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I'll Be Right Back!

By Immydog
In the veterinary field, off hours phone calls are the norm.  Like it or not, they happen.  They don't always happen at the most convenient time, but we all deal with them the best we can. 
In the animal rescue field, off hours phone calls are the norm.  Like it or not, they happen.  They don't always happen at the most convenient time, but we all deal with them the best we can.
When my phone rings, I never know which is awaiting me at the other end of the line.
A phone call from the police department during off hours is not uncommon since my clinic acts as animal control for several local communities.  The police have brought me stray animals, running at large animals, hit by car animals, and animals that were passengers in car accidents on the highway. 
The phone call on Sunday was no different, and yet it was very different.
The police called because they had a dog they needed to bring in to the clinic.  This was not different from any other day.  This dog was not a stray dog or a dog running at large, and this is what made this story different.
The dog was sitting along the side of highway 69, the main highway running through town.  A local resident had called the police after witnessing a car stopping at the side of the road.  When the car drove off, there sat the dog.  He is an approximately 8 month old purebred German Shepherd.
Now, I don't want you to get the wrong idea.  These people obviously cared about the dog.  They left him with his toy, and some kibble.  The kibble was left sprinkled on the side of the road.  If this is not love, then I am not sure what it is.  (insert sarcastic undertone here)
Wait.  I do know what it is... stupid...and I don't use that word lightly.  There is a difference between the words stupid and ignorant.  In my book, stupid is a choice that is made despite obvious evidence that it is a bad choice.  Ignorance is the lack of knowledge present to predict an outcome of an action or choice. 
Abandoning your dog on the side of the highway... STUPID! There is no possible way you could NOT know that this is a hazardous situation for the dog.  What you may not know, is that it is illegal.  What you may not know is that you have also created a traffic hazard.  Another car could easily have swerved to avoid hitting your dog, and hit another vehicle.  How would it feel to read that in the paper the next day?
Let us discuss the choice of leaving kibble on the side of the road, a highway, where you just abandoned your dog.  Did you really want to give the dog a reason to sit by the road until he gets hungry enough to eat.  That's right, you didn't wait around to see him get hit by the semi tractor trailer truck whose driver couldn't stop in time to spare your dog's life.  Well, your dog didn't get hit fortunately, but he easily could have.
Let's discuss the choice of toy that you left with him.  It is a small Great Dane, possibly Scooby Doo, figure.  It is a kids toy, possibly from a kid's meal.  It is so small in comparison to this dog that swallowing the entire thing or a piece of it could put this dog at risk for foreign body obstruction.  This toy or its parts could easily lodge in his intestines, blocking passage of food and other stomach contents, until there is rupture of the intestine, and subsequent death. 
I'll Be Right Back!
As a matter of fact, when I posted this photograph of the "toy" on Facebook, another veterinarian was the first to comment, " Did you take this out of something's stomach?".
Your dog is now safe. He is warm.  He is fed.  He will hopefully soon have a new family that will not make the dangerous and irresponsible decision that you made.  He has a new name, Dietrich.
I'll Be Right Back!
While I see your stupidity through your actions, your dog saw what he thought was your loyalty.  He certainly gave it to you.  He did not run away.  He didn't check out the new surroundings.  He didn't chase any squirrels.  He didn't trot up to the nearest house.
He sat down. 
He sat down right where you left him. 
He sat down right where you left him and he waited.
I'll Be Right Back!
He did not sit because you so thoughtfully left him kibble.  The kibble still sits beside the road.  He sat down, because he was awaiting your return.  He knew you would come back for him.  You didn't have to say the words "I'll be right back," for him to believe them.  He just did.
I'll Be Right Back!
He gave you love and loyalty.  He hoped for that in return. 
I wonder if you looked in the rear view mirror after you left him.  I am sure he watched you drive away.  He was confident that you would be right back.
I don't know if the witness was able to get your license plate numbers.  What is comforting for me is the fact that neither do you.
If you are interested in adopting Dietrich, there is an online application on our website, http://www.jewellvetonline.com/ .
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