In the normal run of business, the county animal shelter knows what to do about lost dogs.
Not this time. Because the dog isn't lost--it's the town he hails from that they can't seem to find.
On New Year's Day, a Pasadena man standing along the Rose Parade route spotted a young male mixed golden retriever trotting back and forth across crowded Colorado Boulevard, darting between floats and marching bands.
Concerned that the dog might get hurt, the man held him by his choke chain and his dirty red bandanna, and when the parade was over, checked with authorities to see who had reported a lost dog, an affectionate fellow who will sit and lie down on command.
Three weeks ago, no one figured it would be any problem. The bell-shaped metal tag on his collar read "Dog Tag 175, exp. 1982, Parksville." But, says Bruce Richards, the county's assistant director for animal care, none of the five Parksvilles they found in the United States had any record of male dog 175, when they bothered checking their records at all.
"We just got a disappointing response" from Parksvilles in New York, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee and Pennsylvania, said Richards. "We just kept running into dead ends."
It's not as though the dog--who the staff at the Downey animal shelter has rechristened Rosebud, in memory of the parade and in spite of his gender--is pining away for lack of attention. He has become the darling of the kennel, Richards said.
Somebody out there, Richards believes, must be missing him terribly. "So here we are with (the dog)," he said, "not running out of time, but running out of leads."
Anyone who has information about Rosebud can call the shelter collect at (213) 922-8874.