a few weeks ago, in the quick in-between of getting home from work and getting ready to head to a friend's house for our weekly Project Runway viewing, i glanced out our back window and saw what looked like a giant white fox loping through our backyard. it had a collar, so i did what i was genetically programmed to do: chase after it and entice it to come to me. little pup was more than happy to make a friend; she bounded over, tail wagging. on her collar was a tag with local phone numbers, a rabies tag from a vet in Georgia, and a "i have a microchip" tag with an 800 number. i ran in the house to grab my cell phone, and when i got back outside, the dog was in the neighbor's yard with about 851 of the Mexican children who live next door. they were very sweet to the puppy; the oldest girl held onto the collar while the others pet the dog and chattered very excitedly in Spanish. i left voicemails for both the local numbers and then tried the 800 number. the guy who answered looked up the chip # and then said, "...huh. um, you're not near a military base by any chance, are you? because this dog is registered to a base in Okinawa, Japan."
i'm having trouble hearing him because i'm still surrounded by a frantic cloud of Spanglish from the neighbor kids, so i thank him and hang up. so i've got quite the globetrotting puppy- someone stationed in JAPAN loved her enough to put a chip in her, then brought her back to Georgia where she got rabies shots, and then somehow got to Minneapolis...? just then i got an incoming call from one of the local numbers- turns out, she belongs to a little girl who lives three doors down. her uncle found the dog in Japan, brought it back to Georgia where he was stationed, and then recently gave the pup to his niece as a gift. the mom walked over to retrieve her, and turns out she is a neighbor we had been interested in meeting for a while. we had a really nice chat, which she ended by saying, "well i'll be here on the corner for the next 30 years or so, so if you need any sugar, butter, whatever...." happy to kill 2 birds with one stone- reunite a lost dog with her owner and finally meet a neighbor we had been curious about.