Sandeleh Francis , Fresno,
I was sound asleep in bed with my dog Bruce when the phone woke me up. It was the local SPCA telling me they had Diva in their custody. I was very confused, as Diva had been in bed asleep the last thing I knew. I checked and my bed was empty except for Bruce, still sleeping soundly beside me. The nice lady at the shelter told me I had to come by appt to pick up my dog. I am disabled and was house-bound even before the COVID outbreak so this whole scenario was a bit overwhelming. I had to arrange for a Lyft ride and gather up all of Diva's papers to take with me for proof of ownership. We arrived in time for my appt and it took at least 30 mins for the clerk to go thru Diva's adoption papers (she was rescued from a shelter in a different city) and check up on the regulations for service dogs in our city. I was cited for having a dog off-leash and they couldn't add any other charges because of Diva's status. The clerk got a bit of education and I was relieved not to be assessed even more fines.
I called another Lyft to get us home and then went to check out the yard. I have a 6ft fence that is in good repair but apparently someone had driven into the gate post and broken it off so that there was a Diva-sized opening where there used to be a solid post. Ordinarily, my dogs wear "house collars" with name tags and Avid chip tags on the, but the groomer had just come and given the dogs and their collars baths. The collars took longer to dry than the dogs, so both dogs were still naked when Diva escaped. Thank goodness for Avid chips! Both of my dogs are chipped and registered with Avid Petrac. Avid called and emailed me right after the clerk at the shelter called them for info, so I got all sorts of notification that my dog was being safely held at the shelter.
Diva has been trained to be my Diabetic Alert Dog and I would be in serious trouble had I lost her for good. My older dog, Bruce, is 16 now and stone deaf, so he's been retired for years. In the current situation with COVID and stay-at-home orders it would be very difficult for me to obtain another suitable dog to be trained to assist me.