writer: russell j.t. dyer; posted: October 6, 2005; revised: April 23, 2018; readers in past month: 552
I have an amazing follow up story regarding my recent hurricane experiences. Before the storm, my daughter (almost 10 years old) and my former wife left town and ended up in Houston, Texas where they now rent an apartment — they’re staying there until school ends next Summer. Because hotels won’t take pets, they didn’t take my daughter’s dog with them when they left before the storm. Her dog’s name is Fritz or Fritzy Boy! as she likes to call him. He’s a long haired Dachshund (almost 9 years old) that my daughter loves dearly.
Unfortunately, the old neighborhood flooded; the water was up to the roof of my old house. We assumed that my daughter’s dog had drowned. Because of the flooding, I couldn’t get to the house to check to be sure. She was quite upset for a long time afterwards.
After most of the water was drained, rescue and board of health people to each house in my daughter’s neighborhood looking for people, dead or alive. After breaking into each house to search, they spray paint a message on each house to indicate that they checked it already and what they might have found. One of my son’s friends drove past my old house today and called him back saying that they had spray painted on the side of our house, ‘One Dog. Alive’. We heard that an animal shelter (the SPCA) went around looking for such signs and picked up any live animals at houses like this. So, after digging around on the internet tonight, we found Fritzy Boy. He was picked up on September 25, four weeks after the storm.
My daughter’s mother called the woman who has him. She’s in Portland, Oregon. She’s a dog breeder and she went to New Orleans to volunteer at the animal shelter. When she left a week ago, since she could take one pet with her on the airplane back home, she took Fritz. She said he had gotten sick from drinking the polluted water and from lack of food. He had lost about 50 percent of his body weight by the time they found him and was near death. She realized that at the shelter they couldn’t give him the attention he needed, so she took him home with her to nurse him back to health. She said he’s much better now and eating regularly and is playful again. Tomorrow my ex-wife is going to see about buying a ticket and a dog carrier to fly him back to Houston. She hasn’t told me daughter yet since she wasn’t sure Fritz was alive before she went to sleep. I suggested that it would be neat if she could keep it a secret and take Marie to the airport for a surprise and then video tape her reaction. But, I don’t think I could keep it a secret for five minutes, so I don’t expect her mother to do so either.