Sunday, July 18, 2010

Foraging in the neighborhood

Now that I have so much hay around my yard, I have to compost like crazy. To go with all that hay you need lots of greens and preferably chicken or horse manure. I got the horse manure from a stable that my daughter rides at- just picked it up with my gloved hands and put it in a large garbage bag.

As for the greens, there are lots of weeds from the garden, but not enough for all that hay. Off to the local grocery store,  to beg for old fruits and veggies. I went on Friday and got fruit. Before composting it, I thought I would see if the goats liked it. They ate it all except for half an apple. They seem to really love fruit, which makes sense as they go crazy over animal crackers.

I decided to go to the dumpsters behind the Chinese restaurant to look for veggies. It was 7AM. Nothing but disgusting trash. I headed over to the local produce store, and saw a police car. Then I saw that police car following a huge chocolate lab. I pulled over and got out to see what was going on. The lab trotted across a very busy street, toward me, and jumped in my car! I flagged the police car, and told the officer that it wasn't my dog. He looked at me and said "Better you than me- I would just have to take him to the pound." He drove off, not wanting to discuss the matter further.

So here I was with this 90 lb, somewhat elderly, extremely friendly, lab, in the back of my car with Willow, my chihuahua mix, and Dorje, my chow mix- they were agitated but not alarmed. I was seriously thinking of getting the dog out of my car and driving off, but I just couldn't manage to rationalize that act. I took him home.

He went in the back yard and Shama (the pitbull/border collie belonging to my daughter) proceeded to engage him in a play date. Soon he was lying on his side, panting, too tired to even get up and drink some water. He went inside. I waited for the SPCA to open, to see if they could scan him for a microchip. I took him to see my friend.

Every event is an opportunity. My friend needs exercise. I said, please will you go with me to see if we can figure out where his home it? Maybe he will lead us to where he lives. She reluctantly agreed. We went out for a walk around the neighborhood.

My friend has been depressed lately (she doesn't socialize much), so I said, can you go with me to the SPCA to get him scanned? I thought a ride would help. On the way, I said, "You know I really can't take care of another animal, so I'm thinking of leaving him there." She said, "No I don't think that is a good idea, he is such a nice dog, and someone has taken good care of him, it would be traumatic." I said, "Will you take responsibility for him?" She said, "I can't take full responsibility for him." I didn't say anything. Finally she said, Yes I will take care of him."

From then on, she had a mission. She talked to the folks at the SPCA (where we left our phone number), she decided to drive around the neighborhood again, planning to put up flyers later on that day. Half an hour later the owner called. She took the dog outside to wait for the owner. She talked for some time with the owner and his wife. As they drove off she said "Now that is such a wonderful feeling, to return a dog to his owner- to think you were planning on leaving him there".

Yes, foraging brings many many hidden gifts if you know where to look!

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