You would think that after several weeks of no blogging, I would begin with a photo and description of my amazing granddaughter, Riley. Her mother is quite extraordinary, too, and the new parents are relaxed and enjoying every moment of Riley’s first weeks. I had every intention of writing about our shared experiences related to the birth, but an animal adventure last night prompted this blog instead with many more Riley-related blogs to come.
My first evening back in Hemlock I invited my friend, Nancy, to come for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres with her two dogs, Gunnar and Jack. I received a call from my driveway and Nancy said, “You’d better come down and identify the animal in your driveway before I get out of the car.” (Nancy thinks that, because I am science-y, I would know this stuff. Some of you will laugh heartily at this assessment!) So, I went downstairs and saw a small, beige-colored animal limping up the hill into my front yard. I deemed it a baby coyote, we got the dogs inside the fence, and went upstairs to see if it was still in the area. The dogs were barking at the gate and Nancy and I went out to make sure it had managed to find its way into the woods. “Wait,” I said. “There it is huddled up against the house under my kitchen window!” “It’s not a coyote, it’s a puppy,” says Nancy. At this point, I am pretty certain that it’s in distress and is, indeed, a small dog of some sort. What to do? Call Public Safety Nancy suggested. They will know what to do. One of the advantages of living in a community such as Hemlock Farms is the amazing support staff.
Nancy called Public Safety and within minutes, a car appeared in my street side driveway. Halfway down the 39 stairs, the officer says, “Oh, it’s a geriatric chihuahua, with cataracts and probably blind!” I asked her how she could know this from afar — not only is she an animal control officer but her mother breeds Chihuahuas. The poor dog’s tongue was hanging out which apparently is something that Chihuahuas do when under stress (I learned so much!). Back-up was called and pretty soon two officers, Shirley Cox and Kendra Pringle, were wrapping the dog in a towel I got from the house, called the animal shelter, and carried the not-a-baby-coyote-but-a-geriatric-chihuahua to the patrol car.
Please note that all this happened before cocktails so it is an accurate portrayal of what occurred! Nancy and I went inside and had a martini (well-deserved we thought) and discussed what we thought would happen to the dog. We both agreed that it was wonderful to have people in the community who would respond with such compassion for the dog and appreciation for our call. I am comforted by the fact that, even though it was a non-emergency, two cars were able to come to my home within minutes to take care of whatever I thought was important enough to call them. (I would like to think that we would have rescued the dog ourselves and taken it to the vet, but am also convinced that we did the right thing calling in the experts.)
This morning I found out that the dog is still at Public Safety with Diane who is another dog lover and will be taken to the vet later today. The dog’s tongue is back where it belongs, she has stopped shaking, and Diane might even take her home after the vet visit. So…a happy ending all around. Maybe my granddaughter, Riley, will read this story and think how silly her grandma was not realizing it was a dog in the first place. Or, maybe she will read it and see how lucky we are to live in a place with many caring people who are willing to take steps to protect all creatures.