A Runaway Dog and Good Lesson Learned

May 17, 2013

Today I saw a Great Dane walking in front of my house. It triggered an incredible flood of memories for me from an experience 15 years ago, a vignette of a few days that I have not thought about for years-but which brought about surprisingly emotional feelings.

As most of you know who read my blogs, I am a great lover of animals. But I do have to admit, that even I have misconceptions about some pets.

Such was my assessment of Great Danes. I had never owned one and never had a friend who owned one, but somewhere along the line I decided that they were unsuitable house pets…aggressive and dangerous. In hindsight I think this was childishly based on the size of the dog.

But all this changed one warm summer day when Remington found his way to our door!

When I arrived home home from school, there, on my front step was a Great Dane. I must admit some hesitancy about approaching him, but as he was blocking my way into the house i propelled myself forward to the dog.

What I am going to say now will be scoffed by those not fond of animals, but I have to say that when that big head lifted up to look at me I was overwhelmed by his eyes. His look was so gentle, so sweet, it was quite astounding. There was something there I just could not put into words, but I felt an instant connection to this huge dog and compelled to help him.

My reverie lasted less than a minute though, for as I opened the front door to let us in, my two cats took one look at this horse of a dog in their house and proceeded to run up my drapes and cling to the curtain rod.

Shredded drapes aside, as my family arrived home that day, we all had the same reaction to this gentle giant. We just loved him. Several days and many phone calls later we found out that our new boarder came from three concessions east and that his name was Remington.

What a range of emotions we felt. I believe we all were secretly hoping that Remington was indeed our newest addition to a long list of rescue animals. So with heavy hearts we loaded Remington in the van and returned him to his owners.

They were neither gracious nor happy to have this beautiful animal back which was very disconcerting. We were heavy-hearted as we drove away.

Upon arriving home the next day, who do you think was sitting on our front porch? You guessed it. We were happy and sad all over again as we loaded him back in the van to return him to his home once again.

This time the owners were even more surely and unpleasant. On the way home we all discussed their behaviour, and hatched a plan that if he landed on our doorstep one more time that we would offer to adopt him.

So it was with great anticipation and excitement that we raced home from school the next day, only to be met by an empty front porch. Was he at his home? Was he wandering the countryside? Was he safe?

For days we held onto the hope that he would once again be waiting for us when arrived home…but it did not happen.

This seems like a very long blog for a very simple tale, but it has been very cathartic for me. It reminds me once again not to prejudge any living thing because of how it looks and secondly, and more importantly, it makes me realize that sometimes you just have to listen to your gut feelings. Something was not right for that wonderful dog in that environment, and I did not act. For that I feel regret. I hope that Remington lived a long, safe and healthy life...