By Jack Gurner
WATER VALLEY – This is the tale of a little dog lost. It’s also the story of the people who went out of their way to help the little dog get home again.
It began last Wednesday morning around 8:30 when a concerned Market Street resident called police about a little white poodle running loose in the neighborhood. Animal Control Officer William Beard was dispatched to pick up the pooch.
What Beard found didn’t much resemble a dog. It was more of a soaking wet ball of matted fur that shivered in fear when he picked it up.
Meanwhile, not far away on Beecham Street Delores Morin was frantically searching for her 16-year-old, almost blind poodle.
Chrissy has been a family pet since she was six weeks old. Every morning she goes out on the back porch with Morin. But, this morning she had run off the porch and disappeared.
“I thought I would find her run over in the street,” Morin said. “I was so worried.”
Morin looked around for a short time with no luck. That’s when she decided to take the search to the next level. “I knew to call Betty,” she said, referring to the Herald’s Betty Shearer.
Shearer has a long history of helping to reunite people with their lost pets.
Beard had also thought about the Herald. He showed up with the idea to put a photo of the poodle in the newspaper in hopes of finding the owner. “The dog was in good shape. I knew she belonged to somebody.”
Beard cradled the little dog in his arms as he brought her in to pose for a photo. Every once in a while she would whimper softly and shiver. The little poodle was frightened, but seemed to understand she was in good hands.
Anyone who watches Beard handle a dog knows that he cares about their welfare. After the photo was taken, Beard took the poodle to the city pound located in the wastewater treatment compound.
Chrissy wasn’t there long. When Morin called the Herald, she was directed to call City Clerk Vivian Snider at City Hall. The little furry runaway and her owner were reunited.
The City’s dog ordinance requires that a dog be held for no less than five days to give the owner time to claim their pet, according to Snider, also a pet owner. If someone is missing a dog, they can call City Hall and see if it is being held. If the animal is in the pound, the owner can identify it, pay a fee, and pick it up.
Dogs that serve their time and are not claimed can be adopted. That’s what Beard hopes to see happen more in the future with the help of the Herald. Photos of adoptable dogs will appear in the newspaper or on the website from time to time.
“These little dogs need a home,” said Beard.