Friday, August 25, 2017

Found: One Beagle

Betty Keira considered the name of her temporary dog for several minutes. "Blot!" she said. 
"Escutcheon or landscape?" came the inevitable voice in her head.

Today, several of my children were off to visit their grandmother (the Dowager Baroness van Voorhees) and it was just me at home with Pledge One, who was diligently studying the finer points of English grammar in anticipation of his SATs.

"Is that a dog?" I asked, gazing across the back expanse of sweeping green lawn abutting the Professor Baron's ancestral home. "And without a collar too...Oh the poor dear."

Pledge One sprang into action, checking on the pup and offering a dish of water, as I trotted out to the drive, holding one well-manicured hand over my brow and looking across the flat, Dutch countryside for any sign of the owner. Alas. Not so much as a bicycling tour of British nurses was to be seen. 

After attending to Blot's needs, I sent a letter to my near neighbor in a tight, elegant hand. My Dutch, you see, is lacking (Professor Wit seems to think I am coming along nicely but my verbs do get in such a tangle. Oh what a beastly language Dutch is!) and she would know just what to do. Mevrouw Alberts is the dearest woman. She looks so bland when the Professor Baron is late for our dinner parties, is always a font of knowledge and never attempts to poach my husband.

Meanwhile, Blot was on his finest behavior--padding around the lawn, sniffing and inspecting, waiting most patiently in a sitting position when food was offered.
When attending his business, I am happy to report that Blot did not compromise
the dignity of the Professor Baron, the tulip beds or the ancestral mansion.

Mevrouw Alberts directed me to the local animal shelter and they popped over in a trice, discovered that Blot had been microchipped and delivered him directly to his owners. 

All's well that ends well. Pledge One was sorry to see him go and it's just as well that Pledges Two through Five were away, as the mighty tsunami of sentiment would have been difficult to stand athwart. 

During my adventure today, I discovered that any Beckys or Aramintas looking to perform a similar spot of animal rescue should keep the following in mind:

If you decide not to bring the dog/cat to the shelter, you are required to take several steps. These steps include:
1. Notify the shelter that you have the dog/cat so that we can connect possible owners of the lost pet to you. You must leave a description of the dog/cat with us. You must also leave contact information with us so we can make sure that people who think the pet you have found may be theirs can talk with you. You can report the dog/cat as "found" by calling us at 503-846-7039 or by coming down and filling out a short "Found Pet" form.
2. By law, you must advertise that you have found the dog/cat in a general circulation newspaper once a week for two consecutive weeks. (For specific information about the legal responsibilities of finding property, refer to
the Oregon Revised Statutes section 98.005.) 
3. After you have listed the dog/cat with us and advertised in a general circulation newspaper twice, you are still not the lawful owner of the animal until 90 days have passed. If the owner comes during that time, you are required to surrender the animal back to their owner.
4. You will then need to contact us a second time to let us know that it has been  over 90 days, you have done all of the above and you are now taking ownership of the animal. 

That is Oregon, USA law, of course, and just applies to dogs. Last month, another neighbor and I were chatting across the street when her grandson found that a tiny newborn squirrel had fallen from its nest and onto her lawn. Ten minutes later, we discovered another just a few feet away, well-hidden in the grass and barely alive. With that, it was a simple matter of popping them into shoe boxes and keeping them hydrated long enough for her daughter's mother-in-law (who does animal rescue professionally) to come pick them up. 

The Canon is rife with instances of saved kittens and rescued dogs--of small scissors or pen knives being used to extricate animals from danger. Do any of our Betties have any stories of that sort to share?


  1. Hmm. Am suspicious of Blot's owners. Why was he running around without a collar? Had they advertised the loss of their dog? I do hope that this story has ended well for Blot.

    1. He was an older dog with a sweet temperment and had been both well trained and microchipped. I don't think it was in his nature to wander and I expect that he slipped out. He wasn't at my home long enough for the owners and myself to find each other (I had posted on our neighborhood site and FB and on our mailbox but that's only going to catch a very small sliver of the population.) but such a dog would be missed. He certainly was missed by us.

  2. Wonderful! You are our heroine! I am glad Blot could be reunited with his owners. What a sweet little dog.

    1. He WAS so sweet and used to being loved, you could tell.

      All of this was a good reminder about microchipping pets. I was surprised (because we don't have pets at Huis van Voorhees thanks to Pledge Three's allergies) to hear how common it is to do it but after watching it in action, I'm a believer. What a wonderfully quick way to reunite owners with pets.

    2. My mom's dog is microchipped too. Just in case...

  3. I enjoyed your story about finding "Blot." :-) He/She looks like a very sweet dog. In general, beagles have a gentle nature, but are very prone to dig out of the backyard fence due to their curiosity and strong sense of smell (i.e. they follow their nose right out of their owner's backyard). I have owned two, myself, and my cousin owns three.

    --Anonymous Betty Lea in KY

  4. Hello fellow Betty Neels fans! Finished reading the story with Blot in it a week or so ago...Great timing to see the Blot the Beagle blog! Have now begun The Little Dragon, one of my favorites. :0) I am enjoying your book reviews and this blog. Missed out on the Sweet 16 voting, alas.