When I went to meet Bells in Civic today, there was young dog happily bumbling around amongst the public servants emerging onto the street for lunch. He had the air of a dog who is accidentally on a grand adventure when he should probably be safely behind a fence. No one seemed to be with him or looking for him, though I had seen him greet quite a few people, who thought he was cute or sweet. When I spotted Bells approaching, he was heading up towards a busy road.
One of my greatest fears is seeing a dog get hit by a car. And I'm not that keen on seeing a car or two crash because they were trying to avoid a dog, either. I also feel I have a debt to society, because in the early days when we were still getting the fences and gate dog-proofed here, our dogs were returned by kind neighbours quite a few times. So I couldn't just let this little fella wander away.
He came with me willingly enough, but there was no name or phone number attached to his collar. So Bells called Domestic Animal Services, who quickly worked out that his description matched that of a dog that had been reported missing today from O'Connor (one suburb away). In an unexpectedly efficient bit of service, they also put her call straight through to the person who was missing a tan coloured Cocker Spaniel puppy called Wally. (He seemed to recognise his name, but then he was pretty eager to please in general.) We had one anxious wait while the young girl called her mum and then got back to us, then a longer wait for a family friend to come and find us.
I owe Bells big thanks for being willing to sit on the street for ages, in brand-new pants, no less, when we were supposed to be picking up our knitting from Crafts ACT and eating lunch. (Luckily we still had time to do those things after). I really didn't think I could handle the mental images of lost or squished dog the rest of the day, if we didn't do something.
And, yes I am a sucker. He was so sweet. Look at the size of those feet - I don't think he's finished growing yet, not by a long shot. Reuniting him with his people totally made my day.