The Herald Bulletin

March 16, 2013

Maleah Stringer: ‘Piece of cake’ mission requires bacon and lunch meat

By Maleah Stringer
For The Herald Bulletin

— One of our young volunteers and her family made the big decision to adopt a dog.

The dog was Nutmeg, a poor little Sharpei mix that didn’t have the best start in life. This dog adores the volunteer, Savannah, but was afraid of most people.

We got a frantic phone call from Savannah’s mom last Friday morning. Nutmeg pulled out of his collar while on his walk. Savannah watched her dog run away while she was trapped on the bus.

An animal control officer was called but he couldn’t catch Nutmeg. She was in the wind.

By the time I got there Nutmeg had been running like a nut for two hours but the good news was she was staying in the apartment complex. The bad news is that the complex is huge, surrounded by woods and with several ponds. When I drove up, she was lounging in the sun by one of the ponds. I thought, “Piece of cake.”

In my rush to get there I forgot just who this dog was. And didn’t really remember until two hours later. I really did think I would be able to catch Nutmeg with my slip lead and bag of treats without much trouble. I thought wrong.

She was one of the county dogs that Kim Lott, County Animal Control officer, had tried to catch with much difficulty for two months. She finally caught them in humane traps.

When I first approached Nutmeg she acted as if she remembered me, wagging her tail and coming toward me. She let me pet her and as I leaned forward and attempted to nab her with the leash she did a little duck and turn which landed me flat on my face in wet snow.

I must have covered 10 miles chasing this dog. Hiding, sneaking up on her and generally looking like a nut. It was after about two hours of this and falling in one of the ponds that I called the shelter for help. Jacinda and Ashley flew to the rescue with two bags of bacon treats and nine packets of lunch meat.

We almost had her. She teased us almost letting us catch her numerous times. She was having a great time plus all those snacks. I got the bright idea to go get Dorothy, her mom who was at the shelter. And to call Savannah’s mom to get Savannah out of school to get her dog. And to call Deputy Lott. Help was on the way.

During all this time we had never lost sight of Nutmeg. Until she got a look at the deputy and she vanished into thin air.

We all decided to call it a day (after five hours) and have Savannah go out periodically and call for her hoping she would come home.

As I was driving out of the complex I got a phone call. Nutmeg was back sitting by the pond closest to her apartment. I rushed back in time to see Savannah run out, call Nutmeg who ran up to her with loving exuberance. She sat looking at her as if she adored her while Savannah calmly put the slip lead around her neck. She called out, “Got her.”

Really? Like I said, “Piece of cake.”