Pet Tips 'n' Tales

Lost Dog Catches Crook!

Photo by Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe"
In December Roy offered a $1,000 reward for his lost dog Rusty. 
Long story short, Rusty is home after enjoying a fun Christmas vacation
at a ranch, and a crook is in jail!

It was all an accidental miracle!  An act of kindness that got out of hand.  The end result was pawsitively predictable.  The story unraveled as easily as pulling a string; one incident seamlessly slipped to the next.

Everything was set in motion when 89-year-old Roy discovered his much-loved Brittany Spaniel, Rusty, was missing from the yard.  One of the pipes in Roy's back yard had frozen, and the plumbers had left the gate open, allowing Rusty to wander out.

Heartsick, Roy contacted the Humane Society and placed ads in the newspaper offering a $1,000 reward for his beloved friend.  The ads ran for two weeks, but still no Rusty. 

"I thought if someone had stolen Rusty, offering $200 would not appeal to a dognapper. Instead, if they were short of Christmas money, offering $1000 would more likely encourage them to return Rusty," explains Roy.

Rusty meant everything to Roy.  Life was not the same without seven-year-old Rusty's company and smiling face.  Even though Roy was determined to find his dog, he only hit dead ends in the search.

Over the Christmas holidays, I read the lost ads for Rusty and kept one with an idea in mind. If someone was offering $1,000 for a missing dog, he was a wonderful pet parent. 

I thought that if Roy did not get his dog back, maybe he would want my friend Sandra's Springer Spaniel, Freckles. 

Sandra, newly divorced, was forced to down-size her home...and the number of her pets. 
Putting Sandra and Roy's pet grief together might alleviate heartache for them both. 

I phoned Roy and gave him Sandra's phone number.  He was thrilled at the prospect of another Spaniel to love. He had been lonely for three weeks without Rusty.
He phoned Sandra to ask for Freckles, but she had an intuitive feeling and said, "Roy I feel that you have not waited long enough for Rusty.  Wait a few more days before coming to get my dog."

Sandra was right! An hour later Roy received the phone call he had been hoping for!  Monica, who lives on a ranch, was fostering Rusty and had just read Roy's ad in the newspaper.
Apparently, her friend had found Rusty near a store, and given him to Monica to care for while they searched for the dog's home. Monica immediately drove Rusty home.  Not only was she a Good Samaritan, Monica would not accept Roy's reward.

"It was very moving seeing Rusty again," said Roy.  "I surely was excited and so glad to see him." With his voice cracking, as he held back tears, Roy paused, then added, "I gave him a kiss."
Photo by Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe"
And what about Rusty? "Rusty was happy to be home!  The other family treated Rusty well, and he had two other dog pals to play with," explains Roy.  In Rusty's mind he must have thought he was on a Christmas vacation.

Roy's New Year's wish was granted; he had his Rusty again. "Now Rusty is always near me.  We have a big backyard and he is constantly checking on me.  He keeps checking to see if I am outside, and if I go in the house, he comes right in," says Roy.

My initial act of kindness in trying to find Freckles a home (he still needs one) connected me to Roy to discover the rest of his story!

How was the law involved? Roy shares, "When I put the ad in the newspaper for Rusty, a man called and said, 'I have your dog.  Come to the coffee shop and I will talk to you about it.'

That sounded odd, but I still went.  I asked him, 'Where is my dog?' and he said, 'I want the $1,000 first.'  I was skeptical but still gave him a check. He would not give me the dog or tell me where it was. 
He did give his address, so I drove directly there thinking this was a scam.  There was no such address, and the neighbors had not heard of the scoundrel.  So I drove straight to the bank and put a stop payment on the cheque, then reported the extortionist to the police."

Thirty minutes later, my son and I drove into town and passed by the bank. What a commotion! The scoundrel was surrounded by police officers; he was being interrogated and handcuffed, and then they took him off to jail." In a roundabout way Rusty's Christmas escapade helped catch a criminal!

What a way to start the year!  Since many Tips 'n' Tales readers have read about Roy's plea to find Rusty, I thought you would be tickled to hear the happy ending!


Roy's pet tip: "Get a microchip for your pet; it is cheaper than newspaper ads when your pet goes missing.  Rusty now has a 'chip on his shoulder'."

Sandra's lost pet tip, "Most lost purebred dogs are sent to corresponding rescue centers.  If you lose a Spaniel, contact the closest Spaniel rescue group.  The same goes for a lost Great Dane; look up the Great Dane Rescue Group. If you lose a Persian cat, contact a Persian rescue group plus the local humane society.  Covering all leads is the secret to success."
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