Sunday, October 26, 2014

Lawful Good- The Story of a Lost Dog

   I'm here today to dispel a myth: the myth that when you do a good deed, you feel good.  From the day we are able to understand, we are told that doing the good and right thing will make us feel better after we've done it.  This is why many of us Lawful Good types hand over the iPhone we find in the parking lot we find or turn in the wallets full of cash we find on the streets, rather than reaping the befits, hoping that we will feel amazing after we've done something good.  Sometimes, it feels fantastic.  You think to yourself "Wow!  I just saved someone from having to pay another $300 on an iPhone even though I totally could have take it since I have such a crappy little thing."  This was one time I did feel better about turning it in, since I had no desire to keep it.  However, it's not always this magical feeling afterward.  This is one of those times.  Let me tell you about a dog.

    A week ago, at about 5:00 p.m. my mother walked outside and a small yorkshire terrier-poodle mix trotted right up to her.  She was well groomed, obviously hadn't been out long, and was a clear indoor dog with a love of people.  Mom called me to come out and the dog instantly ran to me.  She acted like my own dog when I came home, going in little circles until I knelled down to look for a collar and pet her.  None.  I ran inside to get a leash we could use. The dog waited patiently with mother, never running off.  She ran right to me and let me wrap the nice and thin leash around her like a collar.  My father came out and we asked our neighbor if he recognized the dog from his walks with his own.  He said no.  I told the dog to lead us home.  She took off in a direction, then stopped and began to just wander aimlessly, happy to be on a walk.  We circled the neighborhood for around an hour.  No one was out looking for her.  No one was driving calling her name.  No one knew her. 

     Finally, we realized we had to take her home.  I sent a message to a lady in our neighborhood who runs a local neighborhood watch.  She sent the email promptly to her entire list of contacts.  No response.  I called the pound.  They were closed.  My father tried to gt her to sleep in a small cat crate during the night to avoid a mess.  After her whining and crying, I decided to let her out, take her outside and watch over her to make sure the coyotes (which have taken a few small dogs in our neighborhood) didn't come near her.  That night, she slept on my bed.

    The next morning, after a quick hour of shopping with mom and Nonnie, I took her to the pound with my father to check for a microchip.  None.  We left a found ad at the pound and sent in the photo above as soon as we got home.  No one called.  The next day, I put up an add of the found list on craigslist as well as looked all over the internet to see if a lost-dog ad had been posted.  None.  However, suddenly I got a call from my mother, telling me that she found a found dog add from 3 months ago of our same little pup.  I tried to get in contact with the previous finders.  They didn't have any information about the owners other than that they lived in the same general area.  No leads.  Each night, the dog had slept on my bed through the pounding rains that come only a few times a year, but that cause flash floods.  However, she did have 3 accidents in her time with us because she didn't know how to use our dog door:  all of which I had to clean. 

   Now Tuesday, I decided to look for Lost Dog posters, as the people who had found her before said the owners put up posters before calling for her.  I drove street by street slowly for about 30 minutes.  Finally, I found a post man and slowed, rolling down my window.  I politely asked if he had seen any lost dog posters in the area for a small dog.  None.  After a bit more looking, I went to class and then to the weekly trivia event with my family.  Everyone told me I should just keep her.  I'm not sure if I mentioned it here before, but my grandparent's yorkie passed away earlier this year, and we all began to think of giving the pup over to them as she was so perfect, almost like a sign or a gift from whatever God or Gods were kind enough to send her.  I looked up the adoption rules for my city when I got home.  If the dog had been collared, the owners would have had 5 days to pick her up.  She didn't.  If she had a microchip, they would have called.  She didn't.  I didn't want to get my hopes up, but 3 days without a call was making me wonder if anyone even cared abut this little pup.  Even my cats were getting used to this pup.  Everyone said to keep her.

Pliget, my dog, the day we got her 17 years ago when I was 1.
That little purple polka-dot dress there, that's me.
   Wednesday.  Maid's day.  I am home all day until 6:00 p.m, hanging out with the dog.  She slept with her little head right on my laptop as I edited videos and did my homework.  At about 3:00, I called the pound and asked what to do.  They told me that if it were them, she would be up for adoption already and it was alright to keep her.  4:00.  I get a phone call.  A man's voice stumbles through a sentence saying he had found my poster at the pound and how it was his daughter's dog.  I asked him to describe her, a bit in shock.  He basically just said "Uh, brown..an....black..and small....it's my daughter's dog."  My heart stopped.  Someone's daughter's dog.  Just like how I've lost dogs before, however mine always have a tag.  In fact, once upon a time I had a dog who managed to get out near monthly, but everyone in the neighborhood would bring her home and say "she came for a visit" until we Pliget-proofed the yard.  She passed away the weekend of my birthday last year.  I decided to call my mom.  

     Every other time I had found a dog, I was able to return them home near instantly with their collars, so I had never had to prove if a dog belong to someone.  When I told them I needed to call my mother, they did it first and I waited.  I waited and looked at the little girl we had started to call Frodo to fit in with our shire themed cats, Pippin, Merry, and Bilbo.  Finally, my mother called back and informed me they were on their way over to get her.  I fell apart.  I began to get angry, feel righteous.  The dog didn't have a collar or a chip!  She was sent to us!  They obviously didn't care enough to call until 4 full days later.  The obviously didn't love her as much as we did.  They don't deserve her.  I began to think of what to say.  To at the very least be snarky and say "well, next time keep her on a collar if you really care about her. "  When the doorbell rang, I whistled to Frodo for her to follow and called back my other dog.  I opened the door to see a girl, probably not that much younger than me, standing at the door with a leash with what I presumed to be her father behind her.  He didn't make eye contact.  My mind went blank.  She simply said, ya this is my dog, put the leash and collar on, said thank you once, and walked away.  Her father never looked at me, just around at my house.  Frodo, or whatever her real name was, was no more excited to see her than she was to see anyone in my family or who strolled in my house.  She was gone.  Forever.  And I did nothing. 

    My mother came home to me crying on her bed.  Why was I crying?  She was never my dog.  She never would be.  But I cried all the same.  My mother told me I had done the right thing, no matter how my heart told me otherwise.  I wondered if I really even had.  What if that was a lying family?  What if they were going to lose her again?  What if next time no one saved her from the rain or the coyotes?  It didn't matter because she was gone.  But she was with her real family.  There was a girl out there reunited with her dog.

   What do I mean by telling you this whole story with every little detail and spending so much time on something that might seem so insignificant?  People always tell you doing a good thing will make you feel better.  I think that's a lie.  Doing a truly good thing should make you feel awful.  It means you had to sacrifice something you cared about for the happiness of another person, the greater good, even or especially if you think they don't deserve it.  You have to over come something bad to do something truly good.  

     So to all you Lawful Good types who have done a million good things that never seem to give you a good feeling, that never return the happy karma you are waiting for, that never get recognized for your good deeds, thank you.  Thank you for doing the things others wont do.  For every one found dog, there are hundreds more who don't make it home, whose owners are willing to pay without question to be reunited with their family.  If you have returned a dog or cat or anything to its proper home even through the pain, thank you.  From one pet owner to thousands of others, thank you. 

From one Lawful Good to another, thank you.