It can be hard to think of good things when Monday rolls around, so I thought I’d try to put myself in the right frame of mind and start the week off with remembering things I am grateful for. This week, I’d like to talk about Otis, my pug, the dog who ran away for four years and then came home.
Otis, the pug, ran away in Tallahassee, summer of 2003, while I was in Ireland going to school. He was just a puppy at a year old. His partner in crime, Pac the Great Dane, and he had dug a hole under the fence and one day it was big enough for him to squeeze through and off he went on his adventure. Pac was left behind, covered in dust & too big to fit through the hole. We did everything we could think of to find him, but nothing ever came of it. After almost a year, I finally started taking his fliers down and stopped running ads in the paper. My husband and I had to move to another city, 8 hours away, and I let go of the thought of finding him. When I sold my car in 2006, it was then that I threw away the “LOST” fliers in my trunk.
Saturday, June 30th 2007, my husband and I were at our friend’s house when an 850 (Tallahassee area code) number called me. I still have an 850 cell number, so I get a lot of misplaced calls and I usually ignore them. I had nothing else to do, so I answered. The woman on the phone introduced herself as being from Animal Control, asked me if I was Rachel (insert my maiden last name here) and when I answered “Yes”, she continued on to tell me she had my dog and if I could come pick him up, that would be great. I couldn’t understand how Pac, the Great Dane, could have escaped from our current apartment. The apartment is on the 2nd floor with enclosed windows and just the front door. I asked her to repeat herself & she told me, “I’m from the Tallahassee Animal Control and we scanned your dog, Otis, and his microchip had your information. Do you want to come and pick him up?”
At this point, I was making crazy noises and my husband and friend were thinking something awful had happened. I told them both that they found Otis and wanted us to come pick him up. They both started flipping out immediately. The woman from animal control couldn’t understand why I was crying, and asked if we didn’t want him anymore, and I had to let her know that we lost him FOUR years ago and thought we’d never see him again! She was as much in disbelief as me and relayed this information to the woman who found Otis.
I then went into my friend’s office area and got the whole story from the woman who found Otis. She said her son saw Otis wandering around near Tallahassee Community College, with no collar on, and brought him home. They put ads in the paper and on Craigslist, but no one responded. They already had four dogs and just could not keep Otis, so they took him to the shelter. The shelter scanned him, found my info in his microchip, and the rest is history!
Once I explained that we lived in a city that is a five hour drive away and couldn’t make it to the shelter in Tallahassee before they closed (it was 4:00pm), the woman who found Otis offered to meet us halfway. Otherwise, the shelter would have had to board him and we wouldn’t be able to get him until Monday. My husband and I agreed immediately and within 15 minutes, we were in the car heading to the halfway meeting point. It was the longest two and a half hours of my life, but we met the boy who found Otis at Sonny’s.
Poor Otis was so over-excited and hot that all he did was make this awful pug breathing noise, which concerned my husband and I. Within minutes of having him in the car, it was obvious this was Otis and he also knew it was us. We gave him some ice and his breathing got better. My husband and I were both overwhelmed and it seemed so unreal.
He’s been home for five years now and it has been wonderful having him home. We joke all the time and make up stories of his travels, giving him nicknames and such to explain where he was for four years. Pac, the Great Dane, passed away just over a year ago. Otis rules the house now & loves every second of our undivided attention.
There is not a day that goes by that I don’t look at him and think I cannot believe we have him back. Just amazing. He’s “The Dog Who Disappeared for Four Years and Then Came Home”.