While I was having lunch in the park with Loki, an unleashed Husky ran up to us and started playing with Loki. It was a very friendly dog and the two of them played very well together. Unfortunately, there was no owner in sight. I asked everyone around the park and even asked some of the nearby residents.
Okay, so then I checked her tag - Anastasia. Ahh, it's a girl. Better yet, there was a telephone number too! I dug around for my cell phone and called. The grumpy old man who picked up said that I had the wrong number and that was not his dog. Hm... okay. Now what?
I called 411 to get connected to Animal Control. Apparently, Animal Control is useless, completely and utterly useless. The receptionist took down the information, but was unable to tell me when someone would be able to come to get the dog. Well... I don't have all day to wait, and I didn't want to leave this poor dog alone.
Unfortunately, I only had one leash - the one on Loki. So I couldn't take Anastasia anywhere. I hoped that she would stay in the park, while I walked Loki back home. After I dropped Loki off at home, I drove back to the park with a lead and some dog food.
Luckily she was still there. I lured her to me with some food and she got into my car very easily. Now where to go? I had no clue where the nearest shelter was. I drove to a nearby Spay & Neuter Clinic. They weren't much help. They gave me a number to a Pet Care center, not a shelter. But the Pet Care center gave me the correct phone number to the shelter.
Finally, I dropped Anastasia off at the Animal Shelter in Camarillo, CA. I hope they will be able to find her owner; I hope that she was microchipped. At the very least, they should be able to adopt her out very easily. She was extremely gentle with Loki, all of the adults and children at the park, and me. She was a beautiful dog and really well-behaved.
This experience is very new to me. Maybe I am naive and young. I'm not quite sure why I took it upon myself to ensure the safety of this loose dog. One woman at the park just told me that Animal Control will eventually come, that I shouldn't worry, and that the dog would be fine on its own. Maybe she was right and maybe I'm just a worry-wart. But at least now I know that Anastasia will have a place to sleep tonight, will get some food and water, and hopefully will be reunited with her owner.
I am also aware that my decision was entirely influenced by the fact that I am a dog owner. Having a dog has made me care about them so much more. Had this happened a year ago, I probably would not have given a second thought to a loose dog.
PS. I know blog readers would love to see a photo of Anastasia, but getting a photo of her wasn't high on my priority list.