The dog that was meant to be ours for only 34 hours (after the 4th of July)

Our 4th of July was a mellow one. They’ve been that way for the past few years, actually. But this year, we had an unexpected surprise at the very end of our night.

Before I get into the details, here’s a little look into our chill afternoon by the pool which we spent with Uncle Chris and Aunt Kristen (not photographed). We had donuts, watermelon, hot dogs, chips, beer and mimosas. Doesn’t get more American and simpler than that.


july 4a

july 4b

We’ve been introducing the potty here and there, especially when she’s roaming around naked. She actually got out of the pool to tell us she had to go “pee pee” and sat on her potty and peed. Progress.



july 4c

The night continued as it usually does. We went to my parents house for dinner and watched the fireworks in their backyard. The high school a few blocks away has a festival each year and ends it with a fireworks show that we can see pretty well. That’s our view below. We brought the dogs to make sure they were safe and not too freaked out from all of the noise. Speaking of dogs, did you know that more pets go missing around the 4th of July than any other time of the year? (btw, that’s some foreshadowing to how this story ends. keep reading)


The hang glider was a new part of the festival’s show (and there were a few more of them). The fireworks went off at 9pm. Last year, Mia fell asleep in my arms before they even started and she remained knocked out for the whole show. It was impressive. This year, I made her sit out with us for at least half of the show before letting her go inside. She didn’t like them at all. She cried and fussed and pretty much hated them.


So let’s get to the details of our late night surprise…

The night was over and we were back home. I had accidentally fallen asleep on the couch while watching TV after everyone else had gone to bed. I randomly woke up at 1:20am and had almost decided to just go back to sleep on the couch since I was so comfortable and didn’t feel like getting up…BUT..the damn dog (ahem, Rancho!) started howling outside so I got up to hush him up. Now since I was up, I figured I’d go to bed in my room so I started my usual lock-up. As I approached the front door, I could spot a brownish figure through a thin and blurred out window. I thought maybe it were a cardboard box but I didn’t remember receiving any packages that day so I peeked through a clearer window for a better look. It was a dog! There was a dog that I could barely see, practically hugging my front door. I thought maybe it was our neighbor’s dog so I ran to wake up Dominic for his help. He went outside to find that the dog was not our neighbor’s but she did have a collar on (no tag). She clearly was someone’s pet so he made a quick decision to let this dog into our backyard to keep her safe until morning when we’d figure out our next step.

When morning came, Dominic inspected the dog and guessed she was about 10 years old and he found she had a few minor injuries (scratches) and seemed pretty exhausted. We fed her and kept her outside and luckily she didn’t upset our other two dogs or Mia. In fact, Mia loved her. Dominic caught wind of a neighborhood woman who had a dog chip scanner so he took “Sasha” (oh yeah, that’s what I named the dog) to be scanned. It turned out negative. For the rest of the day “Sasha” remained in our yard, scared, uneasy and tired. I made some signs with pictures of her and Dominic posted them around our neighborhood. We also turned to Facebook and posted info on the dog there, on a few different pages. We heard nothing on the dog all day and night. In the meantime, “Sasha” seemed to be in more pain since it was becoming increasingly difficult for her to walk. She also started to pee herself whenever Dominic would approach her and on occasion when I did. If we hadn’t heard anything from her owners by Monday, we were going to take her to the vet. Later that evening, we let her cozy up in the house and she seemed much more comfortable and at ease on our living room floor rather than outside. She was clearly an indoor pet. Because she peed inside, she ended up sleeping outside for the night.

Sunday came and we had a family picnic reunion to attend by noon. Dominic had left early to reserve our spot at the park and I stayed home to let the kid get some sleep and get her ready. Around 11:30am (when I was supposed to have left for the picnic but I’m habitually late to things…which happened to work in our favor this time), Dominic called me saying that he was contacted by the dog’s owner! She wanted to come over right away to pick up her dog and would be calling me shortly to make arrangements.

Within the next hour, I got to witness an emotional reunion between Ginger (the dog’s actual name) and her owner. Mia and I stood by as the woman fell to her knees by her dog and threw her arms around her in a strong embrace. Tears rolled down her face as she spoke words to her of love and remorse. She was so relieved to find her safe and sound and was so grateful to us for taking Ginger in and caring for her.

I learned that Ginger is in fact an older dog at the age of 11 (Dominic was right), she is mostly an indoor dog (we were right again) and she suffers from arthritis (which explains the pain she was feeling) and is on medication. On the night of the 4th, the poor thing panicked while inside a friend’s home when fireworks were being set off in the middle of the streets outside and she ran out the door which was left open by a few careless kids. What’s most shocking is that Ginger, the 11 year old indoor dog with arthritis traveled over 5 miles in the middle of the night through high traffic roads and coyote populated areas to the front doorstep of our house (which is up a very long and steep hill and at the end of a cul-de-sac). What’s even more surprising is that the owner was contacted about Ginger’s whereabouts through an anonymous “middle man.” This anonymous person read one of our posts (on a Facebook page, most likely. Our posts were also shared by a few more of our FB friends) and he/she also read the owner’s plea for help on Craigslist (which we didn’t even think was a resource to use for situations like this…but now we know) and called her to give her our phone number with the idea that we had her dog. How crazy is that?! A HUGE “thank you” to the mystery person who basically saved the day. You did a very, very good thing and it’s people like you that help restore my faith in humanity and in selfless, good deeds.

After all is said and done, I can’t help but to think that all of this was meant to be. Had I not fallen asleep on the couch the night that Ginger ran away, I would have never seen her outside. Had I not gotten up off the couch at the exact minute that Ginger was on our front porch, I would never have seen her outside. If we weren’t dog lovers and animal lovers with big hearts, Ginger would have never been taken into a safe home. Speaking of which, it’s like Ginger was led to us. If you know Dominic, then you’ll know just how much of a dog lover he is and how any dog that comes into his life is the luckiest dog in the world. He saved Rancho from running along the divider of a busy freeway when he was a few weeks old, and he would have rescued Ginger as well, had we never found her owner. We would have kept her and cared for her like she were our own. Ginger landed at the exact house she was supposed to find that night she ran away. Everything after that unfolded in such a destined way that still leaves a warm and satisfying feeling in my heart whenever I think about it (which is often because Mia still will occasionally ask about Ginger).

And here she is, the dog that was meant to be ours for only 34 hours. The moral of this story is to take extra precautions to make sure your pets are secure and safe during the 4th of July holiday. It’s a very terrifying time for most pets and it’s your job as their owner to keep them safe. Not every runaway dog (I imagine not many at all) have a happy ending like Ginger did. She’s a lucky one.

lost dog Collage

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  1. OMG LOVE the bootie pics! I love me some cute tushy!! XOXO

    • I know, right??? And add that little hand on her hip and it’s like, who is this kid?! Thanks for taking the time to show us some lover, here! Love ya, girl.

  2. Thanks for sharing your heart. I have been inspired to share my journey with Huntigntons Disease.

  3. Just doing my part

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