I saw a lady coming from the other direction and flagged her down, asking if she had a phone. She kindly called the number on the tag, but there was no answer. She left a message on the phone with my number and left me trying to coax Hunter to my house. After much cajoling, he trundled alongside me to my place. My first problem was that I had my Jack-Russell, Ruby, in the house so I couldn't bring him in while I retrieved my phone. If I left him outside, he was sure to flee. So, I found Ruby's lead on the front verandah and tied him to the post. As soon as he saw Ruby he leaned toward her and the metal on the collar broke! "My God, you're like a four legged Shrek, Hunter!" To which he looked up at me with those gorgeous eyes and lolling tongue. Such a gentle giant, I could forgive him anything! given his overall lazy demeanour, I decided to risk, leaving him out the front while I bolted inside for my phone. I came out with a phone and container of water as he was clearly thirsty. Of course, he was gone. I looked across at my neighbour, Val, who had a rather flummoxed look on her face as she eased herself toward her back yard entrance with obvious caution.
"Did you see a big dog, Val?" I asked, already knowing the answer
"He's down the back" she said.
I went down the driveway, and here he was exploring Val's yard. We got him in the shade with the bowl of water from my house and tied him up while I tried to call his owner again...and again...and again - no luck! Finally, she answered and explained she couldn't talk because she was at work. She said she was house/dog sitting around the corner and gave me the address. I remembered a dog escaping from a house around the corner another time when they had house-sitter staying and I said so. Then I asked, "Are you the big house with the steep driveway?"
"Yes!" she said, relief colouring the tone of her voice
"I know where you are, i'll take him home".
"Great" she said "Was there a black dog with him? I'm looking after my Aunty's dog and I brought my dog (Hunter) so they could play. Did the other dog escape too?"
"I can't see another dog,"I said, looking around for the other escapee, "I'll check when I take him back. Where shall I put him?
"Well, the garage is open, just put them both in there and lock them in."
"Cool, no problem, I'll walk him round now".
So Hunter and I went for a walk. I can't reiterate enough how much of a gentle giant this fellow was. I reached No. 7 and began the trek up the horridly steep driveway. At the top, I saw the garage was closed, but there was a gate to the side of the house and another garage stood open. And it was with relief that I noticed the other dog after all. But this other dog seemed a bit stand-offish so I waited until he was brave enough to come to me at the gate before going in. Meanwhile, Hunter was bounding at my side, wanting to get back in with his friend. Feeling confident, I opened the gate and let them sniff each other.
I noticed the water under the tap which was a bit dirty, so I tipped it out, refilled it and put it in the garage. I herded both dogs in and locked the door. Not before taking a shot of the other dog to send through to Becks to reassure her that only one had escaped. Although not the best shot, this is Sebastian:
I went in and opened the door to Hunter and Sebastian who came bounding out all happy and playful - thank God! All the way around there, I had visions of them having torn each other to shreds. I apologised to them both, propped the door back open and moved the water container back under the hose where I found it. Can you imagine if the owner had come home to find their beloved pet locked up with some random dog?
I put the horse size Hunter in the passenger seat of my little car and apologised to him once more while promising to find which no 7 was his home. Problem was there was no No 7 in this street. It was very difficult for me to get hold of the owner so I drove around looking for the possible house. As I was coming back down the street, I saw a schoolgirl looking at the tag on the collar of a black dog. Now, meet Bella!
I pulled over and said..."Do you know that dog? I think it might belong with this one!"
"No" she replied. "She was just sitting over there" and pointed at a shady patch of footpath.
And I knew it! There she was, the other dog...the black one!" I pulled the car over, got her to get over into the back but she didn't like it and growled. Knowing that they weren't usually together, these two dogs, just to be safe, I thought I'd better get her out of the car. Not knowing what to do, i asked the schoolgirl (don't worry, she was in highschool) if she could walk the dog around the corner to the ACTUAL street that I was supposed to be on. I had finally received a text from the owner confirming that I was on the wrong street. She agreed, and Hunter and I turned around and I took him back to his house.
On arriving at No 7, I waited for the schoolgirl then asked her to follow me so that I could return both dogs to their homes. I walked down the drive only to see the head of a black dog pop up over the verandah railing. Crap! Turns out Bella the one I'd just made the schoolgirl walk around, didn't live here after all! I asked her to hold onto Bella while I put the original black dog and Hunter under the house, locked them in and gave them water.
I returned Bella to her owners who told me they knew Sebastian, which is how I found his name.
So, all dogs have been returned to their rightful owners...I think! And I have proven that its true what they say..."No good deed goes unpunished!"