I was driving home from my weekend in Charlotte — which doesn’t feel good so much as it feels normal — taking the back roads because it’s faster and more direct when I came upon a pair of big green eyes. If I hadn’t known I was in the middle of nowhere, North Carolina, I would have thought it was a crocodile.
It was a dog.
Of course, being me, I pulled over and I jumped out of the car, ready to rescue the dog from whatever cruel fate it was to be on the side of a road in the middle of nowhere, North Carolina. I assumed it wasn’t rabid. I assumed the dog would run when I got close, which has been my experience every other time I’ve tried to “help” a dog at the side of the road. I assumed wrong — at least, I hope on the rabid part. This one walked up to me and sat down. He looked like a beagle, and cars were coming in both directions, so I grabbed him and shoved him into my car, and started driving toward Raleigh.
First I thought, “Wait a second, what am I doing?”
Then I thought, “Well, I can’t let him sit there by the side of the road. I’ll just… take him home… and figure it out from there.”
Next I thought, “What if he belongs to someone?” I reached over and felt his neck — no collar, no tags.
I sighed — this next part is difficult to admit, but yes, I copped a feel of the beagle to see if he had dog-balls. He did.
So I drove back to Raleigh with a non-collared, non-tagged, non-neatured beagle and thought of how I’d explain it to My Chemical Romance. When I got home, I carried the dog in first (before Porcelain!) and immediately started with “We’re not keeping it but I found it on the side of the road and there were no houses nearby and even if there was a farm in the mile-or-two vicinity I wasn’t about to go walk up to the door and knock, because, you know they probably have GUNS and shit, so here’s this dog, I think he’s a beagle, and I named him Clutch.”
Clutch sniffed around — The Dog Without a Downside was thrilled, and the kids would be too, but they were asleep. My Chemical Romance rolled his eyes and informed me that I had a week to find owners for him.
Before I went to bed I posted on Craigslist and Findfido and I left a message with the local county animal control for the county in which I’d found him.
The next morning, the girls were up at 5AM (!!!!!) to see the dog. (They were both napping by 10AM, for the record.) We gave him a bath — I even cleaned his ears and examined his paws and teeth. He looked about five or six years old. He was incredibly tolerant of the children, even following Animal around. He peed outside and drank water. It seemed like if this dog didn’t have an owner, he’d at least spent time around people. He was really good-natured, and more mellow than the Dog Without a Downside, who is almost 3yo now.
But alas, Clutch was short lived. Sometime while he was outside and I was making quesadillas for lunch, Clutch escaped. I literally have no idea how he did it, since we have a fence — and by the time I realized it it had been an hour and we were getting ready for swimming practice. I thought about searching for him, but I decided not to. He’s not my dog, and I had already meddled enough. I took him from being lost among farmland to being lost among the suburbs. At least he’s clean and fed and watered; I can only hope someone finds him or calls Animal Control and he eventually makes it to a good home. Good luck, Clutch!
UPDATE: I found a sign at the nearest playground about a found brown and white dog, and called the number listed. It was definitely Clutch, but the family had had animal control take him to the county shelter. I found him on there, and emailed the shelter to let them know that I’d had him briefly but he’d escaped — and got an email back that he’s already been adopted by a family with two kids. Yay, Clutch!