (which really wouldn’t hurt any of us).  Other than those concerns I think it could be a nice addition. That’s why I volunteered our pet sitting services twice last summer, and for the most part they went off without a hitch with one HUGE exception!

I saw the post on Facebook. My sister-in-law’s sister needed a dog sitter for a little over a week while her family was on vacation. I didn’t answer right away since I live a good hour from her but a couple days later I sent her a message asking if she’d found someone. She was so relieved that we were willing to watch Alvin for her and since they were flying from the airport near us it would be perfect!

I was at church when Alvin arrived so B was there to greet him and get all the care instruction for him. Her one warning to us was that he likes to RUN. As in run AWAY. She also said he may follow us around a lot since he had some anxieties. B said when she left Alvin cried and repetedly ran from the door to the window and back. By the time I got home Alvin had calmed down but was still very wary of us. We took him for a walk and then got ready to take laundry to the laundromat to dry. The plan was to crate him while we were there. You know what they say about well laid plans…

Alvin part 1

I think we got one basket of laundry out the door before Alvin slipped out and ran halfway down the street. B ran after him barefoot, laundry completely abandoned. The further B ran the further Alvin ran. B persued the chase through the neighborhood yelling “ALVIN” at the top of his lungs (sounding a lot like Dave’s rendition of “ALVIN” from Alvin and the Chipmunks, only a little more frantic) for at least 30 min before we got in our cars. For the next hour we’d stop and ask everyone we saw if they’d seen a little poodle running around, every once in a while hearing a cacophony of barking that would stop before we got to the source. It was as if Alvin was always one step ahead.

Defeated we headed back home. I couldn’t believe the tragedy of the situation. This little animal that was left in our care only hours before not only ran away, but ran away in an area he had never been. An area that was over an hour away from his home. How would he ever find his way back?  How would his family feel? How could we have failed so incredibly? I did the only thing I knew to do and put an ad on Craigslist hoping that if someone found him they’d contact us (as I had done when we found a lost dog months before). Then I called my sister-in-law who in turn called her sister.

(To Be Continued…sorry)

The Unexpected Visitor

This is a high traffic week for Unforgettably Ordinary! First a special guest blog post from my mom and now this little diddy (or is it ditty?). I actually wrote this last week, the same day of the adventure, but as they say, all good things come to those who wait. Enjoy!

This morning I woke up as I do every morning to see the twins off to school. As they were leaving one of the neighbor kids came up on my porch because it was drizzling and he was cold. He asked to stay there until the bus came. Compassion got the best of me and instead of getting in the shower as I would normally do I looked around for a sweatshirt I could offer him. When I offered it to him he politely declined and I closed the door and proceeded to return to my regular schedule.

Half way up the stairs I hear a frantic knocking on the door. This same kids rushes past me as soon as I open it. He looks…frightened! I look out and one of my sons is walking up to the door followed by a mangy looking dog. At that same moment the bus pulls up to the corner. My son turns to run back to the bus stop. I tell the neighbor kid that he has to go now to get the bus. He’s not budging. He only says, “I’m sensitive to dogs!” The dog is standing at the bottom of the stairs to the porch physically blocking this kid from leaving my house. What was I to do?

I grabbed a hold of the dog’s collar so the boy would make it to the bus, which had already started pulling off. While I love dogs I am allergic to most of them so I am that person who stands back and watches others play with the cute furry creatures. But that compassion took hold again and instead of letting the dog go I asked her to come into my house and escorted her to my sunroom. I got her some water and finally got into the shower, all the while wondering what the heck I was going to do with her.

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My first attempt at finding her owners was a flop. Apparently you need more than a Rabies tag number. The next option was to call the shelter, but they didn’t open until 12pm! All this time B is still asleep. I usually wake him up as I am leaving. I woke him up a little earlier to tell him the news, “Honey, you will have some company today.” He practically jumped out of bed. (He’s been talking about getting a dog and this was just too exciting.) I left her in his capable hands and headed to work.

I kept thinking about her all day. B kept me updated on his findings. The shelter said they were coming to get her. Does that mean that they are taking her to her owners? I don’t know, let me call them back. No, they are going to take her to the shelter. I told them to hold off. What should I do next? Try posting a lost dog ad on with pictures. I’ll do that. The computer is not allowing me to set up an account.

Meanwhile I had called a neighbor to borrow dog food and a leash. B took her for a walk and she bit right through the leash! I came home, successfully posted the ad on, bought a new leash, and took her for a walk during which she bit through that one too! (I am going to have to buy one more to give back to my neighbor..sheesh!) We made it back from the walk with the dog still with us regardless of the fact she was leash-less. I checked my inbox…nothing. Two minutes later there was a message, “You found my dog!” Before I could even call the woman back she and her husband were in the car headed in my direction. It was a happy reunion for all. The boys and I discovered that her name is Clemmie and she lives 2 blocks away. There was just one more thing that needed to be done. I had to tell B!

B had left by this point to record his podcast. I got him on the phone before he arrived and explained everything to him. He was quiet. When I asked if he was okay he said he was glad I told him before he came home tonight to her being gone. I detected a little sadness in his voice. It’s funny how attached we can get to an animal after spending a day with them. For this one day we had a pet and a ton of excitement. Don’t worry B, I see a dog in your future. Oh and by the way, can you fix the screen Clemmie pushed out of the window today? Thanks.