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Lessons And Lost Dogs
Mommy Musings
Teresa Hammond mug 3
Teresa Hammond

I penned last week’s column with a troubled heart.

The back story that I didn’t share in the piece “Doing the Right Thing,” was that for the second time in two months a week long vacation had to be cancelled just days before departure. Some things can’t be helped, that’s the simple reality to life. Yet when learning of a person resigning from a lead position with no notice and costing you a long overdue getaway with your partner, one can’t help but feel a little bitter.

In short, as a bright side person, one week ago still sitting at my desk versus taking in the beauty of Colorado it was hard to not feel slighted by life a bit.

The crazy and heartbreaking part two to this story was, just as we looked ahead to try and make the most of not getting away, two of my partner’s dogs went missing. A simple few hours away grabbing some dinner to turn a frown upside down, resulted in two lost dogs.

Now here’s the crazy part, this terrible circumstance quickly helped me regain my faith in humanity.

Waking last Tuesday, we quickly realized it was time to place search efforts in full effect. As people do these days, we quickly searched our phones for photos and turned to Social Media. The more eyes that saw these pups the better.

The response from friends, family and strangers was truthfully overwhelming. Over the course of five short days, three posts had been shared over 400 times. Friends began making their own posts on separate sites to help with our search efforts.

As the Fourth of July holiday loomed, everyone rallied to try and help us find Cocoa (a medium size mutt) and Pump, a pitbull terrier. Text messages from friends and family began to find our phones with screen shots and photos of dogs which “might be them.” We even received a phone call from a San Diego number stating they had seen the post and learned a pit bull looking like Pump might be at the Oakdale Shelter.

Looking to Social Media and the attention that was being given to our search, I couldn’t help but feel a resurgence of faith in humanity. As we went to hang flyers, strangers would ask if we were the people from Facebook. Only to then follow with well wishes and reassurance that they were keeping an eye out.

The lesson was simple, people really are good and when given the right opportunity we do have the ability to rally and unite for something which touches us. Not everyone is awesome all the time, welcome to life.

It’s an odd reality to live with when something you love so much, just vanishes. There’s no closure and it’s a funny emptiness different than the passing of a pet. And these people were (are) helping us.

Being dog lovers as well as loving parents to amazing children, finding these two family members has become our number one mission. We literally stop what we are doing to entertain a lead on one or both of the dogs.

Case in point, as I’m typing this, there is a possibility that Pump is at the Stockton Shelter. A photo was spotted on their website with a strong resemblance to this gentle mass of muscle. Spotted on Monday, when the shelter happens to be closed. So, yours truly worked frantically Monday night and early Tuesday morning so that my work would be complete ahead of deadline and I could make the trip to Stockton for the noon opening of the shelter.

Some might read this and think we’re a bit sideways. What I know for sure is that a larger number will read it and not only understand but feel emotion toward it – the human heart is an amazing organ.

Less than 12 hours before this goes to press, I wish I had a beautiful ending to tie this piece up with a pretty bow – I don’t.

What I do have, however, is one pretty awesome lesson.

Sure, we lost a vacation we truly needed because of the selfishness of another person. That’s their karma, not ours. Instead we were treated to the beauty and kindness of humanity as we journey through a pretty tough time. It’s hard to stay down, when so many are lifting you up. So, as we continue to search for these well loved animals I offer you this, be the solution not the problem. After all, we’re all in this together and what a beautiful thing it is when we rally from a place of love and compassion. Thank you.


Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.