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Champ's Not So Excellent Adventure

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02/23/07  It's much better to be home than at the city pound.

A friend of mine used to always have a Beagle.  He loved them, but he doesn't have Beagles anymore.  He told me, "Beagles will break your heart.  They get out.  They run off and get lost.  They get into fights with a bigger dog or get hit by a car."

Unfortunately, he gave me this information after Champ had already adopted me and my other dogs, and after Champ had a piece of my heart.

Until Saturday, February 17, 2007, Champ seemed to be an a-typical Beagle.  No digging out.  No running off.  Just happy to be a part of the pack in my backyard.

Champ actually picked me to be his caretaker and my other dogs to be his yard mates.


Before we get to his not so excellent recent misadventure, let me tell you how he came to live at my house, which is on the south side of Walnut Hill.  Champ had belonged to a family on the north side of Walnut Hill (the rich side).  They did not keep him in the house or even in a secure yard.  About four years ago, he showed up at my house to visit with my dogs through the wrought iron fence in the front.  I walked my neighborhood looking for his home.  No one knew or claimed him.  So, I walked him through the north , rich neighborhood.  A lady with a Beagle recognized him and told me where he lived.  She said the family let him run loose.  I took him back to them anyway, and they seemed glad to see him.  He was less than enthusiastic and tried to leave with me. 

A few days later, he showed up at my house again, visiting his new friends.  I took him home again, and they promised to be more careful with him.  A few days later, he was back at my house, again.  I called his family, they came to get him.  When he came back to my house again, I didn't call them, they didn't call me and Champ was where he wanted to be.  His new yard mates were happy to have him in the pack.

Champ has never tried to dig under the fence to go exploring.  Champ has never tried to slip out the garage door to take a stroll on his own.  Until Saturday, February 17, 2007, Champ has seemed to be very happy living with his pack in my back yard.

Thursday, February 15, 2007, the recycling trash truck driver broke a slat in my alley fence.  We know he did it because of the blue smudge on the slat from the can.  The slat was still attached but pushed into "V".  I asked my husband to repair it, but it did not seem to be urgent and he was working on another project.  Saturday morning, we went to breakfast with some friends, and the fence was just like it had been since Thursday.  I went to my office and my husband ran some errands.  When he got home later in the day, there was a big hole where the broken slat was pulled away and two other slats were gnawed away.  All the dogs were still in the yard, except for Champ.

My husband, who had not repaired the fence, had the unpleasant task of calling Champ's mommy to tell me my Beagle was gone.  I got to a stopping point at my desk, and rushed home to look for Champ.  Not a sign of him anywhere (north or south of Walnut Hill).  We replaced the damaged slats, and I posted notices on telephone poles of a lost Beagle.

We just knew Champ would come home when it got dark.  He didn't.

We just knew Champ would come home for breakfast because he's not one to miss a meal.  He didn't.

Monday was President's Day and a holiday for city employees, but the Pound's recorded message listed the dogs they had picked up since 2/16 -- lots of dogs, but no Beagle.

Tuesday, I called the pound.  They said they had no Beagle, but took my information.

Every morning, I hoped he would be waiting at the fence for breakfast.  Every evening, I drove from Lombardy to Royal looking for him.  No Beagle.

Thursday morning, on my way to work, my husband rang my cell to say the city pound had called to say they had my Beagle, and I needed to pick him up.   After calling office to say I would be a couple of hours late, I called the pound.  They said I would need proof of his shots.  Champ had his tags on his collar, which they had used to call my vet, who had already confirmed to them he was current on his shots.  Rules are rules!.  Anyway, I was near the vet's office in Farmers Branch, and called ahead for the documentation.  Then, I was on my way to the Animal Shelter in Oak Cliff.

I'm happy.  I'm on the way to get my dog and calling everyone I know to give them my happy news. 

I got to the Animal Shelter, and I was thanking every person I encountered for finding my Beagle.  The staff were busy on something else, but they got to me pretty quick.  I was grinning ear to ear. 

I asked the young man who was helping me where they found him -- they picked him up in my neighborhood.  That was surprising because there are so many loose dogs running around my neighborhood, I didn't know Animal Control knew we existed. 

I asked when they picked him up -- they picked him up the same night he went missing!  They had Champ from Saturday night until they called me and my vet's office on Thursday morning.  My phone number was on his vet tags.  Still, they did call me.

When you pick up your dog at the Animal Shelter, they put a chip under the dog's skin before you can take him.  Very affordable charge for a very good deal.  I don't know what all I paid for, registration, the chip, probably boarding, but I got my Beagle.  He was a stinky mess, but he was beautiful. 

Being a Beagle, he was a little more restrained in his happiness to see his mommy than she was to see him.

We went straight to Canine Creations to get him bathed, and he spent the rest of the day with his mommy at work.  Lots of sleeping.  Lots of petting.   Unfortunately, lots of coughing.  Champ caught a cough during his incarceration. 

So, the next morning we went back to the vet.  We got medicine.  We are now watching Champ's siblings to make sure they don't catch his cough.  Still, we are happy to have our Beagle home.

There may have been some confusion at the Animal Shelter, but they found my dog, and they got him back to me.  I'm very happy.

Several of the Shelter staff visited with me while I waited for Champ.  A young woman told me she was the one who called to tell us they had Champ.  She was clearly happy for me to be getting my Beagle back.  The young man processing Champ told me about the chip requirement.  He inserted the chip and scanned Champ to be sure it was operational.   He clearly liked getting a dog back to his owner.

It can't be an easy job working at the Animal Shelter.  Most of the dogs don't get to go home with their caretakers.  Still, everyone I encountered was so nice.  They certainly represented their employer, the City of Dallas (you and me), very well.

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Keywords: animals, bones, buildings ...
File Size: 15 KB   All and all, I am very happy with this one segment of our city services.  My husband is out of the dog house, so he's happy.  Champ's pack mates have him back, so they're happy.  And, one wayward Beagle is very glad to be home, so he's happy.

Here are some shots of Champ with his very happy yard mates.

Murphy and Balser are attending Champ.
Balser will hardly leave Champ's side.
Swiss has joined Murphy and Balser in keeping Champ company.






  Ward politics is the Devil's key to the soul of the city council.  It is how some council members got themselves in trouble in the past.  It is the bait that will get others in trouble in the future. 4/6/8