Yesterday morning I look out the window and see a large white and brown animal laying by the shed in the shade. My brain is not fully awake so I think “cow”? Hey, all kinds of crazy happens out here, I count nothing out anymore.
Quickly I realize I’m staring at a big stray dog.
It’s early morning but being AZ it’s already hot out. I’ve never seen this dog before. We live in a very open desert and this is a large dog, who knows how far he could have traveled.
Water is my first instinct. Get this animal water. So slowly I wander down repeating the word “Water” as nicely as I could and slowly set down the bowl. I walk away but see the bowl is too far so I must creep closer. It is at least 100 degrees outside and climbing.
I grab a hunk of ice and fill the bowl and basically forced to set it in the sun and walk away. The dog is not growling but not approaching. It’s too hot and I don’t want to stress this poor thing. I patrol from the top looking for cars slowly driving or anyone calling out. Nothing. But from back up at the house I see the bowl has worked and we are drinking up a storm.
Too early to start a FB campaign I figure I can call around and see if anyone has reported a missing dog etc… I was not successful in getting help from the local Sheriff non-emergency line or animal control.
I look online but don’t see anything about a horse sized missing dog in Gold Canyon.
I need to leave for the Museum at 11:30. Expected highs of 115 for the day. I know the only shade is going to be in my carport so I leave another bowl of water there hoping the dog will come up the hill to shelter.
I can barely drive away in good conscience, it’s too hot to be outside safely for any length of time, but this dog won’t come near me. I can’t see a tag.
Literally around the corner from our house is a fire station. I stop. Three stupidly attractive 6ft tall chiseled men answer the door. I give them all the information I can and tell them please go by if you can or do what you can. Except I am so flustered I cannot spell my street name…Iroquois. But I am wearing my “Resist” shirt with Smokey the bear so I had that going for me.
I came home about four hours later to a big, hot dog running alongside my car. Not sure how this is going to play out, I open the door and that poor thing all but climbed in my lap! WATER!!!
He had dug a hole in the carport to the center of the earth trying to get to cooler ground I’m sure.
Roughly three large bowls of water later we were best of friends. I opened the garage and brought out a fan.
Now, I have to figure out my life. I have three dogs of my own inside the house who are small, out of their minds, and won’t be good hosts to our new guest. In an hour my daughter, her boyfriend and his parents are coming over.
At this point the animal we are all calling “Big Guy” has proven to be nothing but a love. Every car pulled up to a warm but not overzealous reception. Thank goodness because this is not a small dog.
After everyone left, my husband went off to post more signs. I sat in the dark outside with the Big Guy trying to come up with a safe sleeping plan for all of us that included air-conditioning.
When he flopped over beside me I knew we were safe to come be inside near me for the night. The bonding had happened. We both had quite the day.
Like I spoil any creature who comes to visit, we grabbed a big soft blanket, some snacks, turned on the tv and exhausted collapsed.
Ding. The phone. Face Book does it again. My daughter has found the post for this missing beast now snoring at the foot of my bed.
His loving family came for him this morning, tiny daughter happy to have her Davis back. They don’t live far I’m happy to report. Davis hadn’t spent horrible amounts of time in discomfort. Just a few good football fields away was his home, but travel through just enough hot open desert and it’s easy to get lost.