After the mischievous humans of the house had the nerve to get in sometime around 1-am (thanks to a 3-hour rain delay at the race track), it was time for the Lapdogs to eat and do their business before going back to bed. All was well... until the humans were getting ready to crash around 2:30 am and Lola insisted she had to go outside again, followed closely by Sophie. Lola was carrying on more so than usual and very persistent. One of the humans might have actually already been in bed when she heard a ruckus going on. I just figured Lola thought she smelled a critter and was being a butthead. Next thing I hear "honey, we have a problem" and the bathroom door shuts. Here I am thinking "great... Lola got herself sprayed by a skunk." He then tells me to look in the bathroom.... no, I don't wanna!
After we put all 4 crazy dogs in the bedroom, and I clearly see Lola's not stinking up our bathroom, I opened the door and out came this soak and wet, super friendly little tyke tearing around our living room...
Talk about full of energy (remember, it's 2-something in the morning), and happy, and wet! We had some really bad thunderstorms roll through earlier in the evening and it had been raining significantly all night, so we could only imagine how long this cutie had been out. I immediately looked for tags on his collar and found our town dog license, a rabies tag and a Home Again tag. The license number was rather high and the rabies tag was from the MSPCA, so I immediately suspected he was adopted, and fairly recently.
I called Home Again and followed the prompts to speak to someone to report a found dog. A very pleasant girl informed me that we had found Doobie, a beagle mix and confirmed he was from my town. She placed me on hold while she tried to reach Doobie's parents (seriously, I love Home Again... they are dog people, referring to the humans as parents and never once mentioning the O-word). No one picked up at either phone number listed, but she did leave my name & number on the one that had voicemail (after asking my permission, otherwise the parents could call Home Again who would then connect them to me - meaning if you find a dog, you do not have to give your personal information if you're not comfortable doing so). She then asked if we could hold onto Doobie until his parents called, but if not to please call the police or dog officer. Um, Miss Home Again Lady, do you realize who you're talking to?
Mind you, all the while I'm on the phone, Doobie and Sophie are having a grand 'ole time...
Home Again's policy is to not give out the parents' information, however I asked if I named a few nearby streets, would she be able to tell me if Doobie lived on one of them. She said yes, and it turns out Doobie resides on the next street over. So, after we introduced the rest of the Lapdogs to Doobie, Matt went out to see if he could spot anyone out looking for a lost dog. OH MY... when Matt was leaving, Doobie let out a big 'ole deep basset hound howl (okay, so he's a beagle/basset mix and he got the basset howl that Miss Sophie did not.. and while it's adorable, I think I'm glad for that). Seriously little man, we just met you less than an hour ago and you're upset Matt is going outside? It was adorable...
No one was out looking, so we figured Doobie's parents didn't even realize he was missing (or if he had been missing all day, they were resting). We set up our foster crate and made the love-monster a bed. I have never met such a friendly, lovable lost dog in my life. He was full of kisses, and having a blast exploring our house and playing with the Lapdogs. Then, we told our little house guest it was time for bed and plopped him in the crate with some toys and treats. He didn't make a sound or fuss. I immediately thought "this pup is more well behaved than most dogs I know!" He did get a little upset when we were heading to bed and Tut was left to stare at him in the crate, but other than that he settled down and slept through the night.
We had expected a very early morning call from his parents, so I was surprised that when I finally woke up around 9am, no one had called. Matt took Doobie out to do his business which resulted in another howling festival (so cute!), and we were really hoping maybe his parents would hear him calling, but no luck. So I placed another call to Home Again. This time they were able to reach Doobie's Dad and conferenced us together. Turns out Doobie, who's 6 years old, had managed to escape in the middle of the night and his very concerned Dad had been out looking for him all morning. We chatted for a few minutes before he so politely asked, "Can I come get him now?" Of course! He arrived within a few minutes and it was time to say goodbye to our unexpected, lovable little houseguest.
Doobie's Dad told us he just adopted him from the shelter 2 months ago (ding, ding... I won on that guess), but I couldn't believe it when he said the shelter told him Doobie had been there quite awhile and was continually passed up by other adopters. What's wrong with people? This little guy is amazing... the love, the friendliness, the basset howl... oh, and sure, the desire to escape and make 4-new doggy friends in the middle of the night. His Dad said he is quite the escape artist.
His Dad also said Doobie clearly made the right choice of where to go for help, and I have to agree. I'm also quite proud of Lola who is truly the one who found and rescued the little guy (like Mother, like Daughter)! I just hope that if Doobie escapes again, he remembers to come to our house. And, yes, I did tell him that if he wanted to come visit his new friends, he didn't have to escape at 2am to do so.