To Be or Not To Be — That is The Question
By Heddie Leger
Recap from Episode 3 - 2013
The young girl, found another one of those wand things and ran it over his body again. This time the wand beeped. Not only did it beep once, but it beeped twice. The girl smiled with joy, and called for the older lady to come and look at the wand. They talked for a while and put Chip back in his kennel. Chip just did not know what to think. They seemed happy enough, but he did not know why. What he did not know is the lady had made a promise to herself to find him a home. He had a microchip, he heard her say, and she made a promise to the young girl to do her best to find out where I came from and how to get me back home. But what was the second beep, two microchips, what could that possibly mean? Chip felt like it was a good thing he had a microchip. The way both of the people were smiling, for the first time he felt like good things were going to happen for him.
Now Chip knew he was no dummy, but he was very confused. Two microchips, what could that mean. He vaguely remembered the night during the storm where he lay curled up, wet and shivering in the dark box. Someone had to have put him in the box, but he always thought they put him in the box to get rid of him not caring what happened to him. Could it be that his first family had acted in love and really did care putting him in the box to take him to a safe place, only to find that in the chaos and confusion of the storm the box got misplaced and floated or blew away in the storm and just maybe that first family had him micro-chipped so they could find him again if he got lost. Maybe they had frantically tried to find him. Chip wanted to believe in all his heart that his first family was still looking for him, but then if they found him, what about Penelope and Allen and the family that had been so good to him?
Oh my, “I am so confused, Chip said to himself.” What if they call my first owners and they want me and they find Allen and Penelope and they want me too.” “I could hear the shelter lady making phone calls and telling people they had five days to come and claim me, but it sounded like she left and message as it was not really a conversation.” Then, “I heard her call another number, and this time she got someone. It was Stephanie!!!! My heart skipped two beats.” I kept seeing that flag flying overhead, boy it was windy. There was a regular red, white and blue flag and the other white flag with the St. Andrews cross. I always wondered if this is where I came from, but it does not look like it as I heard the shelter worker say the first call she made was a long-distance all and it was going to cost her department. I also heard her say, it was worth it. She had taken a fond liking to me. I was thankful for that. She waited a day and never heard back. She kept her hopes up and the second call seemed to worth it, and it was not long distance. I heard her talking with Stephanie about picking me up. It was Tuesday she said, and they has until Saturday to come and get me. Since it did not appear that I came from this area, I still wondered where I came from and the state and city I once lived. Perhaps I would never know. Stephanie, Allen, Penelope and Robert lived in a state that had a flag that was mostly red with three white stars dancing in the middle. I hoped it would not take them long to come and get me. The other people never called.
Waiting At The Shelter
The shelter worker had decided not to take me to the adoption event. She felt it was not fair to the family that had responded to the microchip call and that they showed responsibility and integrity in their ownership and caring of me. So she honored them and true to her word, kept me until the long awaited day, Saturday! It seemed like an eternity. I could smell them coming and hear the engine of the car even before it got to the shelter. The shelter workers kept trying to calm me down, but they were not successful. I was way too excited to see my friends and family again. They drove up and I almost came unglued. I kept barking and barking….I was so excited. They had paperwork they had to fill out and they also had to prove I was their dog, but when they brought in Hero and then the shelter worker brought me in, there was no doubt in the workers mind that I belonged to the family. What she saw was four crying people, a huge black and brown dog smiling and wiggling his butt so fast, he could hardly stand, and of course, me totally out of control with joy to see them. The workers said it was the most touching reunion they had ever experienced. We all piled in the car and were going to go home, when Stephanie had a thought. “Chip,” she said, “what would have caused you to wander so far from home?” “I will bet you were looking for your family, weren’t you?” I looked at her and wagged my tail and smiled at her. She turned the car around and went back to talk with the shelter workers.
A Different Direction
After they talked a while, she went a different direction, I could tell as the smells in the air changed. She was driving farther south towards the ocean. As we drove, I could smell more familiar smells, I could hear more familiar sounds of birds and a roaring water sound, we were getting near the ocean. Memories started to flood back into my mind. I could hear Stephanie, Robert, Allen and Penelope talking about a hurricane like a memory they did not want to remember, but they agreed it was important for Allen and Penelope and me too, to figure out what had happened to us. So we kept traveling South and then I smelled something I could not believe. I could not believe my nose. It was the last smell I had remembered when my MawMaw disappeared and I was placed in the box. I could not place it yet, but my memory was slowly coming back.
Heddie Leger is a Certified Humane Education Specialist (CHES). Her lifelong passion for animal welfare has taken her down the path of rescue, rehabilitation, training and rehoming of many animals through the Missouri Puppies for Parole Program. She is a charter member of the Heartland Positive Dog Training Alliance and KC Representative for Animals and Society Institute through the KC-CAN Link Coalition. She can be reached at