We all love when dogs are reunited with their frantic parents. Usually, some stranger finds the dog and cares for it until a mother and child reunion occurs. We rejoice in their joy. But what about the strangers.
On a Tuesday Eve L. Ewing saw a beautiful dog weaving in and out of traffic on the west side of Chicago. She stopped her car, coaxed the stray inside and brought her home.
When Eve got home, she found the dog’s chip registry collar. Eve called the number and was told they knew the date and location of the chip’s insertion but had no owner information. Eve called the location where the dog got her chip, and they had no record of putting a chip in a dog that day.
The dog was happily investigating Eve’s apartment. When Eve sat down the dog jumped in her lap and laid down. Eve began calling her Winnie after Winnie Mandela.
One thing that applies to all us dogs: Once we enter your home’s we enter your heart’s. Winnie had captured Eve’s heart.
Eve was still invested in finding Winnie’s owner. She drove Winnie, most of the time on her lap, because Winnie loves laps, to the vet’s office where Winnie got her chip to scan the device and see if it yielded clues to her true owners.
The vet determined that the chip did not match the company listed on the collar. Eve returned home with Winnie where she called four different chip manufacturers. The chip was not registered with any of them.
Eve began to wonder what would happen if she never found Winnie’s owner. She traveled regularly, she lived in a condo that didn’t allow dogs, her roommate was not sure if he wanted a dog, but there was Winnie, looking at her, with those deep brown eyes, wagging her tail, giving kisses.
Winnie was brought to a groomer’s for a bath. When Eve returned to pick Winnie up the little dog reacted with a big smile and a wagging tail. The groomer told Eve “She looks like she is saying ‘that’s my mom.'"
Eve also took the biggest step to being a dog owner. She bought a name tag with Winnie’s name on it.
Two days later, while she was walking home, Eve looked forward to taking Winnie for a walk and began to wonder if her dreams of someday having a dog were coming true, that she rescued Winnie from the highway because Winnie was meant to be hers.
Four days after Winnie found Eve they were playing fetch with a tennis ball in Eve’s condo when Eve checked her phone and found a voice mail from an anxious woman with a Polish accent. The woman has lost her dog. Eve asked the woman to send her a photo of the lost dog. It was Winnie.
Winnie’s name was Jessica. Her mom had gone on a trip and left Jessica with a friend who let Jessica slip out of the house. Eve returned Winnie, now Jessica, to her home. Jessica’s owner promised Eve a puppy when Jessica had a litter.
Eve went home in tears, and, despite being told what a beautiful, wonderful thing she had done for Jessica and her mom, the tears would not stop, as she clutched Winnie’s name tag.
25 years ago a woman found a little black and white Shih Tzu in her driveway. The woman had dogs before, but they were outside dogs, and she had never bonded with them. But this playful little dog, prancing on her back legs, and using her paws little like little boxing gloves, captured her heart completely. The woman bought food for the dog, gave it water, and a home for three days. She contacted the police and animal control. No one called. Then, on a Sunday, the phone rang, and it was a woman who said she lost a dog fitting the Shih Tzus description. At first, the woman caring for the dog was skeptical, but when the people arrived for the Shih Tzu, the little dog barked happily and leaped into her father’s arms. In a second the little dog who had lived with the woman and filled her heart with joy for three days was gone.
But it made the woman realize she could open her heart to a dog. Two years later came a little Shih Tzu named Blake, and four years after that a Yorkie named Foley Monster, and the rest it history.
Despite Eve’s pain, we hope she takes this bad case of lemons and turns them into great lemonade as Eve becomes another in a long line of great dog moms.
And like mommy owes it to that little Shih Tzu Eve will owe it to little Winnie.