Shiro, The Prodigal Dog, Returns
Two weeks ago, Shiro (even though his owner did tell me that his name is Tagpi; we just prefer calling him Shiro and he responds anyway) went home for good after several days of temporarily staying with us. He stayed with us because he wanted to be with our Matty.
Since then, he has been back to our house a few times, sometimes just for the day, other times for unplanned sleepovers.
The last time I returned him to his owner was five days ago. I took the opportunity to talk to his owner, Mrs. Y, to find out how she feels about Shiro and if she really wanted to keep him.
As soon as Shiro saw her (after being away from home for about three or four days), his tail started wagging excitedly. When she called his name Tagpi, he happily went to her. And he seemed happy and content to be back home.
Mrs. Y was very thankful that I had taken care of him for a while, and that I had returned him to her. She reminded me that Tagpi (Shiro) was her late husband’s beloved pet, and now her only companion and security measure since she lives alone.
I decided not to ask anymore if she wanted to keep Shiro. Instead, I offered to pick him up once in a while and take him along on my afternoon walks with Matty. I’ve tried putting a harness and leash on him, and he was fine with it. Took him for a walk and he was very calm and easy, usually hanging back while Matty would be her usual frisky, tugging-me-here-and-there self.
In the past two weeks, I’ve gone through these stages: 1) This must be a lost dog, we should find its owner; 2) If the owner isn’t looking for him, maybe she doesn’t want him and we should just keep him; 3) He has gone back to his owner, he isn’t our dog, that’s how it should be.
This morning, Shiro was at our gate again. Looks like he found another way to get out of their house, or he made a run for it when Mrs. Y opened her gate. He is here again today, playing with Matty, asking us to pet him and sometimes napping. Maybe later today, tomorrow or the day after that, either Mrs. Y will have him fetched or I will bring him back. Again.
So I am making peace with stage 4) Our family has grown to love Shiro and he has chosen us as his second family and home. He doesn’t come only to play with Matty; he also comes to have us pet him and talk to him. He comes and goes, our regular visitor, our prodigal dog.