One a recent 90 degree day, I received a call from in-laws, telling me they had a house guest.

A puppy showed up on their porch, and they had no idea where it came from.

The little guy appeared to be lost and a little bit frightened when he first appeared. In an attempt to calm him down, they petted the puppy and offered him a dish of water and a couple of dog treats.

Hoping to find the puppy’s owner, they put him on a leash and took him around the neighborhood. None of the neighbors they spoke to recognized the pup, so they headed back home. My father in-law was doing some yard work, so he volunteered to care for the pup for a few hours in the hope someone would claim him.

Despite not finding the owner right away, my in-laws held onto hope that someone would be looking for it, so they could return it to its home.

When I heard about in-laws situation, I called the humane society to see if anyone reported a puppy missing that matched the description of the one at their house. Neither the shelter, nor the police had any such report as of the time I called.

It appeared the puppy may have worn a collar at one time, but had slipped out of it. Without a collar, there was no city pet license.

In the event the puppy had been wearing a collar with a pet license, the police would have been able to use the number engraved on the tag to help contact the owner.

When I contacted the humane society, the shelter volunteers suggested bringing the animal there so they could check to see if he was microchipped. I felt it was worth a try, so I drove the puppy to the shelter. With a hand-held scanning tool, the shelter volunteers were able to confirm the young pup had not been microchipped.

We were back to square one.

Given the friendly nature of the pup and how scared he appeared when he first showed up on their doorstep, my in-laws stood by their earlier idea of caring for it until late afternoon. If they were unable to find the owner by then, it would have to go to the shelter.

Just about the time I was beginning to figure they’d never find the owner, I heard a voice coming from the alley. It was the puppy’s owner, who was calling his name.

The puppy instantly recognized its owner and the two appeared to be relieved to be reunited. It turned out the puppy was a new addition to the family living next door.

All was well in the neighborhood once again.

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