In that first week, I posted Rufus’ picture on my neighborhood Facebook page and checked in with local shelters. I also looked around for “lost animal” notices pinned to trees in the neighborhood. Nobody claimed him, nobody missed him.
We went to the vet to look for a microchip as well. The chip reader looked like something the Dyson corporation might design for a Star Trek movie, and it scared the bejeezus out of him. As close as they got, nothing turned up. We took a hop on the scale that first night and he was 29.5 pounds. I felt pretty proud for my guess at 30 pounds. I wonder if there’s a way to guess dog weight professionally…
The night before, when Animal Control asked me to keep him
forever for the night they’d said I could drop him off at their shelter. When I said I was a teacher and had to be at work by 7am, which is before the shelter opens in the morning, they told me that this was no problem because they had a drop box. For animals. A drop box. That didn’t sound good. I think the library drop boxes are pretty gross things in general because who knows what could end up in there? But one for dogs and cats? No way.
People at work confirmed my fears. I was told that the local shelter didn’t separate dogs and cats either in the drop box. Nope. Nope. Nope. I felt relieved in not putting a puppy in a damn drop box.
Animal Control never called me back to say, “Hey – about that dog? Soooo many calls about him…” Rufus had been abandoned. My friends who work with dog rescues and the vet techs agreed that he was most likely tied to a fence in the alley and left there.
I made an appointment for vaccinations and got him a proper collar. I bought some actual puppy food (first Blue Buffalo which sadly, gave him the trots and massive gas, so we switched to Taste of the Wild) and his weight went up two pounds in as many days.
I was still only fostering, however. This dog didn’t own me. Yet.