Simple and Awesome Act of Kindness … helping a terrified dog on 4th of July

One great example from our Sustainability Director, Tracy Halward.  Thank you for this great example of kindness toward another being.


On the Fourth of July, my neighbor and I found a frightened, anxious dog – a golden retriever mix – roaming the neighborhood. She was wearing a collar, but had no tags. We went all over the neighborhood – first by foot, and then by pick-up truck so we could cover more territory – trying to find her people, or at least someone who recognized her. We were unsuccessful. I didn’t have the heart to leave her in the after-hours kennels overnight at the Humane Society. That would be traumatic enough on any night, but especially on a night when the city fireworks display was just beginning at the fairgrounds, which is right next door to the Humane Society.

I decided to keep her at our home overnight. I gave her some food, water, and treats. She wouldn’t leave my side. At bedtime, I slept next to her on the floor in the living room. The poor thing couldn’t relax. Between the (illegal) fireworks in the neighborhood blasting off all night and being in a strange place with new people, she kept going from the window to the front door to the deck. I would get her to settle down next to me for a few minutes at a time, while I held her, but then she was right back up making the rounds – window, front door, deck; window, front door deck. Twice during the night, she settled down next to me for about 45 minutes. That was the only quasi-sleep either one of us got that night.

In the morning, after a special breakfast, we walked around the neighborhood again. I hoped she would lead me to her home or I would come across some lost dog fliers with her picture on them. No such luck. When the Humane Society opened at 11 AM, I took her there so they could scan her for a microchip. With a sad heart and fingers crossed, I left her in their care. When I checked back in with them later, they had found her humans and she was safe at home!

Lessons learned: (1) Always have your dogs’ tags on their collar. Make sure one of those tags has your current contact information. (2) If your dog (or cat) is micro-chipped, make sure you keep your contact information up to date with the micro- chip company. (3) Take extra precautions to make sure your pets are safe and secure on the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve.

Fortunately, “Sweetie” (that is what I called our doggie guest while she was with us) had a happy ending to her adventure. It just as easily could have been tragic. We are only one block away from one of the busiest street in the city.

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