Haku is a boxer who appeared in our yard in September of 2001. Our friend Rocky was over and said, "Hey, there’s a dog in your yard." I went outside to see who it was.
Haku was so thin that every bone in his vertabrae was visible. You could literally study his skeleton. We invited him in much to the horror of our girls, Latte and Mocha, the American cocker spaniels. We’ve had canine visitors before so they weren’t too worried…the visitors always left eventually.
We gave him a meal which he gobbled up and then threw up. I called the Humane Society figuring that someone would be looking for him. There’s a vet clinic nearby that I also contacted since people find it more convenient to take lost dogs there. When I described him, they told me that he matched the description of a dog who turned up there often with a female boxer. His name was Haku. I called him by that name and he immediately popped his head up. I was pretty sure he was the runaway they described.
No one contacted us so we took him to the vet clinic the following day and found that he was micro chipped and that his owners lived nearby. He was Haku. The gal at the desk called and left a message for his owners notifying them that their dog had been found.
I called late that afternoon to check on him and no one had picked him up yet. I asked the receptionist to try calling his family again. It’s unimaginable to me that someone wouldn’t want his immediate return. Someone picked him up after that second phone call.
I didn’t feel good about this return. He was obviously unhealthy and running away a lot. I worried about how he was doing. The clinic wouldn’t release the name of his owner so there was no way for me to check on him.
Two weeks later, Kris heard a sound at our door…the sound of a dog shaking his head. If you’re a dog person, you know the sound. He said, "Your friend is back." I opened the door and let him in.
This time I was not going to return him without some assurance that he was going to be taken care of and knowing where he lived. I called both the Humane Society and the vet clinic and reported him found and asked them to have his owners contact me for his return. No one ever called. I called the president of the boxer club as they have a boxer rescue program. I didn’t want to return him…he was obviously very sick.
Kris was against keeping him. Three dogs are too many. It’s not fair to the girls.
I figured that the next best thing was to find him a good home. The president of the boxer club gave me the names of a couple of people who were looking for a boxer. Kris felt that we had no right to give him away as he wasn’t ours. I felt that he needed protection and care. After much debate, Kris pursuaded me to find a way to contact his owner. I called the clinic and had them contact the owner. When the woman finally called, she said that she didn’t have time to pick him up that evening since they had dinner plans and that they would pick him up the following day after church.
I offered to drive him home. I really wanted to know where he lived and what the conditions were. She gave me her address and Kris and I reluctantly drove Haku home. It seemed like a nice enough family. Their teenagers didn’t greet Haku. No one seemed to care that he was missing for a few days. I hated leaving him there. They had purchased a stake to keep him in the yard. They had a big fenced in yard and he escaped by digging a hole under the fence.
Two days passed and I couldn’t get him off my mind. I thought about going to their house and stealing him. I tossed so many ideas around, some wilder than others. Finally, I came up with the perfect solution. The owners probably don’t know how to take care of dogs and didn’t share my passion for them. Since they seemed like nice enough people, they probably thought it would look bad if they just ditched him. I called to test that theory and offered to purchase him, saying that they seemed like they couldn’t give him the attention he needed because they were so busy. I was very careful not to offend them. They accepted my offer to purchase him and I went over to pick him up.
We took him to the vet and found out he had heartworms, hookworms, and tape worms. He was probably escaping to find a way to get better. Instinct told him he needed to find a way to survive. He found a way by choosing us. The treatment for heartworm is harsh, but he survived it. He’s now a healthy, happy, goofy guy who loves to run around with a squeaky toy. He’s a big baby and let’s the girls boss him around. They steal his food and sleep on his comforter and he never complains.
We thought he couldn’t bark. He never made a sound. One day, Kris’ car needed to be towed. I guess, to Haku, it looks like someone was stealing Dad’s car. He let out a bark and shook me. I was in the carport and saw him stand on his hind legs against the sliding glass door. He looked big and mean. Wow! Can he bark! He scared the tow truck driver to death.
Kris travels a lot and I feel so safe with Haku around. He’s a big baby, but I know he’d protect me and the girls.
Here’s a link to Haku’s site: http://www.eyeoftheislands.com/robinscanlon/Galleries/Haku/index.html
Happy Birthday, Haku!