The Big Bail Out

It was a bad night around here last night. A family member ended up spending the night in jail. I didn’t sleep very well, worried about him, and had to go down this morning and bail him out. But the fine was relatively small and he seemed none too worse for the wear.

The charge? Dog at large. My dog now has “priors”. My failure as a dog parent is now complete.

It all started yesterday morning when Beau Hunk went out the back gate to check for the property line markers. The neighbor told us she had had the line surveyed by the city and an official marker was back there, somewhere. Since we’ve been discussing what we want to do with the lot, it was pretty much critical that we get a handle on what we actually own. I remember seeing my dog run out the gate behind him and went back to making sure Woo wasn’t on the verge of mayhem in the yard.

And that was the last I thought about that. We got Woo ready and took him to school, ran a bunch of errands – including to City Hall where we inquired about our property, and ironically enough, got the paperwork to get licenses for the dogs. Little did I know that at that very moment, my dog was either wandering around the greenbelt canyon behind the house or being hauled off to the pokey.

We picked up Woo from school, and ran some more errands. We didn’t get back home until right before 5pm. It was then that I asked “Where’s my dog?” Yeah, I know, I suck. We called and called, and Beau Hunk went searching through the canyon while I called Animal Control. I have to admit that I did have some really Drama Queen thoughts – having horrible visions of Beau Hunk trudging back up the slope with a dead or severely wounded dog in his hands. It took about 20 minutes on the phone to Animal Control, but they finally confirmed that they had him at the shelter. But the shelter closed at 5pm, so I’d have to wait until the morning to bail him out.

Normally I’m a much more responsible dog owner than this. My dog has a collar with my phone number on it and his is microchipped. But the problem with that is that all that information is for the old house. When we moved up here we decided not to get a landline (at least for now), so we are using our cellphones. And with the wedding plans being attached to those numbers, they are still Bay Area numbers. We are planning to switch them to local numbers in a couple of weeks, so we haven’t gotten new tags for the animals yet. Furthermore, the information associated with his microchip hasn’t been updated. So instead of getting a phone call letting me know my dog was on a walkabout, he ended up in doggy jail.

I went and picked him up first thing this morning. The people at the shelter were a little cold at first, probably thinking I’m a completely irresponsible dog owner. But when I started explaining why his old license was expired (it ran out a month before we moved and I wasn’t going to pay it since it’s more than twice the price of licenses up here), why he wasn’t registered here (just moved here), and why the phone number on the tags was disconnected (switching numbers soon) they eased up. They even went so far as to call my vet in the Bay Area, verify that his rabies vaccination was good until 2007, and sell me a license on the spot.

I asked them if he was behaving for them, and said I hope he hadn’t joined a gang or taken up smoking during his stint in the joint. The staff assured me he was doing well, and said he was “quite the social butterfly”. I think he may have been having fun. Yep, that’s a Corgi for ya – he’s just a walking party! They brought him out to me and he looked happy as hell to be walking around with a total stranger for no reason. He did do me the favor of getting excited when he saw me, and ran over to say hi and get his belly rubbed.

So I’m a bad mother, and my dog now has a record. But he’s back home and safe, and that’s all that really matters.

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