Does it seem like 90% of things that pop up on the news lately are depressing? Senseless violence, natural disasters, etc. You know. It sucks. Today, I got to see something really happy, though, and it kind of redeemed some of the terrible things.
A little bit after I got home, I heard a dog barking outside. I stepped out to see if it was one of my neighbor dogs because I like them and I always try to say hi to them and their human counterparts. The barking was coming from my next door neighbors' house. I started talking to the dog in question, thinking it was their funny old beagle, Cleo. Then I looked over the fence. It was not Cleo, but a little fluffy white creature. Karen, one of the neighbors, came out and explained that Kathy, her housemate, had found the dog (minus a collar, unfortunately) on her way home and brought it to the house until she could find its owner.
I helped Kathy find the non-emergency number for the police station near where she'd found the dog. She called them, but no one had called about a missing dog. I posted a found dog ad on Craigslist, accompanied by a funny little picture of our new friend. After spending a little time with the pup, it seemed to me that he might be blind. I recognized the way he was acting very confused and not coming over to me when I called. His eyes, when I could catch a glimpse of them, were cloudy like my dog Onyx's eyes were when she lost her sight (RIP Onyx. She passed away when I was in high school and I still get emotional thinking about her).
At first, I thought that the foundling was a girl and decided to try calling her Judy. And then I saw that she was definitely not a girl. Ha! Kathy suggested that we call him Gerald. I agreed that that was good, but I wanted to try some other options. I tried calling him:
He sort of responded to both Gerald and Punchbowls, soooooo I started calling him Gerald Punchbowls. It killed me.
Anyway, anyway. I went home and only a few minutes later, Kathy came over to tell me that the police dispatcher called her. The owner had made contact!!!! We learned then that our little friend was about 15 years old and known as Peaches. We got the address of his family and were going to head over there when we got a phone call from them. I was hanging out there with Peaches, trying to keep him calm, when someone came to the door.
I answered it and the woman standing there looked so cautiously hopeful that I just immediately blurted out, "Are you here about the dog?!"
She looked so relieved. "Are you Kathy?"
"I'm not," I said, "but she's inside and so is Peaches."
When Peaches made his way to the foyer to greet her, she just started sobbing. She explained that he'd made a mess in the house while she was at work and, while she cleaned it up, she put him in the yard. He doesn't usually escape, but he did this time, and since he is so old and blind, he got lost and confused. She honestly didn't think that she'd see him again and had called her daughter, the one who named him Peaches at the age of eleven, to tell her that Peaches was gone. Her joy and relief was contagious.
When I got back to my house, I was just overwhelmed. Isn't it amazing that something so simple as reuniting a dog with his family can be so wonderful and happy? I can't imagine the relief that her daughter must have felt when her mom called to say that Peaches had been found safe and sound. Not all stories have a happy ending like this. I'm glad I got to see this one.