WTAP - Blogs - Roger Sheppard Editorial

My Dog Tale

By: Roger Sheppard
By: Roger Sheppard

You never know what's going to happen when you go out to shoot a high school football game!

I love shooting Friday night high schol football games (particularly early in the season when the weather is still warm.)

I'm happy to help Jim Wharton and the rest of the WTAP folks cover as many games as possible.

This past Friday evening (Sept. 4), I was sent to shoot the game between Frontier and Waterford, being played in New Matamoras.

My preferred route when leaving from the north end of Parkersburg, is to go out Emerson Avenue to the I-77 interchange, and go north on I-77 to Marietta, and then take Rt. 7 north from there.

On this past Friday I was taking that route and was on Emerson Avenue. I had almost gotten to the I-77 interchange when a scene that I hate to see, began to unfold in front of me.

A medium-sized (30-40 pounds I would guess) black dog came loping out into the highway with traffic all around. The car in front of me and I slammed on our brakes and came to a stop without hitting the dog. Traffic in the oncoming lane also managed to get stopped without hitting the dog.

The dog having come back toward my vehicle, the car in front of me got moving again and left.

The question then became: what to do next?

I pulled over to the side, with my car still somewhat in the lane, and got out.

I decided that if the dog were vicious, I would have to leave it. If it were friendly, I'd put it in my car.

She couldn't have been sweeter.

She was a boxer/terrier mix (perhaps with some pit bull, but perhaps not). She had on a cloth collar but no dogs tags or other ID. She sat in the front seat as though she were used to riding in a car or a truck.

So, now what?

I couldn't take her to the game with me. The Humane Society was closed for the evening. So was my vet's office.

So I called A-VET, the emergency animal clinic, located on East 7th Street in Parkersburg close to the Red Roof Inn and the Mountaineer Family Restaurant. I knew they were open after hours and on weekend to handle animal emergencies, I had used their services on a number of occasions in the past with good success.

I explained the situation, gave them my name, said she was not hurt, but that I needed a place to keep her for the night until the Humane Society opened in the morning, or I found her owner.

They agreed to take her in for the night. But since they close at 8am each morning, in time for the other veterinary offices to open, I would need to pick her up before then. I agreed.

In the meantime, I also called and left a message on the answering machine at the Humane Society about having found the dog. I left the same message on their after-hours line, hoping the owner would call in and learn that the dog was OK.

I covered the game and went home that night.

I got up on Saturday morning and went out to check on the dog. Much to my chagrin, A-VET had received no calls about her overnight so I picked her up. The folks at A-VET could not have been nicer.

I decided I would take her back out to the area where I had found her, to see if she belonged to anyone at the little motel near the Emerson Avenue - I-77 interchange. I took her to the motel office. The fellow there said she did not belong to the motel and he had not heard from any customers about a missing dog. I walked her around the motel property to see if perhaps a tenant had actually lost her but didn't want to report to the motel menagement that he or she had a dog that was now missing. No one knew anything. My heart sank.

I next decided to drive down Jesterville Road, the nearest road to the motel, where I thought the dog may have gotten loose from a home. The first home I came to was nearly a mile off of Emerson Avenue. It was a very nice home with a long driveway and a white picket fence. The dog and I walked up to the door and I rang the bell.

A nice young woman named Carly came to the door. She got down and was playing with the dog as I explained to her what had happened. She said she had never seen the dog before and didn't know of any neighbors to whom she might belong. But, Carly offered, that since she is a volunteer at the Humane Society (!) she would be happy to take her for me. Having run out of obvious places to look for the dog's rightful owner, and having left messages at the places where the owner of a lost dog might look, I decided to let Carly take the dog.

I told her I would do anything to keep the dog from being euthanized, short of taking her home where we already have four cats and a chihuahua -- all from previous rescues. Carly agreed.

So this sweet animal, whom someone obviously loved enough at one point to have put a collar on, with a very sweet disposition, now sits in a cage at the Humane Society of Parkersburg. I know they will take as good of care of her as they can, but there are so many needy animals and this is just one more.

If you know of anyone interested in rescuing this dog in case her former owner doesn't show up, please contact me and I will do everything I can to help.

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