Several years I found a brown chihuahua on the patio, just sitting there, doing nothing. Most of our neighbors, like us, had dogs, but I knew that none of my immediate neighbors owned one. I had no idea where he came from, but he appeared well cared for and was wearing a collar, surely someone was missing him.
I squatted down on my haunches and began talking to him and he began wagging his tail. I stayed where I was and put my hand out while still talking to him and he came towards me, his tail wagging so hard that his back end curved towards his front making him look like a walking comma.
When he got to where I was squatted I petted his head gently and he began to lick my hand; he was a friendly little guy. I looked at his collar but he did not have any identification tags. After a few minutes, I picked him up and headed into the house with him to find a dog leash. Once I found the leash, I attached it to his collar and, still carrying him, went outside to find my husband who was working in the backyard.
“Look what I found,” I said.
“Oh no, where’d he come from?” Steve asked.
“I have no idea. He doesn’t have any tags, but I want to help him get home. I don’t want him to get hit by a car or get hurt.”
“How are you going to do that?”
“Well,” I said, “I figure he knows where he lives so he can show me. I’ll let him walk and I’ll just follow along.”
“Yeah, good luck with that,” Steve said. “He’ll probably just end up taking you for a long walk and then we’ll have to call the Humane Society.”
“Well, I’m going to try,” I said.
I put him on the ground and he started walking off towards the driveway with me tagging along behind. When we got to the end of the driveway, the pup headed straight across the road and turned left, moving his little legs as fast as he could. We continued down the road about a quarter-mile until we came to Black Oak Road, which t-boned off of the road that we lived on, and he turned right onto that road. About a quarter mile later, he crossed the road again and headed up a driveway. The mailbox at the end of the driveway said Stoner. He walked right up the driveway and headed to the front door. When we got to the door, I knocked and an old woman answered. She was looking directly at me, did not see the dog until I asked, “Mrs. Stoner is this your dog?”
She looked down and said, “Butchie! Where have you been?”
As I took off the leash I explained to her who I was, where I live and how Butchie had led me to her home. She leaned over and picked him up and said, “Thank you so much for making sure he got home safely. I was so worried! I’ve been looking all over the backyard and in the woods for him. He’s never done this before and I was so upset.”
After chatting a bit more, I headed back home thinking how sometimes all we have to do is listen to the animals. They’re often a bit smarter than we give them credit for.
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