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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Scout pays it forward

Scout was picked up as a stray just a month ago. His intake paperwork describes a stinky, feces-encrusted, unkempt old dog with oozing eyes and a fever. He was considered an unlikely candidate for adoption and slated to be euthanized at the end of five days.
Usually, shelter personnel will call relevant breed specific rescues but maybe they were overwhelmed or he was simply unrecognizable as a purebred collie? Either way, we're really happy that someone else took the time to let us know about Scout's plight.
Scout is a Gentleman Collie. He has no phobias, annoying anxieties or psychoses. He's a love with people, dogs and cats. We'll never know his human back-story but my guess is he was owned by a shut-in person who fed him a lot but never took him out. He weighed in at ninety pounds, at least twenty pounds over-weight, and was not used to walking much. Scout was one tired puppy as we put him on a strict diet and increased his mobility with several short walks each day.
Scout has come a long way in a few short weeks. He loves his ride to work in the car every day. His beautiful face attracts admirers when we stop at a red light. It's been decades since the last time a young man honked at me and rolled down his window to chat in traffic, but it happened this week:)
we have a new Forever Home lined up for Scout starting this weekend. 
Yesterday evening, Scout was able to "Pay it Forward" in a big way. We went out to help in the search for another dog who has been missing for several days in a very busy and built up neighborhood. Shilah is a young collie mix who was adopted from a litter born after her mother, Willow, was rescued. Shilah's family adore her and had called our group for advice when she was lost. The family had brought Shilah to a pet-sitter who was to take care of her while they went to Disneyland, in Southern California. They had barely arrived when they got the call that Shilah had run away. (The pet-sitter had thought the dog looked so well behaved that she didn't need a leash for a walk with a stranger in a strange landscape!). Shilah's family turned around and drove 400 miles back home to search for their dog.
Posters went up all over the place, reports were made to animal control etc. but there were no immediate results. Shilah is a shy dog who won't go easily to strangers. On the plus side she is micro-chipped and was wearing a collar with ID tags. On the negative side, traffic, traffic, traffic and a dog on the run in an unfamiliar neighborhood with the added danger of hungry coyotes from the nearby open space preserve.We advised the family to park one of their cars nearby so that the familiar scent would anchor Shilah to that area. Shilah was sighted a couple of times over the last few days, by kind folks who called it in, but always ran away.
I took Scout to meet up with Anthony, Shilah's owner at the last spot she'd been seen. We started knocking on doors, asking to visit people's back yards. It's been my experience that dogs will hide somewhere quiet when given the option. I've also seen that a panicked dog will more easily approach when a sane and happy companion dog is brought into the mix. We took almost an hour just in one cul-de-sac. Anthony told me he'd driven up down and around calling his dog's name from the car. There was so much territory to cover and so many directions to choose from.
As we were almost finished on that street, Scout looked around. We were being followed by a tired and grubby collie mix named Shilah. Anthony and Shilah collapsed to the ground in tears and licks and hugs. She sat on his chest and was so very relieved to be FOUND. Shilah's feet were very sore so Anthony went to get the car. She stuck to Scout for comfort, while  was gone.
I usually see dogs at the other end of the lost/found journey. It was very special to have been a part of bringing one home to her family. I went to bed last night with a big smile in my heart and it was still there when I woke up this morning.


  1. What a great story. I could picture the joy when she was found so well. Poor scared Shilah.

  2. For once a shaggy dog story with a truly happy ending. It's late and I'm ready to go to bed, and guess what? I too am going to sleep with a great big happy smile in my heart.

  3. A happy ending story is always appreciated.

  4. That's a doubly sweet story, ma chère.

  5. I love happy endings, but this one is even sweeter with Scout serving as the hero and inspiration for Shilah's return. I'd wager he was calling softly to her the whole time, reassuring her with his own story.

    What a great post!

  6. Annette, she'd been on my mind since I first heard about it. This was a great outcome.

    Friko, sweet dreams of shaggy dogs and smiles to you.

    Silliyak, there were happy tears all round, of course.

    Ms. Pliers, chalk one up for the good guys!

    Jean, I think part of the success was due to staying in one area long enough for the cone of scent and sound to spread and lead Shilah to her master. I was thinking of your Patches today. I've missed some installments. Is he indoor/outdoor now?

  7. Aw, what a lovely story. And I love collies. We had one when I was in my teens. She was rather nervous but that could have had something to do with my brothers.

    As to this line -
    "It's been decades since the last time a young man honked at me and rolled down his window to chat in traffic"

    I can so appreciate THAT!

  8. Ah! What a great story! I am hugely smiling and am all goose-bumpy after reading it. Scout is absolutely beautiful and is a real angel. Once again, I think you are an angel also. I'm so happy for the family who got their Shilah back. The story really made my week. ♥

  9. Birdie, they are so rewarding.

    Stephen, Yep!

    ms. Jobhunter, your childhood collie sounds like Shilah. Her nervousness ws one of the problems in getting her back. As to the chat-up effect. That ship sailed away and is lost over the horizon.

    Steve, as good as it gets.

    Lydia, hug your fur-babies from us.

  10. What a great story! Well done Scout!

  11. How fortunate that Scout had you to care for him--thank you for this wonderful story!

  12. Joanna, this is just the beginning of Scout's story, As it turns out he's only seven, or eight, not so old at all. I hope he will live many more happy chapters.

    Momo, I am but one member of a team. We help each other help the dogs and, often, the dogs save us right back.

  13. Oh , good !
    All of you in the rescue network do a wonderful job and Scout was obviously happy to join in .

  14. S&S, sometimes a small effort reaps enormous rewards. This was one of those times.

  15. Wow! And to think Scout could have been put to sleep. Brought a tear to my eye, but a happy one.

  16. Oh wow. What a great story. Good dog Scout! People: use leashes!

  17. Argent, someone from our group was going to follow up with the people at the shelter and provide a photo of the beautiful dog they couldn't see beneath their first impressions. We don't want to alienate them as we'll have to work together again. In their defense, they are overwhelmed, underfunded and do their best with that. (Still?).

    We were truly lucky with this story-book ending. I don't know what the pet-sitters were thinking. Morons abound!

  18. Lovely story and glad to read the happy ending :)

  19. Wiola, the lasting warm feelings I get from successes with animals are priceless and hard to explain, unless to other like-minded souls.

  20. What a lovely person you are....